When it comes to choosing wood outdoor furniture, understanding different wood characteristics and the maintenance each type requires will guarantee you’re thrilled with the warmly casual atmosphere your new wood furnishings create. We’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you select the perfect wood patio furniture for your home.
Types of Wood Outdoor Furniture
Looking to spruce up your outdoor space, entertain, or create a place to relax? Wood patio furniture is a great way to create a warm, inviting look with pieces that will last for years. Finding the best wood for outdoor furniture depends on your budget and style preferences, including the wood color and how it weathers, as well as the furniture’s style and design. Curious about eucalyptus vs. teak outdoor furniture? Want to know how acacia furniture will weather the elements? Let’s examine the features of popular woods used in outdoor furniture…
Teak Outdoor Furniture
Known as the king of outdoor wood species, teak outdoor furniture can last from generation to generation. Its durability comes at a price, but if you’re ready for a long-term commitment, teak can be a great investment.
The secret? Teak is very dense, and rich in naturally occurring rubber and oils that prevent moisture, insect invasion, and decay, even in direct sunlight.
Many teak buyers are eager to see teak’s signature silvery patina hue appear as it weathers. Oiling maintains the wood’s original color – and moisturizes, a plus for arid climates – but can interfere with teak’s natural resistance to mold and mildew. Small cracks in the end grain are normal and may come and go with changes in humidity. They don’t affect teak’s strength or lifespan.
Shorea Outdoor Furniture
Think of shorea as teak’s more affordable cousin. As a plentiful species throughout the Pacific Rim countries, shorea is less pricey than teak. Many people choose shorea wood for outdoor dining sets due to its affordability.
Like teak, shorea’s dense structure and naturally high oil content block moisture, insects, and microorganisms that cause decay. Shorea offers impressive resilience in the face of challenging weather conditions and fades gracefully to gray unless oiled. Small end grain cracks may appear but won’t compromise shorea’s strength.
Western Red Cedar Furniture
With its fine, highly textured grain and deep luster, cedar certainly proves visually harmonious with outdoor landscapes. And cedar’s natural weather resistance allows it to last 20 years or more with proper care — perfect for your new favorite outdoor lounge chair on the deck.
Untreated cedar is a reddish auburn color when cut, and it slowly fades to a gray patina. Cedar is free of pitch and resin but does have an aromatic scent that doubles as a mild bug repellent.
Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture
Acacia (also known as locust) is dense, durable, and known for its mellow glow. Untreated acacia remains durable and steadfast against outdoor conditions even as it attains a dark gray, weathered look. This plantation-grown hardwood is rich in rot-resistant natural oils.
Acacia is lightweight, so it’s an ideal choice for items you’ll be lifting, moving, or storing often, such as a wood outdoor bistro set or lawn chairs. Acacia wood furniture is a popular choice with a of styles and designs to complement your or patio.
Fir Wood Outdoor Furniture
A fast-growing evergreen with many of the same advantages of cedar, fir is pale yellow in color with a smooth, straight-grained surface. Growth rings and knots offer natural beauty that adds to the appeal of wood Adirondack chairs, benches, and more. If you choose to paint unfinished wood pieces, you can create any color combination with versatile fir patio sets.
Fir offers value, low-maintenance ease, and enduring strength under wet or dry conditions. Fir furniture is lightweight and easy to lift, move around on your outdoor patio, and store for the winter.
Eucalyptus Outdoor Furniture
Don’t worry – the koalas’ food supply is safe. There’s plenty of eucalyptus for all when you shop for FSC-certified eucalyptus. This certification signifies responsibly-grown products that meet the Forest Stewardship Council’s strict standards. You can happily pull up a chair to a new wood conversation patio set knowing it’s eco-friendly.
Solid, durable, and strong, kiln-dried eucalyptus is known for its appealing grain patterns, smooth texture, and minimal maintenance needs. Rot- and decay-resistant oils naturally permeate the wood, blocking moisture. Untreated eucalyptus remains durable as it weathers to a gray patina. Painted or whitewashed eucalyptus isn’t meant to be hosed, scrubbed with brushes, or sanded.
How to Care for Outdoor Wood Furniture
When it’s time to clean your patio set, always follow the care instructions that come with your furnishings. Using the wrong stain, detergent, or cleaning method might void your warranty. In addition, pay attention to these tips for cleaning and protecting wood patio furniture:
- Whitewashed or painted items should be wiped with a damp cloth, never hosed or scrubbed. Even water repellent wood finishes can be damaged by harsh cleaning methods.
- If your backyard furnishings will be protected by a roof or waterproof cover, they’ll last longer and weather more slowly.
- If you can spare the space, protecting your wood furniture items in a covered shed or garage during the off-season will add years to their life.
- For stain removal, call for help before you reach for the bleach. A wood care expert can recommend a specialized wood cleanser or gentle sanding.
Proper Outdoor Furniture Placement
Before you buy, plan ahead and ready your outdoor living space by ensuring wood furnishings won’t have to sit in grass, dirt, or pooled water. A level concrete slab or deck with proper drainage is ideal. If you’re placing wood furniture on the lawn, prepare your garden or yard with pavers or a bed of gravel. A bench placed on a garden path looks idyllic, just be sure the area isn’t a low spot where water gathers.
Ongoing Furniture Maintenance
Most unfinished wood furniture weathers to a sought-after gray hue. Oiling can help your furnishings retain their color longer, but you’ll be committed to repeating the process at least once or twice a year. And if you can, purchase all of your wood furnishings at the same time so they’ll always match as they weather together.
We also suggest using patio furniture covers during the off-season or periods of bad weather. To get the best fit, look for covers specifically designed for your furniture’s shape. This will help create a better moisture barrier against the elements. Covers with a drawstring or Velcro closures can also help keep out rain and snow.
Ready to bring the beauty of wood furniture to your yard? From rocking chairs to a picnic table, there are so many great options from which to choose. Using these tips to choose the best wood for patio furniture, you’re sure to find the perfect wood pieces to enjoy for years to come. For even more inspiration, click through the related articles below.