Recently we’ve had inquires about what wood can be used for outdoor decor and what maintenance is involved. A good way to make room for new indoor furniture is to recycle qualifying older wood pieces. This makes for a great pool side or porch experience. Just in time for Summer!
Out with the old and in with the new!
Before you start grabbing tables and chairs for your new porch design lets look at some different types of wood out there. Not all work for outside.
Notice the different color and grain look for each wood. Each kind has it’s own identity.
We’ve made two groups Hard and Soft wood for better knowledge of the wood you own. (If you just want to know if your’s can go outside skip this part!)
Hardwood is a common type of wood obtained from trees that loose their leaves in the winter.
Mahogany– Finely grained reddish brown color wood. Very durable. Known to resist shrinking, swelling and warping. Usually used with high quality furniture.
Walnut– Fine textured, strong and easy to work with. Takes all kinds of finishing well. Resists warping and shrinking.
Oak– Good bending qualities and durable. Resists moisture absorption and finishes well.
Maple– Fine textured with high strength and hardness. Moderate shrinkage.
Cherry– Close-grained wood. Resistant to warping and shrinking. Turns red when exposed to sunlight. Ages well!
Rosewood– A hard, closed-grained with dark reddish brown color. Hard to work on and takes a high polish. Has an exclusive fragrance.
Teak– Hard and moisture-resistant wood. Resists warping, cracking and decay.
Shesham– Also known as Indian Rose Wood. Rich medium brown color with deep grains. Fast growing hardwood that is very durable. Easily carved and exclusively used for making furniture.
Softwood comes from evergreen trees like fir, pine and redwood.
Pine– Uniform texture and easy to work with. Finishes well and resists shrinkage, swelling and warping.
Hemlock– Lightweight and has low resistance to decay. Also is uniformly textured.
Fir– Uniformly textured with low resistance to decay. Finishes well, non resinous and works easy.
Redwood– Durable, light and easy to work with. Has a natural resistance to decay.
Spruce– Strong wood that finishes well and has low resistance to decay. Light with moderate shrinkage.
Cedar– Reddish wood with sweet odor. Easy to work with, uniform in texture and resistant to decay.
A common wood for outdoor furniture. Withstands elements causing it to have a long-lasting life. Western Red Cedar is the most common type. Other types include Eastern White Cedar and Northern White Cedar.
Another long-lasting, tough wood. Cypress is resistant to decay, twisting and warping. Most are grown in the southeastern United States. It doesn’t contain a lot of sap making it work well with staining and painting.
This wood contains natural oils and doesn’t need to be stained or painted. A popular pick due to it’s low maintenance. Teak is a tropical wood that is grown primarily in Indonesia.
Mostly used in high-end indoor flooring, but can also work for outside use. Not as insect and decease resistant as the others listed but can still be recycled for outside use.
Pressure washed pine wood is probably the most popular choice for making or purchasing outdoor furniture. It is the lowest in cost then all the other choices and easy to get.