UNFINISHED FURNITURE – Best Items and Tips on Buying

We are pleased to offer the following options for buying unfinished furniture.

Ready-to-finish furniture gives you a wide range of options that can meet all your furniture needs. We offer quality products from both local craftsmen and national manufacturers that will fit any budget.



Unfinished Furniture - Drawers


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Chest with Five Drawers

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Chest with 5 Drawers Review by decorhomestore.com

Product Details


  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • 5 drawers with euro glides
  • Distance from floor to bottom of apron: 3.9"
  • Inside drawer dimensions: 23.84"l X 12.83"w X 6.10"d
  • Butcher Block Top


Recommended Price: $395.18 


Product Description

This beautiful solid wood furniture from international concepts is a great additional to your home. Ready to finish in your own choice of color or leave as is. Makes a perfect addition to your home and complements any home décor.


Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - Nine Drawer Dresser

Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - 9-Drawer Dresser Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • The Montana Collection 9 drawer dresser features epoxy coated steel slides with nylon rollers for years of trouble free, quiet use
  • Skip peeled by hand for a unique, one of a kind look; unfinished, ready to finish
  • Features spacious 21" W x 16" D x 5" H drawers to maximize your storage space; comes fully assembled
  • Hand crafted in Montana; genuine US grown solid lodge pole pine
  • Heirloom quality; 20 year limited warranty from manufacturer


Recommended Price: $1,061.30 


Product Description

The spacious, strong drawers on this nine drawer dresser from the Montana Collection feature epoxy coated steel glides, nylon rollers and log drawer pulls. Hand crafted in Montana using genuine lodge pole pine, the pulls and corner trim are skip peeled by hand for a unique, one of a kind appearance. Solid wood throughout ensures heirloom quality and longevity. This item is sold ready to finish so you can match existing decor styles and colors; simply lacquer or stain and lacquer to match. Comes fully assembled. 20-Year limited manufacturer's warranty included.


Forest Designs Bullnose Golden Unfinished Furniture - Five Drawer Chest

Forest Designs Bullnose Golden Unfinished Furniture - Five Drawer Chest Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Cedar Top Drawer
  • Real Wood
  • Made in the USA
  • Custom Available
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 34 x 48 inches

Recommended Price: $877.80


Product Description

Since 1991 Forest Designs experienced craftsmen have produced high quality furniture that is made in the USA. Forest Designs use only premium quality solids and veneers. No particle board! To control quality we mill the wood in our modern manufacturing facility. From doors to moldings, every part is manufactured on-site. Every drawer features full extension glides. Exposed shelves have solid front moldings. Drawer boxes are constructed from Baltic Birch. A multiple step sanding process ensures a consistent surface for finishing. Forest Designs use Sherwin Williams stains, sealants, and lacquers to complete the manufacturing process. And a lifetime warranty backs Forest Designs workmanship.


Unfinished Furniture - Bookcases


South Shore Axess Unfinished Furniture - Four Shelf Bookcase

South Shore Axess Unfinished Furniture - Four Shelf Bookcase Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Features 4 open, practical and accessible storage spaces, separated by 1 fixed shelf and 2 adjustable shelves
  • Requires complete assembly by 2 adults (tools not included)
  • Made in North America with non-toxic laminated particleboard
  • Accessories not included, 5-year quality guarantee
  • Product Dimensions: 28'' (W) x 11.5'' (D) x 56'' (H)

Recommended Price: $76.28


Product Description

Ideal for your binders, books or decorative items, this versatile 4-shelf bookcase can meet all of your storage needs. Both functional and attractive with sleek contemporary styling, this bookcase is sure to enhance the look of any room in your home. 


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Shaker Bookcase

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Shaker Bookcase Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Constructed of unfinished solid parawood with butcher block surface
  • 2 adjustable shelves
  • Distance from floor to bottom of lower shelf: 2.20"
  • Shelves dimensions: 32.67"w X 9.84"d
  • Distance between each shelf: 10.52"

Recommended Price: $176.74


Product Description

This beautiful solid wood furniture from international concepts is a great additional to your home. Ready to finish in your own choice of color or leave as is. Makes a perfect addition to your home and complements any home décor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Four Tier X-Sided Bookcase

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Four Tier X-Sided Bookcase Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Made from solid parawood
  • Ready to assemble
  • Unfinished, finishing kit is available for purchase
  • Product Description: 12 x 30 x 48 inches

Recommended Price: $130.06


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


A & E Wood Design Unfinished Furniture - Britannia 84 Bookcase

A & E Wood Design Unfinished Furniture - Britannia 84 Bookcase Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 13 in. L x 36 in. W x 84 in. H (135 lbs.)
  • Made in USA
  • Made of oak hardwood solids and premium Furniture grade 3/4 inch oak polywood (no particleboard)
  • Solid oak extra wide face frame with concealed screw assembly
  • Fully assembled
  • Adjustable shelves with mortise and tenon solid oak detail trim

Recommended Price: $1,173.56



Monarch Specialties Unfinished Furniture - Open Concept Bookcase

Monarch Specialties Unfinished Furniture - Open Concept Bookcase Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • ​Product Dimensions: 47 x 14 x 71 inches
  • Modern open concept design
  • Sturdy construction in a chic wood-look finish
  • 5 spacious zig-zag style fixed storage shelves for displaying your favourite items
  • Back of the book shelf is unfinished

Recommended Price: $186.90


Product Description

Add visual depth to any decor with this dark taupe wood-look open concept bookcase. The 71" high unique design is a sturdy display unit with five fixed shelves in a zig-zag design. The open concept allows for ample room to display pictures, decorative pieces and even books. This bookcase is a great addition in your living room, hallway, home office, or den. What an exquisite piece!


Unfinished Furniture - Sideboards


Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - Homestead Sideboard

Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - Homestead Sideboard Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • ​​Product Dimensions: 21 x 55 x 36 inches
  • The Homestead Collection sideboard features three spacious drawers with epoxy coated steel slides
  • Square sawn timber frame/barn wood look; unfinished, ready to finish
  • A large storage area ( approximately 50" x 21" ) is nicely concealed behind three raised panel, solid wood doors; comes fully assembled
  • Heirloom quality; 20 year limited warranty from manufacturer

Recommended Price: $1175.99



Nikki's Unfinished Furniture Direct - Pine Sideboard

Nikki's Unfinished Furniture Direct - Pine Sideboard Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 44 x 34 inches
  • Constructed of solid pine wood
  • One fixed, covered shelf provides dust-free storage
  • Add your own style with a vintage glam finish or retro art in bright colors
  • Recessed panel doors add detail yet preserve the simple look
  • Easy to assemble

Recommended Price: $189.99


Product Description

Stash your serving dishes, table linens or guest room sheets in this unfinished solid pine cabinet. Our versatile sideboard offers surface and storage space for any room. Customize with fun colors and let it serve as toy storage in a child’s bedroom. Add a warm stain for a dining room sideboard, buffet, or server. With a funky faux finish, it could greet guests in the entryway (while keeping your clutter tucked away).


Just Cabinets Unfinished Furniture - Solid Pine Deluxe Sideboard

Just Cabinets Unfinished Furniture - Solid Pine Deluxe Sideboard Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 44 x 18 x 42 inches
  • Solid Pine Wood
  • Unfinished Pine Wood
  • Storage drawer and cabinet space

Recommended Price: $249.99


Product Description

Stash your serving dishes, table linens or guest room sheets in this unfinished solid pine cabinet. Our versatile deluxe sideboard offers surface and storage space for any room. Customize with fun colors and let it serve as a toy storage in a child's bedroom. Add a warm stain for a dining room sideboard, buffer or server. With a funky faux finish, it could greet guests in the entryway while keeping your clutter tucked away. This Deluxe Sideboard has the same great function as our original Pine Unfinished Sideboard with the added drawer!


Unfinished Furniture - End Tables


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Accent Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Accent Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 16 x 29 inches
  • Product Weight: 12 pounds

Recommended Price: $52.98


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Mission Tall End Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Mission Tall End Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 17 x 28.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 37 pounds

Recommended Price: $94.24  


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton End Table Unfinished

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton End Table Unfinished Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 25 inches
  • Made from solid parawood
  • One Shelf
  • Decorative X design
  • Assembly required
  • Unfinished

Recommended Price: $106.41


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Corner Accent Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Corner Accent Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 19.8 x 24 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $46.90


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


Unfinished Furniture - Sofa & Console Tables


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Console or Sofa Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Console or Sofa Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 48 x 30 inches
  • Made from solid parawood
  • 2 Shelves
  • Decorative X design
  • Assembly required
  • Unfinished

Recommended Price: $134.80



International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Accent Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Accent Table Review by decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 31 x 29.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 18 pounds

Recommended Price: $72.49


Product Description

Your home is a natural extension of you. Add these innovative designs from International Concepts to spruce up any decor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Java Sofa Table with 2 Drawers

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Java Sofa Table with 2 Drawers Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 52 x 18 x 30 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $144.54


Product Description

For those who appreciate high quality wood furniture with a traditional and elegant look. International Concepts home furnishings will complement any décor.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Shaker Extended Length Console Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Shaker Extended Length Console Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimension: 16 x 60 x 30 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Distance from bottom of apron to floor is 26.9"
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)

Recommended Price: $151.89  


Product Description

This beautiful console table from International Concepts comes in an unfinished finish to make it your own or leave as is. A perfect addition to you home and will complement any decor.


Unfinished Furniture - Television Stands


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Mission Entertainment/TV Stand

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Mission Entertainment:TV Stand Review by decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 48 x 30 inches
  • Constructed of unfinished solid parawood
  • Two drawers; inside dimensions of drawers: 19.21 W x 10.86"d X 4.72" H
  • Two fixed lower shelves; dimensions of shelves: 21.78''w X 12.8''d
  • Two adjustable shelves; dimensions of shelf: 21.78''w X 12.8''d
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $253.08


Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - Television Stand

Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture - Television Stand Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 59 x 26 inches
  • The Montana Collection TV stand features a spacious 54" W x 13" D x 16" H storage area concealed behind four solid wood raised panel doors
  • Skip peeled by hand for a unique, one of a kind look; unfinished, ready to finish
  • Large storage area under the top measures 54" W x 13" D x 6" H; excellent for holding DVR's, satellite receivers, etc.; comes fully assembled
  • Hand crafted in Montana; genuine US grown solid lodge pole pine
  • Heirloom quality; 20 year limited warranty from manufacturer

Recommended Price: $729.02 



International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Entertainment/TV Stand

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Entertainment:TV Stand Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 72 x 30 inches
  • Constructed of unfinished solid parawood
  • One fixed shelf; dimensions of shelf: 69.29 ''W x 13.77''d
  • Three compartments; inside dimensions of compartments: 21.45w X 13.97"d X 7.87" H
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $340.66 


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Entertainment/TV Stand with X-Sides

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Entertainment:TV Stand with X-Sides Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details


  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 54 x 26 inches
  • Constructed of unfinished solid parawood
  • Two drawers; inside dimension of drawer: 25.11 W x 12.59"d X 6.88" H
  • One fixed shelf; dimensions of shelf: 50.70"w X 15.86"d
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $276.86 


Unfinished Furniture - Chairs


Winsome Wood Unfinished Furniture - Set of Two Ladder Back Chairs

Winsome Wood Unfinished Furniture - Set of Two Ladder Back Chairs Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Set of 2 ladder back chairs offers classic, casual style and sturdy performance
  • Solid wood with lacquered Light Oak finish
  • Gently curved back and wide seat for comfort; wide set legs for tip-free support
  • Wipe clean with damp cloth; assembly required (tools provided)
  • Measures 20.5 inches wide by 16.6 inches deep by 34.7 inches high

Recommended Price: $102.70 

Product Description

The simple and straight forward, yet classic look of the Benjamin 2-PC Ladder Back Chair Set allows them to be used with a variety of decors from country to contemporary. 2 chairs come in a set with an overall chair size of 16.6"W x 20.5"D x 34.7"H and a seat height of 18". Seat dimension is 16.5"W x 15.5"D and seat back size is 16.6"W x 16.6"H. Max weight limited 220 Lbs. Made from solid wood in light oak finish. Assembly required.


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Slat Back Chairs

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Slat Back Chairs Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 17 x 37.8 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $133.71


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Madrid Chairs

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Madrid Chairs Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 16.3 x 34.8 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $100.00


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Double X Back Chairs

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Pair of Double X Back Chairs Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 16.5 x 41 inches
  • Unfinished wood, easy to finish
  • Made from durable hardwood
  • Strength Group: B6 (same group as maple)
  • Density: 7+ (Birch: 7, Ash: 8)
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $158.48


Unfinished Furniture - Storage Cabinets


Catskill Craftsmen Unfinished Furniture - Pie Safe with Double Doors

Catskill Craftsmen Unfinished Furniture - Pie Safe with Double Doors Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Made in the USA
  • Overall Dimensions Assembled: 30.25 in. wide by 14.25 in. deep by 48 in. high
  • Inerior Shelf Dimensions: 27 in. wide by 11.25 in. deep by 14 in. high (clearance)
  • Assembly Required
  • Great for any kitchen

Recommended Price: $356.10  

Product Description

Catskill Craftsmen has become the nation's leading manufacturer of ready-to-assemble domestic hardwood kitchen islands, carts, and work-centers. Catskill Craftsmen manufactured items are made from naturally self-sustaining, non-endangered North American hardwoods, primarily Northern Yellow Birch. Lumber is purchased from area sawmills, then dried, manufactured, and packaged on site. All sawdust, shavings and waste materials generated during the manufacturing process is converted into wood pellet fuel, and used to heat homes. Each of the two sized of Pie Safes feature three interior shelves, and solid wood door pulls. The top, legs, braces and doors are all made from Northeastern Hardwood. The side and back panels are warp resistant veneer, which allows for easier assembly.


Forest Designs Products Description

Since 1991 Forest Designs experienced craftsmen have produced high quality furniture that is made in the USA. Forest Designs use only premium quality solids and veneers. No particle board! To control quality we mill the wood in our modern manufacturing facility. From doors to moldings, every part is manufactured on-site. Every drawer features full extension glides. Exposed shelves have solid front moldings. Drawer boxes are constructed from Baltic Birch. A multiple step sanding process ensures a consistent surface for finishing. Forest Designs use Sherwin Williams stains, sealants, and lacquers to complete the manufacturing process. And a lifetime warranty backs Forest Designs workmanship.


Forest Designs Unfinished Furniture - Bullnose Oak Two Drawer File Cabinet

Forest Designs Unfinished Furniture - Bullnose Oak Two Drawer File Cabinet Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 22 x 30 inches
  • No Particle Board
  • It is made of Real Wood
  • Made in the USA
  • Custom Available
  • Lifetime Warranty

Recommended Price: $437.80  


Unfinished Furniture - Nightstands


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Bedside Table

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Hampton Bedside Table Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 30 inches
  • Assembly Required
  • Inside drawer dimensions are: 12"wx13.75"dx2.75"d,
  • Shelf, from floor to shelf is 4" and from the shelf to the drawer is 18.75"
  • Made from solid parawood
  • Unfinished

Recommended Price: $86.98


Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture Nightstand/End Table with Drawer & Shelf

Montana Woodworks Unfinished Furniture Nightstand:End Table with Drawer & Shelf Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 25 inches
  • Multi-use nightstand/end table features a spacious drawer and shelf
  • Skip-peeled by hand for a unique, one-of-a-kind look; unfinished, ready to finish
  • Spacious drawer measures 11" W by 17" D by 5" H; fully assembled; 20-year limited warranty from manufacturer
  • Epoxy coated steel easy close slides with high quality nylon rollers ensures ease of use and longevity
  • Hand crafted in Montana with American grown, genuine lodge pole pine

Recommended Price: $149.45

Product Description

The "Montana Collection" nightstand with drawer and shelf is hand crafted from genuine lodge pole pine from the mountains of Montana. Ideal height for bedside or next to the sofa. Comes fully assembled. Drawer features epoxy coated steel "easy close" slides with nylon rollers for years of trouble free use. 20-year limited warranty from manufacturer included. Made in the USA by Montana Woodworks, a One Good World verified Eco-Friendly company.


Winsome Wood Unfinished Furniture - End Table/Night Stand with Drawer and Shelf

Winsome Wood Unfinished Furniture - End Table:Night Stand with Drawer and Shelf Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 22 inches
  • Classic, clean-lined end table/night stand offers casual style
  • Crafted of solid/composite wood; wood nailhead accents
  • Simple carved rails complement roomy storage drawer and open shelf
  • Some assembly required; measures 18 inches in diameter by 22 inches high
  • Available in Natural, Walnut, Black, or White

Recommended Price: $54.04 

Product Description

Combining solid/composite wood construction with a tidy and practical style, this versatile end table/night stand makes a fresh and clean addition to the room. The oversized tabletop features a straight-edged square shape, while below the four rectangular legs host a deep storage drawer and open shelf. For subtle flair, the drawer front and lower side rails are sculpted with a wide curve that softens the table's overall look. Also notice how the wood nailhead accents and a simple drawer pull offer a tailored finish. Classic enough to stay in style no matter how the furnishings around it change, this table comes in four handsome finishes: Natural, Walnut, Black, and White. It measures 18 inches in diameter by 22 inches high.


Forest Designs Unfinished Furniture - Traditional Three Drawer Nightstand

Forest Designs Unfinished Furniture - Traditional Three Drawer Nightstand Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 25 x 30 inches
  • Solid top. Lifetime Warranty
  • Real Wood. Custom Available
  • Made in the USA

Recommended Price: $512.03 


International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Nightstand with 3 Drawers

International Concepts Unfinished Furniture - Nightstand with 3 Drawers Review by Decorhomestore.com
Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 19.5 x 25 inches
  • Solid Para wood
  • Distance from floor to bottom of apron is 3.9"
  • Inside dimensions of top drawer are 13.18"w x 12.83"d x 2.95"h
  • Inside dimensions of 2 lower drawers are 13.18"w x 12.83"d x 4.13"h
  • Ready to assemble

Recommended Price: $149.19 


Tips on Buying Real Wood Unfinished Furniture

Unfinished Furniture Definitions

Solid Wood means that all exposed parts of the furniture are made of solid board, either softwood or hardwood lumber. No veneers or particle boards are used. When solid boards are used in furniture construction, they are glued together side-by-side along the edges. Often, a number of boards are used to make the wood more stable and reduce the chance of warping. Solid board can always be identified by following a seam to the end, where you will find the "end" grain.

Many veneers are glued over the edges to look like solid wood, but they will always be faced on the end and show no end grain. Remember, "all-wood furniture" is not necessarily solid wood. A veneer can help you achieve the look you desire at a cost lower than solid lumber. Veneers can be overlaid on plywood or particle board. A plywood core is lighter, less expensive and more forgiving if damaged, but it can swell if it gets wet. If damaged, particle board will often fracture because the material is so hard it cannot absorb a shock.


There are three types of glue-up in most solid wood furniture:

Plank is made of pieces that have the same length, but varying widths.
Laminated is made of pieces that have the same length and width.
Butcher block is made of pieces with varying length, but the same width.

Veneer is a thin layer of wood applied in sheets over underlying layers of wood, plywood or particle board.

Plywood is made of thin layers of solid wood glued over each other with grains running at 90-degree angles to produce a strong core. A veneer is often glued on top.

Particle board is made by gluing chips and particles of wood together and pressing them into sheets, upon which a veneer can be glued. Hardness is determined by the specific density of the wood, not by whether a tree is classified as a "hardwood" or "softwood."

Hardness is determined by the specific density of the wood, not by whether a tree is classified as a "hardwood" or "softwood."

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees. (e.g. maple, oak, alder)
Softwoods come from conifers. (e.g. pine, spruce, fir)

Some hardwoods, such as balsa wood, are softer than some softwoods, such as pine.

Tips on Choosing Wood for Unfinished Furniture

Wood has always been a favorite material for making furniture, and for good reason:

Wood is available in various colors, grains and hardnesses. It can be cut and shaped into a large variety of attractive designs.
Wood is shock-resistant and very durable, generally outlasting synthetic materials. Scratches and nicks are easy to touch up.
Wood has lasting value. Genuine wood furniture may cost more in the beginning, but it often grows in value as it is handed down from one generation to another.

With unfinished real wood furniture, you can add other pieces at any time and match the finish something that is often not possible with prefinished furniture.

Types of Wood

Unfinished furniture is available in many types of wood, each with special characteristics. And because each tree yields lumber with its own grain patterns and character markings, each piece of genuine wood furniture has a unique personality.

You may not be familiar with every type of wood, but all make quality furnishings of various types. Your ready-to-finish furniture dealer can advise you about the stains and finishes to use for best results on each type. Here are the kinds of wood commonly used to make ready-to-finish furniture.


Alder is a hardwood from the Pacific Northwest. It is very consistent in color and takes stain well. It ranks third behind oak and pine as the wood most commonly used for ready-to-finish furniture. Alder gives the look of many fine hardwoods at a reasonable price.

Ash is a long-fibered, light-colored hardwood with a tight grain much like birch or maple. It is good for bending, takes stain well and is used mainly for chairs and stools.

Aspen is a softer, light-colored, even-grained hardwood. It accepts most stains well, but may need a sealer or a coat of mineral spirits to achieve an even stain. Nonpenetrating stains work best on this wood.

Beech grows primarily in the Northeast and Canada. It is a cream-colored hardwood often used for sporting equipment, such as baseball bats. It has an open grain pattern similar to that of oak, and takes stains well.

Birch is fine-grained hardwood that grows primarily in the Northeast and Canada. White in color, it takes any color of stain well.

Maple is especially abundant in the eastern U.S. It is a very light-colored hardwood with a very even grain texture. Eastern maples are generally harder than western maples because of the colder winters and shorter growing seasons. Both are very durable and take any color of stain well.

Oak is the wood most commonly used for ready-to-finish furniture. It is a very hard, open-grain wood that comes in red or white varieties. Red oak, which has a pinkish cast, is the more popular of the two. White oak has a slight greenish cast. Both woods stain well in any color.

Parawood from the Far East is used for much of the furniture made in that part of the world. The wood is as hard as maple or ash and takes a very even stain. It is yellow in color, with a grain similar to mahogany.

Pine is a softwood that comes in many varieties from various parts of the world. In the U.S., Eastern white pine, ponderosa pine and sugar pine are some of the varieties used to make furniture. All have yellow coloring with brown knots and are excellent for staining. With some stains, a sealer helps prepare the wood to achieve a more even look.

Radiata Pine is a plantation-grown wood from South America that is harder than other pines and has fewer knots. This variety of pine has a beautiful grain pattern.

Finishing Instructions

Congratulations on your purchase of 'ready to finish' furniture. We want to give you some help that will enable you to achieve good results and pleasure in your finishings project. Your furniture is part of natures handwork. Every item has its own unique grain pattern and color. Dark grains and knots are a part of the character of wood and were put there years ago by the tree branches and the twisting of the wind, which causes trees to bend. All of which affects the outcome of every tree. Each piece of solid wood furniture is an original. Light and dark areas all blend during the finishing process. There are numerous products available for you to finish your furniture. Ask your local merchant to help you in product selection based on your particular needs.

Our desire is to assist you in achieving a beautifully finished piece of furniture. The following tips are to help you accomplish this goal.

First and most important is to read and follow the directions of your finishing material. The finish manufacturer really does know his own product, read finishing directions completely. Take your time to finish, remember don’t rush – it may take a little longer, but you will be proud of the results.

Surface preparation:

Although all pieces are sanded, they will need additional 'finish' sanding. Check all surfaces for minor splits, chips or dents. Sand or fill with wood filler. Make sure the residue from the filler is sanded smooth. Start sanding with medium sand paper (#120) and then finish with fine (#220) sandpaper. Check all surfaces. If an item has any frizz or roughness, it will show when staining, and you may not be satisfied with the end result. Never skip the initial sanding of all parts. Wipe the furniture using a tack cloth (available at paint & hardware stores) to remove all the dust created by sanding.

Staining:

Be sure stain is stirred throughly. Some stains have a heavy pigment on the bottom of the can. It is not uncommon to take up to five minutes to make sure the 'mud' is dissolved. This keeps the stain color consistent from the top of can to the bottom. As you are staining, periodically stir the stain to keep it from settling to the bottom. We recommend doing a 'doodle' area on the piece first in some inconspicous location (under a seat or table top). This will allow you to check stain color before proceeding. When you have completed your first coat of stain and have allowed it to dry, wipe a coat on clear finish on your 'doodle' area. If you like the finished 'doodle' and feel the color is fine. One coat is adequate if the stain is too light or uneven, a second coat of stain may be needed and a second test 'doodle' using 2 stain coats is recommended. 

Application:

You can almost use any type of rag, cotton works best, approximately 10” square. (larger rags sometimes get in the way). Stain one surface at a time and do the harder areas first. There is no particular motion to applying the stain we recommend to do cross grain first and then with the grain. 

As you stain each area, wipe excess stain off with the grain, then move to another area, as you finish go backover the entire piece with a clean rag to wipe up all excess stain.

Top coat:

The clear top coat may be wiped or brushed on. Wiping seems to prevent runs. Again, do small areas at a time. We recommend applying topcoat with the grain, however, you may find it necessary in some areas to apply gross grain, make sure the final wipe is immediately with the grain.

Allow the top coat to dry. The surface will appear gummy if not dry, drying time will vary depending on weather conditions, sand with very fine (#220) or #600 wet/dry sandpaper, this removes the fuzz. Wipe with a tack cloth after sanding to remove debris. Feel the entire piece with your hands, if it still feels fuzzy, smooth out before applying additional coats. The fuzz will not go away and will remain until you take care of it, you are looking for consistent sheen. If after two coats you are happy with apperance you are done. If you have an uneven sheen, apply additional coats, always sanding lightly between coats. If water resistance is a goal, we recommend four layers of top coats, apply at least one coat of stain or clear finish to all surfaces of solid wood. Even if it is not seen, this prevents cracking as the piece continues to dry out over a period of years.

Remember to read finishing product instrucitons completely and take your time.


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