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Hi guys,

I found your forum while searching for "plywood smooth lacquer". It looks like the right forum to ask a few questions about wood construction and wood paint.

A few months ago, we ordered a high end wall bed (Murphy bed) for our condo. Much needed in a one bedroom condo with two babies... The seller is in the US and he ships his beds from Italy. Until the bed arrived, we exchanged many messages with them in which they stated:

a. The product was going to be plywood based, Grade A plywood
b. The product would have thick baked-on lacquer, not Formica and the such
c. He also used extensive comparisons with a competitor, namely Resource Furniture (herein simply "competitor")
d. He said that the competitor's bed would get damaged during a move

The bed arrived and was installed, but one of the front panels had two chips. I won't rant here about how the installer tried to conceal these chips and we found him with paint on his hands after leaving the condo for a bit, but rather I will note that the chips exposed the interior of the panel, and it looks made of particle board. Furthermore, the paint doesn't look thick at all. It's roughly the same as the thickness of my fingernail.

Can you help me figure out which of these subsequent claims made by the seller are reasonable:

1. "The panels are not particle board, but rather wood composite. Much higher quality than the competitor."

2. "The frame of the bed is plywood in the center with Grade E1 wood composite, not plywood."

3. "The two panels forming the base of the bed can't be made of plywood, as it would be too heavy. It's an industry standard that these be made of this composite."

4. "no cupboards that are lacquered can be from plywood" - I think I've just seen a post on this forum with a photo of lacquered plywood.

Also, the paint on the panel seems thin, based on inspection of the chip, and while it might be baked on, it could also be Formica to my untrained eye. I've attached two pictures of the chip, one of which shows the thickness of the paint.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully help me figure this out.

One final question, how can I tell if the composite is "E1 wood composite pressed at a high quality" and not "particle board", as the seller claims that these are different things.
 

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Hard to tell exactly what it is. The core is definitely a particle board, which would be heavier than plywood. What shows in the picture could be Melamine. It looks like a Formica type laminate, which is a high pressure laminate sheet. But, I'm guessing it's Melamine, which is a particle board substrate that is chemically applied with a low pressure film finish, which appears like a Formica type product.

Furniture has been produced for many years with a "photo finish", which can look a lot like woodgrain, or faux finishes.









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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mr Cabinetman. Could this be "baked on paint"? And can baked on paint be thicker than this - maybe close to 1/2" thick?

The thing about melamine is that they say the edges are visible when you use it. But as you can see from my third picture, the edges are smooth (it's most visible near the leg). Does that mean it can't be melamine?

Is there a difference between particle board and "wood composite"?

Can plywood be smooth lacquered?
 
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