Choosing The Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture according to the characteristics and durability you want, the price you are willing to pay and the type of look you want if you want to use a natural finish to accent the woodgrain.
Different types of wood have varying levels of durability and resistance to weather, making some better suited for outdoors than others. Added durability of maintaining a good finish can keep your outdoor furniture looking good for many, many years, providing you maintain the finish when needed.
Softwood, such as pine or spruce is a great choice for outdoor furniture as it has some natural resistance to decay and insects. White oak is another excellent option, known for its strength and durability in outdoor settings, if you are building something that requires more strength.
Teak is a particularly durable hardwood that has been used in shipbuilding for centuries. It contains natural oils that make it resistant to water damage, rot, and pests. Cedar is another popular choice due to its natural resistance to decay and insects. It also has a pleasant aroma that repels moths and other pests. These types of woods are perfect for outdoor furniture and other projects too.
Many years ago, when most woods were cheap, some people used cedar as sheeting material in walls because it repels insects.
Softwoods like pine and spruce are less durable than hardwoods but can be treated with preservatives to give them longevity. Pressure-treated pine is a common choice for outdoor furniture as it is an affordable building material readily available. However, it can be prone to warping, splitting, and cracking over time if not properly maintained.
Maintaining any wood properly can vastly increase its service life. Also, some people may want to avoid anything containing chemicals, which includes pressure treated wood.
Timber, like white oak, is a great option for outdoor furniture due to its durability and resistance to weathering.
The beautiful woodgrain of western red cedar is attractive to most people and although it's expensive, it can last a long time, even if not maintained well.
Metal furniture can be durable but may rust over time if not properly coated or maintained.
Plastic furniture doesn't need much comment. We have all seen it and although good quality plastic can be durable, it looks cheap compared to wood. For chairs, it's OK, but for custom furniture, you can't beat wood or in some cases, wood with metal components such as a table with metal legs and a wood top.
But metal can rust and it looks ugly too, if not maintained.
Walnut is a beautiful wood and also an expensive wood.
Fairly hard and more moisture resistant than most other common American hardwoods.
Pine is a softer wood and needs more maintenance than harder woods.
Cheaper but attractive when finished with visible woodgrain.
The beauty of natural woodgrain has huge appeal for many people. Most yard and garden furniture and other wood projects look better with natural woodgrain showing and can be a major attractive feature of your yard.
Woods like western red cedar and teak are the most beautiful woods and if you maintain them well, they will also last many years and you may never have to replace them.
When choosing the best wood material for your outdoor patio furniture, consider factors such as durability, aesthetics, maintenance requirements, cost, and availability of timber.
Woods like teak and are excellent choices if you want long-lasting furniture with minimal maintenance requirements. Softwoods like pine can be a more affordable option but require regular maintenance to prevent damage from moisture or pests.
Cypress is also very resistant to decay and is very attractive with a natural finish.
If you're looking for a luxurious touch, consider using walnut for your patio furniture, as it has a very beautiful woodgrain. Not quite as hard as oak, but it is a durable wood.
Teak is attractive, hard and very resistant to weathering due to a high natural oil content.
White Oak. A very hard, strong wood.
More attractive with a darker but clear finish.
Most hardwoods also get darker as they age.
Teak is one of the most popular woods for outdoor furniture due to its natural properties that make it resistant to weather and insects. It has a nice woodgrain and a high oil content that repels water, which helps prevent warping or cracking over time.
Another factor to consider when choosing outdoor wood is sun exposure. Certain types of wood can fade or discolor when exposed to UV rays for extended periods.
Teak is one example of a type of wood that is commonly used for outdoor furniture and naturally resists fading due to its high oil content. It also has a beautiful reddish hue that deepens over time with exposure to sunlight, making it a great choice for wooden outdoor furniture.
Cedar is another great option because it contains natural oils that act as a great preservative against decay and insect damage. It has one of the most beautiful variations of woodgrain colors and it's a softer wood, so it's easy to work with.
Eucalyptus (the newer kid on the block) is also becoming more popular among homeowners due to its durability and affordability for outdoor patio furniture. It has similar properties to teak but at a lower price point. Eucalyptus is sustainably harvested, making it an eco-friendly choice for outdoor timber. Additionally, it can be treated with various wood treatments to enhance its longevity and resistance to weathering.
Spruce and pine are cheaper, easy to work with and can look good too with a natural finish, but if you don't maintain the finish, they will age and crack faster than other woods.
Oak is good where you want a strong wood but may not be the best choice for areas with high humidity as it can absorb moisture easily, leading to warping or rotting over time.
Cypress has natural oils that make it resistant to both moisture and insects while also being able to withstand extreme temperatures, making it a great choice for wood furniture as well.
Walnut is hard and durable and can have beautiful variations in woodgrain color. More resistant to moisture absorption and decay than some other hardwoods. Most hardwoods darken over time but walnut gets a little lighter.
In addition to choosing the right type of wood for outdoor use, treatment options such as sealants or stains can enhance the wood's natural resistance to scratches, water damage, and other outdoor hazards. These treatments can also help maintain the wood's color and prevent fading.
So, choosing the best wood for outdoor furniture comes down to the physical features you want, durability and maintenance required. Also, the price and availability in your area.
No matter what type of wood you choose, keep in mind that proper maintenance can make your outdoor furniture last for many years. The cheaper woods, like pine and spruce are softer and easy to work with and most people paint them instead of using a natural finish because it's usually an easier, quicker and cheaper way to build and finish outdoor furniture.
Western Red Cedar. There are actually some pieces of Red Cedar with a natural pinkish hue to some of the woodgrain. Some pieces also have streaks of woodgrain that are a creamy color.
More resistant to rotting and insects than most woods with some beautiful woodgrain variations. A softer wood, but will last for many years, even without maintenance, although weathering without protection will change the color.
Many people consider this the best wood for outdoor furniture due to it's resistance to rotting and insects and the ease of working with it.
Spruce - another soft wood.
Easy to work with and low in cost but must be protected and maintained against the weather to maintain the looks and strength.
Most of the tops of high-quality acoustic guitars are spruce due to the natural resonance of the wood.
Cypress woodgrain is attractive.
Fairly hard with good moisture and rot resistance.
Note the different qualities of the woods available and decide which of these qualities are the most important points for you. That's the best way to choose the best wood for outdoor furniture for yourself.
Get The Free Guide Below and see for yourself samples of the quality and easy to follow steps you'll find in the DIY Furniture Projects for Beginners and Pros package.
Just enter your name and email below the image.