If you’re planning for an outdoor furniture project, you may want to know that not all wood is good for outdoor applications.

Although you can make chairs and tables out of any wood type, outdoor furniture requires stable, durable woods from mature trees. Otherwise, your furniture may not have a long life outdoors.

So, how do you identify woods suitable for outdoor furniture from those that aren’t? Fortunately, it’s not too complicated.

This guide explains everything you need to consider when shopping for lumber for outdoor furniture. More importantly, we discuss fifteen of the best wood types for outdoor furniture.

Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture?

  1. RedwoodBest exterior wood/best overall
  2. White oakBest wood for outdoor furniture
  3. Red oakBest hardwood for an outdoor table
  4. Acacia treesBest wood for outdoor bench
  5. Spanish cedarBest wood for outdoor chairs

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood for Outdoor Furniture Projects

The following are seven critical factors to consider when choosing wood for an outdoor woodworking project.

Type of furniture

First and foremost, you need to consider the type of project. What are you making, and which wood is most often used for that project type?

For instance, most woodworkers use teak, iroko, and the western red cedar for garden furniture, such as garden benches.

Meanwhile, acacia and black locust are the most preferred for patio furniture. So, research a little about the type of furniture you’re making.

Softwood vs hardwood

The second thing you need to consider is whether you want softwood or hardwood furniture. As the name suggests, softwoods are softer, thus rated lower on the Janka scale.

This makes them easier to work with. They are also more readily available, more renewable, and generally more affordable.

However, they aren’t very durable and often lack defining aesthetic qualities. On the other hand, hardwoods are durable wood types with beautiful grain patterns that make them very beautiful.

They are also extremely durable, typically lasting several decades. However, they are hard to work with (often require power tools), are hard to find, and are expensive.

Natural resistance to decay

Nearly all wood types resist decay. However, some woods are more naturally resistant to decay while others require proper finishing, such as waterproofing and special stains to enhance decay resistance and rot resistance.

For instance, cedar, redwood, and cypress, to a lesser extent, have excellent natural decay resistance as they do not absorb moisture. So, do you want natural decay resistance, or are you prepared to use other means for weather-proofing?

Naturally resistant to pests and insect infestation

Like rot and decay resistance, some woods are naturally resistant to pests. For instance, cedar has excellent pest resistance. In fact, untreated cedar has a higher pest and insect resistance than many hardwoods and softwoods. 

On the other hand, cottonwood and pine trees are prone to insect infestation. So you must protect them properly, or your furniture may be short-lived. 

Local climate 

Your climate directly impacts the longevity of your outdoor furniture. For instance, if you live in the north, where it snows almost all year, you should pick highly moisture-resistant and water-resistant woods for outdoor furniture.

On the other hand, if you live in the south, where it shines for the better part of the year, you need to select woods that resist fading for your outdoor furniture. Alternatively, you can keep the furniture under a cabana rather than in direct sunlight.

Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture Reviews

The following is a list of the best woods for different outdoor woodworking applications based on the above factors. 

1. Best exterior wood/ best overall: Redwood

2 in. x 4 in. (1 1/2' x 3 1/2') Construction Redwood Board Stud Wood Lumber - Custom Length - 1FT
9 Reviews
2 in. x 4 in. (1 1/2" x 3 1/2") Construction Redwood Board Stud Wood Lumber - Custom Length - 1FT
  • Redwood is not only affordable, it adds great value to your home
  • Maintains beauty and structural integrity with easy maintenance
  • Great for framing, hobbies and decor.
  • Made in the USA by Mills in California

If you don’t have the time to scrutinize multiple wood types to choose one that matches your exact needs, you should pick redwood and not look back. It’s the overall best wood for outdoor woodworking applications.

Available in a range of subspecies, redwood colors range from pink-brown to dark red, and its uses from making durable plywoods to construction.

However, what makes it excellent for outdoor furniture is that natural chemicals found in the pores of redwood trees make it extremely rot, weather, and insect resistant.

This makes a superior choice for outdoor applications, as it easily withstands heat, cold, windy, and wet weather conditions while deterring insects.




2. Best wood for outdoor furniture: White oak

White Oak Lumber Board - 3/4' x 6' (2 Pcs) (3/4' x 6' x 18')
22 Reviews
White Oak Lumber Board - 3/4" x 6" (2 Pcs) (3/4" x 6" x 18")
  • Beautiful Grain
  • Two sides sanded to 3/4" thickness
  • Kiln dried

The American white oak is the ideal wood for an outdoor table. It is a beautiful straight-grained with light-colored sapwood and light to dark brown heartwood.

The straight grains and medium to coarse texture also work very well for outdoor tables. However, its durability and weather resistance truly set white oak apart.

White oak is highly dense (750 kg/cubic meter), has impeccable impact resistance, and is very hard (1350 Janka). It’s also almost impervious to water. These are some of the reasons why it’s commonly used in railway sleepers and timber bridges.




3. Best hardwood for an outdoor table: Red oak

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Poor Boys Farm - Red Oak Turning Blanks - 4 Pack - (2' x 2' x 6')
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Poor Boys Farm - Red Oak Turning Blanks - 4 Pack - (2" x 2" x 6")
  • This is a pack of Red Oak turning blanks
  • Surfaced hit or miss @ 1"-15/16"
  • You get a total of 4 blanks
  • You can expect atleast 95% heartwood

Red oak shares many similarities with white oak. For instance, both are popular and highly valued hardwoods. They are also both durable. However, red oak has a few advantages over white oak when making an outdoor table specifically. 

For one, it’s softer than white oak (1290 Janka vs. 1350 Janka). This makes it easier to saw, cut, sand, and even curve if you wish.

Secondly, it has a stronger and more dramatic grain pattern that gives it a beautiful look. Finally, red oak hides dents and scratches better due to the stronger pinkish-red tone.




4. Best wood for outdoor bench: Acacia trees

Villa Acacia Large Wood Cutting Board, 17x12 Inch Premium Grade Reversible Hardwood for Kitchens
475 Reviews
Villa Acacia Large Wood Cutting Board, 17x12 Inch Premium Grade Reversible Hardwood for Kitchens
  • Premium Wood Cutting Board - Made from beautiful Acacia wood with brown and gold walnut accents
  • Quality Construction - Full 1" thick solid wood design. Acacia is a tropic hardwood known for its durability, water resistance. This wooden board will last for years with everyday use and is gentle on knives.
  • Convenient Size - Measures 17 inches by 12 inches, perfect for all jobs, while easy to store. Fully reversible, use both sides to cut and chop kitchen meals to get the most out of your cutting board.
  • Lightweight - Weighs only 5 pounds which makes for effortless cleaning, moving or lifting of the board.
  • Safe and Eco Friendly - Villa Acacia proudly uses only sustainably harvested wood, with food safe finishes. We never use treated or reclaimed wood, second cuts or unsafe finishes for your peace of mind.

Acacia furniture is best known for high-water resistance. The trees contain natural oils that repel water, allowing acacia items to withstand prolonged periods of moisture, water, or snow exposure.

The wood is also highly dimensionally-stable, meaning it doesnt change shape significantly after exposure to extreme weather. These qualities make it an excellent wood choice for outdoor furniture. 

But that’s just the start. Acacia makes the perfect wood for outdoor benches because it is extremely durable, resists dents and scratches, and easily withstands rough use. Above all, acacia gives a smooth finish without lots of polishing or treatment.




5. Best wood for outdoor chairs: Spanish cedar

JGFinds Solid Spanish Cedar Wood Planks, 4 Pack - 12' x 3' x 1/4' for Cigar Tupperdor, Coolidor or DIY Humidor
42 Reviews
JGFinds Solid Spanish Cedar Wood Planks, 4 Pack - 12" x 3" x 1/4" for Cigar Tupperdor, Coolidor or DIY Humidor
  • SOLID SPANISH CEDAR PLANKS: No veneer, no glue, just solid pieces ideal for aging of cigars.
  • THOUGHTFULLY SIZED: At 12" x 3" x 1/4" they fit perfectly into the most popular Tupperdor and can be modified for most any brand. The 1/4 inch thickness is a better choice to leave extra room for more cigars in your DIY humidor or coolidor.
  • IDEAL WOOD FOR CIGARS: Spanish cedar stores moisture and also releases it when conditions get too dry. It amplifies the notes of cedar, sweetness, and even woodiness that you might encounter in a blend. It also reduces the risk of your cigars being plagued by tobacco beetles.
  • SMELLS LIKE THE SHOP: These wood pieces are sourced from South America and cut in Indiana. They will retain the aroma for years to come.
  • READY TO USE: Just wipe down with distilled water and add to your DIY humidor.

Cedar is one of the most popular softwoods in the US because it’s affordable and widely available. However, did you know that cedar also doesn’t warp due to moisture?

Yes, it’s that dimensionally stable. It is also naturally resistant to pests and insects. So, you don’t have to treat it with chemicals to keep off the borers and ants. 

However, not all cedars are the same. So, if you’re looking for just one candidate to make outdoor chairs, we recommend the Spanish cedar.

It has a beautiful pinkish to white tone and golden luster, thus making beautiful chairs. Meanwhile, the straight grain pattern makes it highly workable.




6. Cheapest wood for outdoor use: Cypress

Four (4) Beautiful Bald Cypress Turning Blanks Lathe Lumber Wood 3 X 3 X 12''
  • We deal mainly in oak, maple, cherry, walnut, sycamore, sassafras, hickory, and poplar. Photo may vary from actual item.
  • Exterior paint: no coating or finish protects wood as long as paint does. The downside is that it hides the warmth and beauty of wood. When that's not an important factor to you, choose paint.
  • Exterior Oil: we like to recommend exterior oil for projects like patio furniture, adirondack chairs, tables, potting benches, etc.

Cypress is one of the most durable woods. Though a softwood, it can last several decades. The best part is that it lasts so long without significant maintenance.

Old-growth cypress lumber can last over 40 years with little maintenance, while lumber from younger trees often lasts 20+ years. 

More importantly, cypress weathers extreme temperatures easily. It contains natural oils that give the timber incredible weather resistance.

Cypress is also resistant to insects ad fungal attacks. Above all, it’s one of the cheapest woods. Some cypress species cost as little as $2 to $3 per board foot.




7. Best naturally rot-resistant wood for outdoor furniture: Honduran Mahogany

Mahogany Honduras Sapele Figured Wood Veneer 5" x 19" raw no backing 1/42" thick
  • Compatible with Model: Wood veneer flitch 1/42" thickness roll flexible, Wood Type: Sapele
  • Compatible with Mahogany Honduras Sapele Figured Veneer: Wood ribbon roll flexible sheet 1/42" thickness QC, Mahogany Honduras Sapele Figured wood veneer sheet
  • Veneer Cut: Quarter Cut
  • Item Type: Veneer Sheet
  • Veneer Type: Raw

Many woodworkers consider mahogany the king of hardwoods. It’s not the hardest of them.

In fact, an 800-900 lbf rating on the Janka scale makes it softer than most hardwoods and several softwoods, including some cypress varieties such as the Australian cypress (1230 Janka). 

However, few wood types come close to mahogany in terms of durability. It naturally resists splitting and chipping and doesn’t lose shape due to weather.

It also doesn’t warp. Most importantly, mahogany is the gold standard for rot resistance. It takes incredible levels of abuse and exposure for mahogany wood to rot.




8. Best wood for an outdoor tabletop: Aromatic red cedar

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Cedar Space Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage, 100% Aromatic Red Ceder Blocks, Cedar Planks, Cedar Accessories for Closets Storage, 16 Pcs
6,805 Reviews
Cedar Space Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage, 100% Aromatic Red Ceder Blocks, Cedar Planks, Cedar Accessories for Closets Storage, 16 Pcs
  • CLOSET STORAGE: Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage - 100% Aromatic Red Cedar Wooden Blocks for Closet Storage,red cedar wood storage accessories. Used for closet storage to protect your valuable clothes.
  • FRESH FRAGRANCE: The fresh cedar scent is long lasting. If the smell of cedar blocks is weakened, just lightly sand the cedar blocks, the fragrance will be restored. The surface of the cedar blocks is smooth and will not scratch delicate sweaters and woolen clothes even if they are put together directly. Therefore, the cedar blocks can be applied to most clothes storage.
  • EASY TO USE: Cedar Blocks are placed in drawers, storage bags, cabinets, lockers, shoes, cars, shoes or anywhere in your home! Different quantities can meet different needs. Cedar wood contains a very special oil that makes cedar so strong.
  • HAND-POLISHE: 100% Aromatic red cedar is harvested from renewable forests. It grows quickly and is a reliable and sustainable resource. The cedar blocks has excellent hand-polished performance and a smooth surface. It can be touched by children and pets.
  • The original smell of cedar wood is light and long lasting. You may only smell a little bit, but when you put it under your nose, you will feel the unique and charming fragrance of cedar. This will not affect the effect.

Aromatic (or eastern) red cedar is commonly used in closets and chests to repel moths and other insects. This is because it produces natural oils that repel insects.

This already tells you that it can survive outdoors. It’s also highly weather resistant. The same natural oils make it repellent to moisture. As a result, it doesn’t rot readily. 

The above features plus aromatic red cedar’s aesthetic qualities make it the perfect choice for making outdoor table tops. It has reddish or violet-brown heartwood that doesn’t easily fade and beautiful straight grains. Meanwhile, the sapwood is pale yellow.




9. Best wood for outdoor bench slats: Black locust

Walnut, Honey Locust, Hickory, Sycamore Turning Blanks Wood Lumber 3 X 3 X 12
  • Material:Various.
  • Craft :Woodworking.
  • Product:Turning Wood.
  • Block Square bowl Blank Turner: Turner Turnery Woodturning.
  • blanks measure approximately 3 X 3 X 12"

Robina Preudoacacia, popularly known as black locust, is a medium-sized deciduous hardwood tree that grows to 82 feet tall and 47 inches in diameter. The heartwood is pale greenish-yellow to dark brown, fading to a russet brown with age. 

It’s one of the hardest woods, with a Janka rating of 1,700, thus a great choice if you’re looking for bench slats that don’t break. It’s also highly rot-resistant.

Indeed, some studies claim it’s the most rot-resistant hardwood indigenous to North America. You’ll also appreciate that it makes very beautiful wood pieces.




10. Best weather-resistant wood: Eucalyptus

First and foremost, we must clarify that eucalyptus is a hardwood. Many people often confuse it with softwood. Eucalyptus is a narrow-leaved hardwood with a hardness rating of 1125 on the Janka scale.

It’s also very durable. The only downside is that it’s too brittle for most applications, thus easily splitting as it dries. Eucalyptus also has low shock resistance. 

However, if your application doesn’t require extreme shock resistance, then eucalyptus can be an excellent choice for outdoor applications as it has exceptional weather resistance. It is also rot and decay-resistant.




11. Best long-lasting wood: Teak

Exotic Wood Premium Marine Teak Lumber Lot of 10 at 1' X 16' X 1/4'
3 Reviews
Exotic Wood Premium Marine Teak Lumber Lot of 10 at 1" X 16" X 1/4"
  • Sizes are listed in inches.  Each Board measures:Lot of 10  @  1"  X  16"  X  1/4"

We would have named teak our best overall wood for outdoor furniture but it’s very expensive and here’s why. It scores highly in important departments and has the classic dark brown color that many people love.

Additionally, teak, though one of the hardest hardwoods, is very easy to cut, saw, and sand. It’s also lightweight. Above all, teak has silica in its grains, making the wood extremely durable.

It’s why species such as the Brazilian teak easily last a lifetime or longer. It withstands all types of weather and is insect and pest-resistant.




12. Best wood for patio furniture: Ipe

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Exotic Wood Pen Blanks 9-Pack: Purple Heart
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Exotic Wood Pen Blanks 9-Pack: Purple Heart
  • Each piece measures 3/4" x 3/4" x 5"
  • Hand-selected for superior color and grain
  • Imported, exotic wood from around the world

Also known as the Brazilian walnut, the ipe tree is a beautiful exotic hardwood from South America. It’s hard and very strong. Ipe also resists cracking and warping.

But most importantly, it’s highly weather-resistant. It doesn’t matter if you live in a snowy or sunny location; ipe can withstand the weather.

Of course, ipe wood is also very beautiful. The light brown to dark brown color suits the outdoors, and its straight and interlocked grain patterns with a natural luster make it a great choice for patio furniture.




13. Best water-resistant wood for outdoor: Douglas fir

2 in. x 4 in. (1 1/2' x 3 1/2') Construction Premium Douglas Fir Board Stud Wood Lumber - Custom Length - 3FT
53 Reviews
2 in. x 4 in. (1 1/2" x 3 1/2") Construction Premium Douglas Fir Board Stud Wood Lumber - Custom Length - 3FT
  • Douglas Fir is not only affordable, it adds great value to your home
  • Maintains beauty and structural integrity with easy maintenance
  • Great for framing, hobbies and decor.
  • Made in the USA by Mills in California

The Douglas fir tree doesn’t get enough plaudits. It’s a native softwood that’s readily available and very affordable. Douglas fir is also highly workable.

It takes paints and stains very well and cuts, saws, and sands effortlessly. And, it’s not the softest of woods. A 660 Janka rating makes it hard enough to withstand most uses.

But above all, Douglas fir is one of the few softwoods with very high water resistance. Although it can hold water, it doesn’t allow the water to change its stricture; it maintains its shape throughout.




14. Best wood for outdoor bar top: Atlantic white cedar

XL Large Cedar Grilling Planks (20 Pack) - 7x15 - Fits Full Filet of Salmon + Free Recipe eBook
351 Reviews
XL Large Cedar Grilling Planks (20 Pack) - 7x15 - Fits Full Filet of Salmon + Free Recipe eBook
  • Contains 20 of our XL 7x15" Grilling Planks.
  • These extra large planks are perfect for a large King Salmon fillet.
  • Not only for bbq, these are great for using in the oven as well.
  • We use only food grade lubricants and grilling planks are free of any chemicals.
  • 100% Organic and Sustainably Produced in the USA.

Also known as the southern white cedar, the Atlantic white cedar is native to the Atlantic coast of North America. It mostly grows from southern Maine to Georgia and along the Gulf of Mexico.

The trees can grow to 1,000 years and are extremely resistant to decay. Indeed, Atlantic white cedar trees buried in peat bogs for decades have been retrieved still in excellent condition. 

The wood is lightweight but strong enough at 1,560 Janka. It is also a low-shrinkage wood and extremely durable. These qualities make it a very good choice for outdoor bar tops.

If you’re wondering, the heartwood is light reddish-brown while the narrow sapwood is pale yellow-brown to almost white and clearly demarcated from the heartwood.




15. Strongest wood for outdoor furniture: Shorea

Shorea is often compared to teak and ipe. It is a tropical hardwood that excels in outdoor woodworking applications because it has a very high density.

For instance, whereas teak weighs 43 pounds per cubic foot, Shorea weighs 46 pounds per cubic foot. The trees are mostly found in rainforests, especially in Indonesia and southeast Asia, where some people call them sal trees. 

There are at least five common types of Shorea, namely the white meranti, yellow meranti, light red meranti, dark red meranti, and Belau.

The individual trees get their names from the color of the heartwoods. Some species are extremely hard. For instance, the light red meranti has an 800 Janka rating, perfect for outdoor applications.




16. Best wood for a wood fence: Pressure-treated pine

ZEONHAK 8 PCS 2 x 2 x 12 Inches Pine Lumber Square Turning Blanks, Natural Unfinished Wood Carving Blocks for Carving, DIY Art and Craft
3 Reviews
ZEONHAK 8 PCS 2 x 2 x 12 Inches Pine Lumber Square Turning Blanks, Natural Unfinished Wood Carving Blocks for Carving, DIY Art and Craft
  • NATURAL MATERIAL - Are you still worried that our wood is not strong enough? Our square turning blanks are made of natural pine material, which is environmentally friendly, strong, flexible, smooth, and burr-free. Besides, the thickness of each product is even and qualified. Our products provide strong support for you to create amazing crafts.
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A wood fence can be practical when constructing a picket fence on your front yard or garden or building a post and rail fence to enclose a field. Wood fences are beautiful, durable, and affordable.

Above all, they are low-maintenance. However, you must start by picking the right types of wood for the project. Pressure-treated pine is one of the best choices.

Although redwood is another excellent pick, pressure-treated pine is just as good. It’s extremely durable, often lasting 20+ years.

Additionally, pine is more affordable and readily available than redwood. Above all, pressure-treated lumber is highly resistant to moisture, fungus, and insect infestation.




17. Best pest-resistant wood for outdoor use: Southern Red Cedar

Tenrry Cedar Blocks, 16 pcs Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage, Cedar Blocks for Storage, Cedar for Clothes Storage, Cedar Blocks for Closet and Drawers, Drawer Freshener for Clothes
313 Reviews
Tenrry Cedar Blocks, 16 pcs Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage, Cedar Blocks for Storage, Cedar for Clothes Storage, Cedar Blocks for Closet and Drawers, Drawer Freshener for Clothes
  • 【Cedar Blocks, Protect Clothes.】Our cedar blocks are made of aromatic American eastern red cedar wood. The raw material is only cut into pieces and then sanded to be smooth. In cedar blocks you find no pungent smells, they do wonders to protect your clothes in storage but nothing to impact your health.
  • 【Lasting Cedar Aroma.】Cedar blocks for storage protects clothes in storage against damages committed by annoying little dwellers in wardrobe closets because of its aroma coming form cedar oils in the wood. As a woody smell, it's not overwhelming, you may only smell it when you put cedar blocks near your nose, but it's effective at keeping clothes intact. To guarantee lasting aroma, we only use fresh cedar wood rich in cedar oils.
  • 【Cedar for Clothes Storage.】Have you been frustrated to find your garments in storage ruined by little creatures in closets? Cedar blocks for closets and drawers are the perfect solution to this headache. Meanwhile, cedar wood absorbs damp air to keep your clothes dry. Another extra benefit is the fresh aroma that makes your clothes smell like you just walk from the woods.
  • 【Crafted from Fresh Cedar Wood.】On the surface of cedar blocks, you may find white powder like salt. Don't panic! They are nothing but cedar oils crystals. Our cedar blocks are crafted from fresh cedar wood rich in cedar oils, which slowly but continuously come to the surface and crystallize. The crystallization has no impact on the effectiveness of cedar blocks, but you can wipe off the crystals by a tissue or cloth if you mind.
  • 【Multiple Uses, Easy to Use.】Cedar blocks for clothes storage can be used throughout your sweet home. Besides closets and drawers, they can also be put in pantries, kitchen cupboards, vehicles, storage bags or boxes, shoe cabinets, bookcases or anywhere else you like. Just scatter them randomly in drawers or put them in between clothes, fill them in mesh bags and attach the bags to hangers, put some pieces in shoes to deodorize and keep shoes dry…they are always easy to use.

The southern red cedar which is also popular as the Florida red cedar grows in well-drained sandy soils, in full or partial sun. It occasionally reaches 40 feet tall, though most trees range from 25 feet to 35 feet tall.

The southern red cedar is one of the most insect-resistant trees. It contains a special compound that’s poisonous to most insects and pests. Additionally, it has a rare fragrance that repels insects.

This is why it’s the ultimate Christmas tree. Don’t forget that cedar trees are also highly resistant to rotting. They can live for decades in damp conditions without rotting.




Treated or Untreated? (What if it’s Left Untreated?)

Ideally, you should consider treated wood for outdoor furniture as treated wood is better protected from moisture and weather elements. Moisture exposure accelerates rotting.

Untreated timber lacks waterproofing and thus typically rots within weeks rather than months in damp, outdoor conditions. By comparison, treated wood is waterproofed and thus can last up to two years outdoors without signs of rotting.

The danger is even bigger for fence posts that go into the ground. A combination of soil contact and moisture exposure can quickly cause decay.

Wood used decking may also become damaged faster due to direct exposure to sunlight and rainwater. The decking will quickly begin to crack and warp, and the wood may fall apart before you know it.

Therefore, you should prioritize treated wood for outdoor furniture. Alternatively, find other ways to protect it from direct exposure to moisture and sunlight.

The wood treatment process essentially refers to infusing the timber with chemical preservatives to protect it from insects and rot. First, the wood is placed in depressurized holding tanks to remove air and replace it with a preservative.

The wood is sealed in a tank, and air is extracted, creating a vacuum. Then a solution containing chromium, copper, and arsenic is added.

Due to the vacuum, the chemicals are carried deep into the wood, taking up the spaces previously occupied by air.

How to Protect Untreated Outdoor Wood Furniture

If you must use untreated wood for outdoor furniture, you should consider protecting it by coating the furniture in outdoor sealers, clear coat/spar urethane, exterior paint, or wood oils.

  • Outdoor sealers: The best outdoor sealers are water-based sealers that combine chemicals and oils for better mildew and UV protection. Water sealers primarily seek to keep the inner wood dry.
  • Clear coats (spar urethane): You can easily rub, brush, or spray clear coats such as spar urethane onto outdoor wood furniture. It is affordable and does an excellent job of protecting the wood from moisture and weather elements.
  • Exterior paint: Exterior paints can also protect outdoor furniture from moisture and weather elements while coating the furniture in a beautiful color. Make sure to choose colors you love.
  • Wood oils: Finally, wood oils are a natural way to protect the wood from rotting agents and weather elements. For instance, decking oil protects wood from UV damage and overall weather damage.

How to Protect Outdoor Furniture

The following are additional ways to protect outdoor wood furniture (treated or untreated) from moisture and other weather elements.

  • Keep it dry: Decay and rot are directly related to fungus, which require moisture to survive. So, depriving the microorganisms of moisture helps prevent decay.
  • Keep it shaded: Sunlight robs wood of its natural oils and can cause bleaching and degradation. It also eliminates natural chemicals such as lignin from wood. So, keep furniture out of direct sunlight.
  • Bring them inside whenever necessary: Sometimes is difficult to keep wooden furniture dry and away from direct sunlight. If so, consider bringing the furniture inside when outdoor conditions become too harsh.
  • Consider borate-treatment: Many people are dead-set against natural pressure-treatment methods involving arsenic, which isn’t too health-friendly. In that case, consider boric pressure treatment. Boric is a naturally-occurring mineral that’s completely safe for humans.

Related Post: What is Burl Wood and How Much is Burl Wood Worth?

FAQs

What wood is the most durable outdoor furniture?

Teak is widely considered the most durable wood for outdoor furniture. Teak outdoor furniture repels water, deters insects, and doesn’t warp with changes in humidity. Its natural oils are responsible for its amazing weather resistance. 

What wood is most weather resistant?

Cypress is widely considered the most weather-resistant wood. It’s the main reason it is known as the “eternal wood” The natural oils in cypress repel insects and prevent rotting. They also prevent moisture absorption, keeping the core of the furniture pieces dry even in wet conditions. 

Which type of wood is best for making outdoor furniture?

Cypress, redwood, and cedar are the three best wood types for making outdoor furniture. The three softwoods have natural moisture-wicking properties that allow them to withstand the worst rains and winters. 

What wood lasts the longest outdoors?

The two wood types that last longest outdoors are ipe and teak. First off, both are very strong hardwoods that easily resist dents and scratches, typical of outdoor environments. Additionally, the two wood types are highly moisture and rot-resistant. So, they often last many decades outdoors. 

Is meranti wood good for outdoor use?

Yes, meranti is one of the best wood types for outdoor use. In fact, it’s one of the few kinds of wood that you can use for outdoor furniture without treatment. Although it’s only slightly durable, the dark red hardwood rarely moves due to moisture. It’s also very dense at 710 kg/cubic meter. 

Is oak good for outdoor use?

Yes, oak is an excellent wood choice for outdoor applications. Not only is oak strong, strong, and durable, but it’s also undeniably gorgeous. The European oak, for instance, is a classic, versatile, golden to medium-brown wood that works in any outdoor environment. 

Is mahogany good for outdoor furniture?

Yes, mahogany is a good choice for outdoor furniture. It is extremely hard and tight-grained, allowing it to resist shrinking, splintering, and checking. These properties make mahogany the perfect wood for outdoor use. 

Is cedar wood good for the outdoors?

Yes. Cedar is an extremely tough wood with natural anti-microbial properties that make it a great choice for furniture, especially in the outdoors. Moreover, cedar has beautiful straight grains and is lightweight and easy to work with.

Is red oak good for outdoor use?

Yes, red oak is one of the best woods for outdoor use. Many people compare it to cedar. However, it’s harder than cedar and much closer to white oak. The only downside is that red oak doesn’t always weather that well. Checking is especially common. However, you should be all good with proper maintenance. 

Is white oak good for outdoor furniture? 

Yes, white oak is beautiful and strong. It is also a close-grained hardwood that’s virtually impervious to water. These qualities make it an excellent choice for that outdoor project. Remember that white oak is also highly rot-resistant, which is why it’s often used to build boats.  

Is whitewood good for the outdoors?

Yes, whitewood is a good candidate for outdoor woodworking projects. It is highly termite-resistant and keeps at bay most pests from the furniture. It is also weather-resistant. So, your outdoor furniture will be perfectly fine if it is made of whitewood. 

Summary 

That’s all you need to know about outdoor furniture wood. The main takeaway is that some wood types are more suited to outdoor applications than others because they are more moisture-resistant and insect/pest resistant.

However, you can waterproof most wood types by pressure-treating and use it for outdoor furniture-making projects.

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