How to Spot Fake Wood

Is the wood in your furniture real or fake? If you've wondered this before but never actually investigated, here's a chance for you to find out. There are several differences between fake and real wood you can look for to determine what you have. Here are six tips to help you spot fake wood.

Gauge How Heavy It Is

Solid wood is quite heavy. If your furniture is hard to push around, it's probably real wood. If it's light and easy to move, it's probably fake.

Touch the Grain

Real wood has a distinctive and not altogether symmetrical grain pattern. If you notice the grain has small variances, that's a good indication it is real. If it's repetitive and similar all over the furniture, it's likely fake. You can judge by the feel of the grain, too. When you touch real wood, it has texture. Fake wood, on the other hand, feels smooth.

Find the Carvings

Did you know laminate and veneer can't be carved? If your wood has a carving on it, such as a bed frame with decorative vines or other patterns, it's real wood.

Look for Flaking, Crazing and Cracking

If you notice your wood has cracked or flaked, there's a good chance it's fake. Real wood rarely does this, especially in small pieces.

Judge the Durability

Real wood furniture is much sturdier than fake wood. If your furniture stands up to repeated use and has been knocked around or otherwise abused with little consequence, it's likely real wood. If it breaks easily or has warped or buckled, it's probably fake.

Consider the Cost

Usually - though not always - real wood furniture is more expensive. If you paid a lower-than-market price for your furniture, it may be fake wood.


One reason it's important to distinguish between fake and real wood is because you need the right products to care for the material you have. If you have real wood, Furniture Clinic has Wood Cleaner and Wood Wax Care Kit to keep your real wood looking fresh. When you spend $25 or more on our products, you get free shipping. After you shop, check out our e-Learning Center for DIY tips.