No matter where you live, people love pine furniture. After all, it’s got everything — great looks, a comfy feel, and a soothing scent. When you look at it that way, why WOULDN’T homeowners fill their homes with pine furniture?!
Luckily, pine is lightweight and easy to work with, so it’s the perfect ingredient for cabinets and outdoor furniture. That being said, though, some manufacturers are trying to reap all of the benefits of pine — without actually using it! Instead, they’re trying to pass off cheap imitations.
The biggest problem with that? You’re going to end up with furniture that’s not nearly as durable. These cheap imitations tend to wear out quickly. Then, you’re not only disappointed; you’re also stuck saving up for more furniture!
So, how do you avoid falling victim to this scam?
You’ve got to shop smart! The next time you’re in the market for pine furniture, be sure to:
- Keep an eye peeled for paint and other finishes
The people who are trying to pass off imitation pine furniture as legitimate often paint over it so that they can hide any imperfections. They’ll also use other finishes to make the end result look more expensive. All of this is done to distract you so that you don’t notice the poorly-constructed joints and the sub-par graining.
- Inspect everything carefully
One of the things that sets legitimate pine furniture apart is its construction. So, before you hand over your hard-earned money, make sure the joints are strong and well-made. Keep an eye peeled for special building techniques — like dovetails, mortise, and tenon.
If you see any glue or staples, run! Those are a tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a sub-par construction job. Remember — if your furniture isn’t put together well, it’s not going to be able to stick around for the long haul.
- Call for reinforcements
If you’re looking for pine furniture that’s going to carry a heavy load — like, for example, book shelving — you need to make sure it’s properly reinforced. You should be able to see things like extra panels of wood, screws, or dowels that give the joints a helping hand.
When in doubt, give your potential piece of furniture a rattle. If it seems unstable or makes any strange noises, it’s not built to the standards you need!
- Check out the finish
Legitimate high-quality pine furniture has a great finish. If your potential piece is rough, has scratches or other odd marks, or comes with any unfinished edges, don’t buy it. All of these are a sign of sub-par craftsmanship! Unfortunately, you can’t always see these details when you shop online. So, in order to be safe, do your shopping in person — or only do business with a retailer you trust.
The best pine furniture will have an impressive finish. You’ll be able to tell that the wood was perfectly sanded and professionally stained. As an added benefit, this finish should be strong enough to handle a range of stresses and weather conditions.
- Ask about maintenance
Before you pay for your new pine furniture, talk to the sales associate about what kind of maintenance will be required. This is actually a trick question, though, because if you’re buying something that was made out of good wood, you shouldn’t have to do anything to maintain it!
Bottom line — if you’re going to invest in pine furniture, you’ve got to do it wisely. Buying cheap furniture is no different than flushing money down the toilet!
Sam Nathan is a freelance writer. His interests include home improvements, finance, sports, travel and health.