What type of wood is this?

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Forum topic by plagron posted 09-13-2021 09:24 PM 261 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 40 days

09-13-2021 09:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question type of wood

Hi everyone! This is my very 1st attempt at refinishing anything and I need help in identifying the wood in this 1950’s bedroom set. While sanding the chest of drawers I discovered that the sides weren’t wood. Now I have to get veneer but don’t know what to choose because I don’t know what wood the drawers are. I am providing a picture of the sanded, unfinished chest drawers and my newly finished nightstand drawers for context. Thanks for your help and I will probably be submitting LOTS of questions throughout this journey. Lol!

5 replies so far

View LesB's profile


3100 posts in 4688 days

#1 posted 09-13-2021 10:33 PM

My first guess would be pine of some sort or possibly fir.

As you can see in the chest of drawers the wood (pine) does not finish evenly and staining is even harder to get an even color. Furniture made from these woods were usually painted.

-- Les B, Oregon

View therealSteveN's profile


8885 posts in 1819 days

#2 posted 09-13-2021 10:45 PM

If it is Pine, Fir, Spruce, you should be able to depress a thumbnail into it, and make a small dent by pushing fairly hard. I’d check both approximate weight, and softness/hardness before doing anything else.

That said, I find it strange someone veneered the sides of a pine case..

Was it painted to begin with? the matches of grain patterns across the drawer fronts isn’t very uniform. Natural finish it would make the mismatches stand out, painted you wouldn’t see them.

-- Think safe, be safe

View TheSnekkerShow's profile


25 posts in 629 days

#3 posted 09-13-2021 10:59 PM

I agree that it looks like pine or Douglas fir. The second picture is almost definitely pine. If there’s a place where you can sand some bare wood a little, pine and fir have very different smells that are tough to describe in text. Fir wood smells a little harsher than pine, and pine smells like a cut 2×4 (not pressure treated). Whoever built it took the time to match the grain on the face, which makes it even more surprising that the sides aren’t wood. Is it plywood?

-- Ben --

View plagron's profile


2 posts in 40 days

#4 posted 09-13-2021 11:58 PM

Thank you guys so much! I was guessing Pine but really have no idea what I’m doing. Lol!

Here’s the nightstand before/after and the crazy thing is the nightstand is all wood so I thought the chest of drawers would be too but no such luck.

The chest of drawers sides are paper like. I accidentally sanded the veneer off thinking it was the same finish on the drawers.

View TheSnekkerShow's profile


25 posts in 629 days

#5 posted 09-15-2021 12:11 AM

I’ve accidentally sanded through pine plywood veneer on new projects before. It’s very easy to do. I think you’d be safe adding pine veneer. Once you match the stain, it’s unlikely anyone would notice a difference, even if the existing was spruce or fir.

Matching the stain will be the challenge since the sanded drawers appear to have more of a fir color, probably from the residual stain and age.

-- Ben --

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