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Into the Woods: Solid vs. Veneer Wood Furniture Explained
Spot Quality Wood Workmanship in Seconds

The modern world is a world that offers many significant alternatives to things. Stones that used to be just quarried and cut to the needed size can now be reproduced in many factories. Such is also the case with wood furniture. Though there may be replicas out there, wooden furniture remains one of the best-selling pieces in the furniture industry and for a good reason. 

People still love to invest in indoor and outdoor wood furniture pieces. This is not a fad that will fade away soon. It seems that wood is here to stay. 

All About Wood Furniture: From the Forest Down to Solids and Veneers 

Wood is one of the leading materials that come to anyone’s mind when the word durable is mentioned. Scrapes and dents do not easily affect wood as it is naturally resilient and strong. When properly maintained, a wooden furniture piece can even last for hundreds of years.

This resiliency of wood also comes with great responsibility. Termites, rots, and poor attention to construction details, and exposure to the harsh weather elements all lead to weakened wood furniture.

Just give wood the attention it needs and you sure won’t be needing a replacement for many years. Here are other reasons that people love wood furniture - 

Benefits of Wood Furniture 

Wood Is Gorgeous

<img src=&quot;dining room.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;dining room with a wooden dining set.&quot;>

Wood offers unique lines, patterns, and textures that are all naturally made. The finishing of the furniture should highlight these natural beauties.

Wood Is Easy to Maintain


Wood furniture care is a must for every homeowner especially if you intend to make an heirloom of your current pieces.

Don’t fret, cleaning the wood is as easy as wiping the surface with a clean microfiber cloth. 

To determine the kind of wood polish that you could use, it's important that you know what type of finish was used on your furniture. To do this, rub a drop of oil onto the wood. If the oil absorbs, then an oil finish was used.

If it does not soak into your wood furniture, using an acetone-dipped cotton swab, rub in an inconspicuous spot. Polyurethane is not affected by acetone but it can easily dissolve lacquer. 

If the tested surface feels gummy, then the finish used was either varnish or shellac. Proceed to rub the spot with denatured alcohol then you'll know if it's varnish (the finish did not dissolve) or shellac (the finish completely dissolves). 

PU, Varnish, and Shellac 

Polyurethane, varnish, and shellac finishes are the simplest to maintain. Just clean and polish the pieces with the following homemade solution - 

      - 1/4 cup vinegar

      - 2 tbsp. jojoba oil (or any shelf-stable oils) 

Spray the mixture to a soft cloth and then wipe. Spray on polishes are okay to use on such surfaces. Cream wax is best used for a more matte look - just apply and wipe off with a clean, soft cloth. 

Lacquer Finish

Lacquer finishes require a bit of work. The best option is the paste wax. Be sure to wipe the dust and dirt off the surface before application. 

This product has been used for hundreds of years to aid in the application of a smooth finish to woodwork. It is often thick and creamy and can be applied with a clean rag or cheesecloth. 

thin coat, as directed on the product label, should do it. Let the furniture stand for 1 to 2 hours then buff or brush vigorously. You will soon see a vibrant gloss and shine on your wood furniture.

A lacquered surface is one surface that you wouldn't want to use oil-based solutions on. You may also use water or a mixture of water and vinegar then buff with a dry, soft cloth. 

Linseed, Tung, and Oil-Varnish Finishes 

If your wood furniture finish is any of these blends, then your choice of polish is simple - use oil. Just be careful that you don't use oils that easily go rancid. 

Make sure the oil seeps into the furniture. It could give a slightly darkened appearance especially when you applied the oil when the furniture was dry. 


Unpainted, outdoor furniture might have been simply sealed. Again, test the finish to know what blend was used. Outdoor furniture that was sealed with PU or varnish can be regularly cleaned or refinished as needed. 

Aging finishes can be restored with an application of cream wax. Sealed woods need periodic sealant applications. If water beads no longer form on the surface of the furniture, then you'll know that it's time to reseal. 

Wood Is An Investment


The price for wood is especially high for the most durable pieces so, in essence, you are making an investment in buying a lovely piece.

Understanding how furniture can become an investment all begins with finding the right furniture provider. Find a brand that embodies quality, timeless quality, and balance. Find McCreery’s quality furniture here.

McCreery’s Home Furnishings offers the most beautiful traditional furniture pieces. There are standalone ones and others that come in a lovely ensemble.

There are also those that come in contemporary designs that may be influenced by trends and research but they still show the same level of quality, beauty, and durability.

Wood Is Eco-Friendly


You cannot find a more environment-friendly material than wood.  They are produced from trees, to begin with, and so they come from a renewable resource. Wood can be grown each year and then eventually harvested for different uses.

Wood and wood byproducts virtually eliminate waste since the trims, bark, and sawdust can all be used as energy sources.

Wood also offers longevity of homes and business structures, hence, it significantly reduces carbon footprint compared to the concrete and steel greenhouse gas emissions produced during manufacturing.

Wood is also recyclable which means you can find other uses for it once it has served its purpose as a piece of furniture. A study conducted by the CORRIM or Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials showed that wood, indeed, has a less environmental impact as compared to steel.

Solid Wood Furniture 

<img src=&quot;dining room.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;dining room with rectangular, wooden table, upholstered chairs, and a wooden bench.&quot;>

Shopping for a wood furniture Sacramento piece can get confusing. There is attractive fine furniture everywhere but you have to make a serious, contemplative decision before you take the step and begin shopping. Remember that furniture is supposed to last long, meaning, it should be around long enough for you to enjoy, or even better, for your children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Heirloom furniture pieces are not accident pieces. These are intentionally durable and quality pieces that can be kept for heritage’s sake. Your objective in shopping for a would-be heirloom piece is to know what to look for - and solid wood sits at the top of the choices for durable furniture. 

There are two kinds of wood that can be used in the creation of quality furniture – softwoods and hardwoods. Common softwood species are pine, cypress, redwood, and cedar. Hardwood trees, on the other hand, are cherry, ash, oak, maple, rosewood, poplar, walnut, and teak.

Hardwood or softwood offers a different look, feel, and hardness. The kind of wood that has been chosen will affect the quality and price of the piece. High quality spells the top of the line pieces. The likes of solid Cherry, Oak, Mahogany or Maple are all wonderfully durable which is why these are also some of the most expensive pieces that one could own.

There are also pieces that come in combined woods. An example is when Cherry is used as an exterior piece and underneath it, there is a different kind of wood. When you encounter this kind of combined material, take a step back and see if you can invest in a more expensive piece instead. Cherry finish is different from solid cherry furniture.

Remember that solid construction is no less than one of the highest qualities one can require in a Sacramento furniture. Whether you pick softwood or hardwood, what really counts is that you're buying a durable piece. 

But the finest wood pieces are only as good as their manner of construction. Poor construction undermines even the best of solid wood. Even if there are already technological advancements, the good, old-fashioned way of furniture construction is still considered best especially when you are considering a would-be heirloom piece.

Find joints that are wood-on-wood rather than those with metal or iron brackets. Ask about dovetails or mortise and tenon as these are the strongest joints that furniture manufacturers could use. Fitted joints significantly increase the contact area, hence, the furniture bonding strength becomes more substantial.

If you want to read more about heirloom furniture, read - Which Furniture Store Near Me Has Wood Heirloom Furniture? 

And Then There Are The Veneers 

<img src=&quot;storage bench.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;light-colored, wooden storage bench.&quot;>
It's a pretty common reaction for people to cringe when they hear the word veneer. But according to the Architectural Digest, wood veneers are a timeless and durable part of wood furniture making.  Many people are often surprised to learn that veneers have been used for over 200 years in furniture and millwork techniques.

A veneer is a paper-thin wood piece that is used on both sides of a durable core surface such as furniture-grade MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or substrate material.

Veneers are there to help stabilize and seal furniture especially those that come with mechanisms. Can you now see the beauty of these materials? Unlike the solid wood furniture bought from Sacramento furniture stores, that contracts or expands as temperatures change, your veneer piece is sound enough to withstand these.

Wood panel stability isn't the only role that veneers have. They are also environment-friendly furniture materials because they maximize the use of logs in those little sheets. 

What created a bad rap for veneers in the past were the fake woods that were actually made of paper, plastic, or foil. The best wood veneers are not dirt-cheap, to begin with, and they offer perfectly-matched wood grains (if you prefer them so).

Veneers are also used on labor-intensive parquetry and marquetry inlay arts. Solid wood just won't be the right material to use with these works of art. 

Solid Wood vs. Veneers: A Bird's Eye View 

Wood is highly durable. 

It is also versatile. 

It is sustainable. 

It can be customized. 

With proper care, it will last for a long time.

Recognize a solid wood furniture by trying to lift it. It is a heavy piece of furniture. 

Veneers strengthen products when they are applied to the surface.

It is much more resistant to warping and cracking.

With proper care, it can last as long as solid wood furniture, if not longer.

Undamaged veneer can be easily reglued.

You know that you're looking at veneer when the wood has a uniform appearance. 

Our Conclusion 


Both solid wood furniture and veneer pieces have strengths to offer. Through proper care, both can last for many generations and can be fashioned to beautiful pieces that can last a lifetime.

Check out some Sacramento furniture options by taking a Virtual Tour of our 60,000 sq.ft. showroom or talk to our expert designers through Designer on Demand

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