Fake Wood Veneer

Has anyone purchased a dinning table or coffee table recently assuming or being told its wood veneer on MDF? Only to find out that its in actual fact a textured Paper (little like wallpaper) and not really wood veneer?

Amart seem to be selling this type of furniture with their sales people actively telling customers that their coffee tables and dinning tables are wood veneer.

We only found out by accident after a piece of the so called wood veneer was ripped up. Revealing it was in actual fact paper and not a real wood veneer.

Their adds on their website sorta say something on the topic but then state they use a wood veneer.

You walk into their stores and there is little if no information on the product you are buying what its made from. There is generally just a price.

Be warned ask the right questions. Choice has done a excellent article on Fake Leather traps and pitfalls. Perhaps one on Fake Wood Veneer belongs there as well.

We got caught! Consumer Affairs of no help at all.

So stuck with it.


Welcome to the community @grumpy22.

As a first time newcomer I don’t think you can post a photo, so perhaps could you explain how you know it is paper and not a very, very thin veneer? What does the back of the sheet look like?


I know what you mean about fake leather because I remember working in a furniture business seeing real leather looks totally different from ones that are coloured. Pretty scandalous. I remember reading an article a while ago. Regard to the laminated wood i can only refer to bench tops or kitchen cabinets using laminated. I have seen veneer used in tables that are recessed for a different finish. But i cannot say i have seen what you are referring to. Maybe another member may know

1 Like

One suggestion. It’s not fake wood veneer. It’s a paper laminate with a wood grain finish.

It may give the impression of a wood veneer. How careful should A-Mart be with how the product is described and marketed? As consumers we rely on the seller to reliably and accurately describe a product.

Certainly scope for a Choice professional assessment of the product, it’s use/applications, and retailer honesty.

1 Like

Could I explain a bit about furniture top surface finishes which may help with understanding the situation. This list is not everything but common finishes and some already mentioned.

Lamination is a technique of constructing a thicker sheet of several thin plates or layers using glue to hold them together. Plywood is an example of lamination.

Laminated bench tops
Laminate (trade names like Laminex, Formica) is a common kitchen bench finish applied over a composite board that is much thicker. It is a sheet composed of layers of paper that are held together with waterproof high strength glue and pressed at high pressure. It is quite tough, flexible and the surface can be almost any colour or pattern with variable texture. The surface can be marked but with care it will last for a decade or two. It cannot be repaired and look any good. It can look something like timber, whether you would think it was real depends on your experience.

Solid timber furniture top surfaces
A long time ago all furniture was solid timber. This is less common now as it is not very stable and it is very expensive if high quality timber is used. Most affordable modern furniture with a solid top is cheap pine which is usually many narrow planks edge-glued. It is soft and light and marks easily but can be refinished. It is often stained to make dull grain more interesting, which makes refinishing a challenge.

Timber veneered furniture surfaces
This is a single thin layer of real timber glued on to the surface of a composite board. It is not a laminate. The veneer may be protected by a lacquer or oil finish. It can mark and repairs are very difficult and rarely attempted but with care it will last for decades. This combines the stability of the composite with the looks of real timber and compromises on price. Unless you are quite experienced you cannot tell this from solid timber as the look, and feel are real timber.

Imitation veneer furniture surfaces
This is a paper or polymer sheet that has the image of timber on it. It is glued on to a composite. It is quite thin and not as tough as laminate. Depending on the quality of the photographic image you might mistake it for veneer or just think it was imitation. It is usually protected by a lacquer sprayed on top but it is not very durable and, especially on cheap furniture, likely to peel off as well as mark or tear. It cannot be repaired. The very smooth texture is often a giveaway and as with timber-look laminate the grain image is highly repetitive where real timber is not.

If you are sold imitation veneer and told it is real timber veneer you are being thoroughly cheated but you need to be sure of your facts and have the claim in writing before you complain.

If you don’t have it in writing whatever the salesman told you doesn’t matter, there is little chance of success. Treat it as a learning experience about believing salespersons’ waffle.