Distinguishing one type of wood from another, can be a time consuming process. Most antique furniture pieces are covered with veneer which is a sturdy type of wood on top of a more fragile type of wood. The wood can easily be identified by searching out any unfinished areas. Consider the following types of wood when examining your antique furniture.
Birch: This material has actually been used as a veneer since the 1700s. Birch wood will look like a creamy-white with golden hues and exhibit a very fine grain texture. Birches typically have their very own unique luster.
Rosewood: This is a wood from Brazil and it is pretty similar to mahogany. Although, it does contain peculiar black streaks across its reddish wood. Rosewood antiques are very common of the 19th and 18th centuries, especially European antiques. It is quite difficult to polish this type of wood.
Kingwood: This type comes from the West Indies and very closely resembles rosewood. However, the streaks of kingwood are more of a purple hue which will fade into a light grayish brown. Satin wood also comes from the East and West Indies. These have paler streaks and stains which produce a much more delicate grain. This was typically used for English Sheraton-style pieces.
Walnut: Before mahogany made its debut, walnut was a widely used wood back in the middle of the 18th century. However, this cabinet friendly wood gained its fame once again in the latter half of the 19th century. It became popular for the construction of almost everything from planks to bar stools.
Tulipwood: This type has a beautiful pinkish tint and a very smooth texture. These are most often used to produce parquet floors and the woods originate in both Brazil and Peru.
Amaranth: This is a dark, dark brown wood with a very dense grain. Typically, it is found used as a veneer in France. As it was especially popular in the 17th century, it was often referred to as “purple heart.”
Other commonly used woods that have heavily produced antiques are oak, harewood, pine, and yew. Because each type of wood requires a different set of “care rules,” denoting the differences between them can help you restore antiques properly and give them that timeless look that they are known for. If you plan on selling your old Walnut bar stools, you could end up with much more money than you bargained for if you simply do your research.