What type of wood is this?

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Forum topic by meedjmom posted 02-16-2018 07:28 PM 1315 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1313 days

02-16-2018 07:28 PM

I’m working to refinish my first piece of furniture and would love some input. I noticed that the wood on the sides of the table is lighter in color than the center piece. Can someone identify the type(s) of wood just by looking at the photo….or take a best guess? I’m just curious.

Also, I bought a few different stains to try but was wondering if anyone had a suggestion as to what stain color to try first to try to match original. Maybe some stains are more widely used?

Any help is appreciated. This is all new to me. Thanks in advance!

27 replies so far

View Andre's profile


4680 posts in 3019 days

#1 posted 02-16-2018 07:34 PM

Got to be Alder!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View splintergroup's profile


5737 posts in 2436 days

#2 posted 02-16-2018 09:22 PM

Close up photos would help.

Could be Lauan/mahogany veneer (if it is a veneer)

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 1313 days

#3 posted 02-16-2018 10:55 PM

Thanks for the fast replies! Looking it up on the Internet, it sure looks like Alder. Here’s a closeup.

View PCDub's profile


293 posts in 1457 days

#4 posted 02-17-2018 12:04 AM

[be aware that “alder” is a running joke answer on here whenever anyone asks “what kind of wood is this?”]

[I’m not saying it’s not alder, just saying that’s a typical response! Kinda looks like maple to me, but I am not an expert!!]

View Tony_S's profile


1538 posts in 4296 days

#5 posted 02-17-2018 12:18 AM

It’s not Alder.
It’s more than likely Luan, which is just a generic name for one of dozens of different types of woods in the Shorea genus.
In a nutshell….It’s ‘fake’ Mahogany.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View diverlloyd's profile


4164 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 02-17-2018 12:22 AM

I agree with Tony. Any alder answer should be blocked as its not funny,unhelpful and confusing for new members.

View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

349 posts in 3494 days

#7 posted 02-17-2018 12:29 AM

I agree with Tony. Any alder answer should be blocked as its not funny,unhelpful and confusing for new members.

- diverlloyd

Let’s not get uptight about it, geez!! Have a little fun already!

Definitely alder!

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4220 days

#8 posted 02-17-2018 12:31 AM

Im in the mahogany of some sort group

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 1313 days

#9 posted 02-17-2018 06:48 PM

Oh, that made me feel foolish.

View meedjmom's profile


5 posts in 1313 days

#10 posted 02-17-2018 06:49 PM

But I’m a big girl. I’m over it.

I really just want to know if the type of wood makes this a more or less expensive piece of furniture.

View johnstoneb's profile


3175 posts in 3386 days

#11 posted 02-17-2018 06:52 PM

less expensive

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2699 days

#12 posted 02-17-2018 07:10 PM

Only alder will make it more expensive. If it’s not alder it’s trash. You should probably burn it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2122 days

#13 posted 02-17-2018 07:28 PM

Stains come in a wide variety of colors and can also be mixed to achieve a custom color, if desired. Ordinarily, one would use the stain on a “test piece” in an effort to decide which stain best suited the final piece but it seems as if you don’t have that luxury. Be aware also, that if the top is just a veneer it may not take much sanding during your refinishing to work your way right through to the substrate. Go easy.

As for the “type” of wood? I’ve been duped myself by the Alder-Boys and have opted to throw in with them, mostly because I rarely have any clue when it come to wood species identification and because I think they’re fun. Alder is always my first answer to any “what kind” question, but resident Tony_S is has much more expertise than most folks you’ll find offering opinions.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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6025 posts in 3565 days

#14 posted 02-17-2018 07:51 PM

I’ll go with Luan.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View caboxmaker's profile


280 posts in 1601 days

#15 posted 02-17-2018 07:54 PM

Ripper, what stain could I use to give my maple table that alder look?

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