IKEA Galant beech veneer or black/brown?


Nov 11, 2010
I am in need of a new office desk and I have decided to buy the pieces to build an Ikea galant desk (the provided combinations don't quite fit my room). I'm currently deciding on whether I should get beech veneer or black/brown for color. I would prefer black/brown, however I am worried that it will be damaged by water and cups over time and cause the paint to scratch off. I think beech veneer is less prone to damage. If you own one of these colors, what do you recommend?
Any finished wood surface will be damaged by water (ie: condensation dripping down the side of a cold glass). That's easily fixable with a coaster.

In general, IKEA puts hardwearing finishes on everything they make. I would pick the color you like, as they will likely wear similarly well.
My biggest issue is having the paint scratch off. When I visited the store, I saw a black brown Fredrick (they only had birch galant on display) and the paint was wearing off especially in the areas where you place your hands. Do any long time users have this happening to their galant? I'll be using it extensively for schoolwork as well, so it will likely have notebooks with metal spines scratch on it. I have an old beech table (not sure which Ikea design) but have not observed any damage although I constantly have spilled drinks, put food bowls, and scratched my fingernails on it over 2 years.
You won't have any issues with the Galant with typical office stuff. My birch veneer has been holding up quite nicely for the past 4 years. Just make sure you don't use any strong cleaning solvents or let any liquid sit on it for a long period of time or else it would slowly eat into the clear protective finish and add some friction to the surface. A wet cloth is all you really need to clean it.
The thing with birch is, the color of the table is already the same or very similar to the wood color underneath the surface. If there was any scratch, it is hardly noticeable.. with black/brown, even a tiny dent will be extremely obvious. I was hoping someone with this color would be able to comment. I appreciate your input though, so thanks.
I forgot to mention, the paint scratching off happened a lot at the edges (that's what I meant with "where you place your hands") so maybe the protective finish wears easily in that area? The black/brown fredrick I saw has scared me from buying the color so I am unsure...
I got the black/brown Galant a couple months ago and so far no discolorations or scratches, but it has only been a couple of months.

To help protect the edge I picked up one of the leather pads that fits the desk as shown here http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1382647 I got the rounded one shown, but IIRC they had a straight edged one as well.
I think I will get one of those for food, but it will irritate me if I use it under a keyboard. I really want to get black brown because the rest of my furniture in the room is similar in color. If scratching and denting gets bad, does the warranty allow me to swap to beech?
I got the black/brown Galant desk last February. Ikea has a curved pad, contoured to match the Glant's inner curve, that I put my keyboard on, and I set my mouse pad next to it. So far it's working great.

Also, the black/brown has a grain-like texture on top, so minor scratches are not that noticeable. Worse case is that you get some wood markers to touch up small areas.
I have been using the beech veneer galant for more than 3 years with no problems. There were a couple of accidental scratches on the surface but overtime, it healed for some reason. The thing about leather pads is that you have to make sure that it could fit both your keyboard and mouse pad, which in my case, do not.
I had a black/brown Jerker for the better part of 5 years, and the surface is still in great shape. Replaced it with a black/brown Galant in February and haven't seen any issues either.

Veneer is what it is. It's a very thin material with a thin finish. Even high quality veneers are still prone to scratches, chipping and dents/dings. It's just the nature of wood. If you end up with a noticeable scratch you can still patch it with a fine brush and a small bit of color matched paint. Unless you're pushing down forcefully on your keyboard when you move it, you're not likely to scratch the surface of either desk.
Unfortunately, the beech color has been discontinued.

Birch, brown-black, "grey" and white are the only colors now available.