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A couple days ago, I purchased a "Gerton" Desktop from IKEA. On their webpage, it says nothing in terms of it being finished/unfinished, merely that you should wipe it down with oil. As I drove it back home, I noticed it had a strong smell that gave me a headache. This furthered my assumption it was finished. However, Googling it for the smell and how to get rid of it, all the posts are about finishing it, either using the IKEA recommended oil or some other type of finish. But I don't understand why the IKEA desktop would smell so strongly if it was not finished, as it should just be raw wood. IKEA doesn't have a live chat, PERIOD, and their phone merely gives a robo-message about COVID and no chat agents. Is the wood raw, or is it finished?

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, smells and decorating choices are off-topic here. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know you'll know the details of contributing here. – Daniel Griscom Aug 13 '20 at 0:16
  • maybe you purchased an item that was returned by another customer – jsotola Aug 13 '20 at 0:37
  • is the tabletop solid wood? ... maybe it is a composite of some type and you are smelling the binder – jsotola Aug 13 '20 at 0:39
  • All the Ikea stuff I've purchased has manufacture location/date info stamped on it somewhere discrete. Take a look at that - since they're out of so many things because of this COVID craziness, maybe you got something that was made in the last week or less and you're smelling the glues used to hold the whole thing together. Fresh particle board will reek for several days or more as the glue out-gasses. Does Ikea even sell anything that's made out of actual, solid wood, not some sort of reassembled wood bits? – FreeMan Aug 13 '20 at 12:13
  • @jsotola it looks like blockboard, so small amount of glue rather than lots of binder. And beech, which doesn't have a strong smell (I looked because I wondered if it was just very fresh and unfamiliar pine/spruce/etc.). They used to do the same sort of stuff in longer pieces, which I've got as worktop in my campervan, and as my workbench. That had been factory-oiled, not finished, but treatment had been started. – Chris H Aug 13 '20 at 15:51

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