Acacia wood outdoor furniture items are very common. Homeowners love its strength and general warmth. Meanwhile, woodworkers enjoy working with acacia as it’s easy to cut, sand, screw/nail, and finish.
But does it make great outdoor furniture? Is acacia wood good for outdoors? It’s a common question. So, let’s find out.
Is Acacia Wood Good for Outdoor Furniture?
Yes, acacia wood is the perfect wood for outdoor furniture. It is an extremely dense and durable wood that’s hard to damage. Moreover, acacia doesn’t absorb much moisture, even in wet and humid climates. As a result, it lasts many years outdoors, even without pressure treatment.
What Makes the Perfect Outdoor Wood Furniture?
The first question we must ask before asking whether acacia is good for outdoor furniture is – what makes the perfect outdoor furniture? What qualities make wood ideal for outdoor furniture?
1. Weather resistance
The best outdoor furniture is highly weather resistant. It must withstand extended periods of sunshine (UV) exposure and long durations of cold weather without expanding, shrinking, or fading with seasonal changes.
2. Mold, rot, and insect resistance
Outdoor weather conditions predispose wooden furniture to rotting, decay, mold, and insect attacks. This is especially true for furniture with legs touching the soil.
Therefore, it’s important to use for outdoor furniture only wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay, mold, and insects.
3. Hard and durable
Think about the level of abuse outdoor furniture through. We move them about all the time, drag them around, and fall quite often.
To this end, the best wood for outdoor furniture is hard and strong enough to resist scratches, dents, etc., and withstand rough use. With its strength and durability, acacia can also be used to make other household items, such as acacia chopping boards.
4. Dense and steady
Outdoor furniture pieces periodically go through periods of strong winds and storms. Alternatively, you may get off the seat awkwardly or push it a little as you move about.
You don’t want furniture that topples whenever it encounters such forces. So, you should consider dense, heavy wood.
5. Ease of maintenance
Finally, the best outdoor furniture pieces are easy to clean and maintain. Therefore, the best wood for patio furniture is easy to wipe, oil, or care for in other ways to keep it in the best shape for a long time.
What is Acacia Wood?
Acacia wood is lumber obtained from acacia trees. The acacia tree, also known as thorn tree, wattle tree, or mimosa, is a deciduous hardwood native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Acacia Wood for Outdoor Furniture: Properties to Consider
To determine whether acacia is a good wood for outdoor furniture, we must interrogate its properties against the above factors. So, here’s how acacia wood performs against outdoor furniture wood benchmarks.
Is acacia wood weather resistant?
Yes, acacia wood is naturally weather resistant. Acacia doesn’t absorb much moisture. It contains natural oils that resist water and moisture.
Therefore, it doesnt easily expand or shrink due to weather. The only downside is that acacia wood patio furniture can fade when exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, it’s important to UV protect the furniture periodically.
Is acacia wood resistant to rot, decay, mold, and insects?
Yes, acacia lumber is highly resistant to mold, rot, and decay. Its natural antibacterial properties make it highly resistant to mold and fungi.
Additionally, the high level of moisture resistance makes it highly rot and decay-resistant. Acacia is also resistant to termites and other insects.
Is acacia wood hard and durable?
Yes, acacia wood is strong, hard, and durable. For instance, Babul acacia wood is rated 2,300 lbf on the Janka scale, making it harder than white oak, hickory, and maple, three of the hardest hardwoods.
It’s also very strong and stiff. These qualities make acacia wood outdoor furniture durable and hard to damage.
Is acacia a stable and dense wood?
Yes, acacia wood is heavy and very stable. A density of 760 kg per cubic meter of lumber puts it at the high end of the table.
It’s comparable to maple wood, 600 to 750 kg/cubic meter, white oak, 770kg per cubic meter, and Burma teak, 740 kg per cubic meter.
Is Acacia wood easy to maintain?
This is perhaps the only problematic area. Acacia wood furniture is easy to clean. You must regularly wash it with soap and water, wipe it with a dry rag, and allow it to dry.
Unfortunately, you must oil the surfaces regularly to protect the furniture from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Otherwise, fading is inevitable.
At this point, it would be great to examine a few acacia wood outdoor furniture pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Using Acacia for Outdoor Furniture
So, we know that acacia is a great wood for outdoor furniture. But what other qualities make it the ideal wood type for your next outdoor furniture-making project? The following are acacia wood furniture pros and cons to consider;
The following are a few reasons (besides its natural properties) to consider acacia wood outdoor furniture;
1. Beautiful color
Acacia is a stunning brown wood with gorgeous irregular grain patterns. However, a few species are red, golden, or tan.
It often fades to beautiful dark gray after prolonged sunshine exposure. Nevertheless, it provides a rich, warm tone to any outdoor patio.
2. Gorgeous grain pattern
Acacia has a beautiful grain pattern often characterized by a mix of straight and wavy lines. Although working with wavy grains is a little challenging, you can’t deny that figured grains are gorgeous.
3. Acacia wood outdoor durability
How durable is acacia wood outdoor furniture? The short answer is – acacia wood outdoor furniture durability is great. It’s one of the most durable woods for outdoor furniture.
Some woods are strong and hard but susceptible to outdoor elements. Acacia is different. It can last a lifetime outside with proper maintenance.
4. Highly workable
Workability is critical whether you’re making indoor or outdoor furniture. Fortunately, acacia is very easy to work with.
It cuts easily, and it’s even easier to shape into figures. However, beware that it becomes harder when dried. So, you need sharp tools.
5. Easy to finish
It’s easy to finish acacia outdoor furniture as acacia sands and stains effortlessly. We recommend boiled linseed oil as it brings out the color and depth of texture in wood grain. However, teak oil is equally fine.
6. Sustainable wood
Acacia is a highly sustainable tree species. First, there are thousands of acacia tree farms globally. For instance, Vietnam alone has more than 400,000 hectares of plantation acacia.
More importantly, acacia grows fast and helps with environmental conservation.
Of course, acacia isn’t the cheapest wood around. Softwoods, such as pine and cypress, are much cheaper. However, it’s one of the most affordable exotic wood species. For instance, acacia is half the price of teak!
8. Need long slabs? No problem
An often overlooked quality of acacia wood is that you can easily find short or long planks, depending on your project. Unfortunately, many hardwoods are only available in short planks.
However, acacia trees grow to 82 meters. So, finding extra-long acacia wood slabs for a table or bench is not too difficult.
Cons of Using Acacia Wood Outdoors
Unfortunately, acacia wood isn’t perfect. The following are cons of acacia wood to consider before you pay up;
1. Requires tedious maintenance
First, you must regularly wipe acacia wood furniture with soap and water to rid the surfaces of dust. Secondly, you must periodically re-oil acacia surfaces to keep the furniture sparking.
At the same time, you must watch out for alcohol spills and certain perfumes that may pull moisture from acacia wood and avoid silicon polishes that can dry out the wood.
2. The wood darkens with age
Prolonged exposure to light and air often darkens acacia lumber. Many people are fine with the darker grey color. However, if you wish to keep the beautiful light brown, you must keep acacia furniture away from direct sunlight.
3. Significant defects and wood variations
We mentioned acacia’s beautiful figured grain pattern. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of figured grains.
Additionally, acacia wood is characterized by several knots per square meter. Knots can blemish the appearance of wood. Moreover, knots weaken the wood.
4. Acacia scratches are hard to remove
Finally, acacia wood isn’t the best at hiding scratches. Granted, it can conceal small marks. However, scratches against the grain are conspicuous and surface-degrading.
Even worse, removing scratches against the grain is a nightmare. You’ll need to redraw the grain marks to keep the surface consistent.
Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture Care and Maintenance
You must take the best care of your acacia outdoor patio furniture to maintain its shine and prolong its life. Here’s what to do;
Clean Acacia Furniture Regularly
Cleaning acacia furniture regularly, ideally daily, protects the items from dirt buildup and related consequences.
- Dip a soft, dry cloth in soapy water and gently wipe every inch of the furniture’s surfaces.
- Use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe off the excess water.
- Leave the furniture to dry away from direct sunlight.
Keep the Furniture Away From Direct Heat
Direct heat exposure for extended periods darkens acacia wood, and the damage is irreversible. So, consider the following;
- Move portable items to shady areas to avoid direct sunshine exposure.
- Don’t place hot dishes or coffee mugs directly on acacia surfaces.
- Cover the furniture when it’s too hot outside.
Oil the Furniture Periodically
Oil works as wood filler, blocking dirt, water, and microorganisms from entering the wood core. It also keeps acacia wood shiny as new. We recommend boiled linseed oil or teak oil. Here’s how to proceed;
- Pour a liberal amount of oil on the wood surface.
- Use a soft, dry cloth to rub the oil into the wood grain.
- Wait five minutes and wipe off the excess oil with a dry rag.
- Allow the surface to dry overnight.
Read Also: Birch vs Acacia
Acacia wood furniture outdoor FAQs
Is teak wood or acacia better for outdoor furniture?
When comparing acacia vs teak outdoor furniture, teak wood carries the day. Even though teak and acacia woods both prove to be durable and resistant to weather elements, teak is better for outdoor furniture. It’s more durable and resistant than acacia, which breaks or becomes brittle under some conditions.
How do I protect my acacia wood outdoors?
One way to protect acacia wood outdoors is to use a preservative. This can be done by either applying the preservative to the wood before you install it, or after installing the wood. The common type of preservative to buy contains chromated arsenicals. This will protect the wood from water penetration and rot.
How does acacia wood weather?
Acacia wood turns dark grey from its typical dark brown color as it weathers. The wood will weather out if exposed to high temperatures. While it is known as resistant and can truly last a lifetime, very hot temperatures will damage the fibre and cause the weathered acacia wood to crack.
How does acacia wood hold up outdoors?
Acacia wood holds up pretty well outside. The durability of acacia wood is unmatched, so it’s hard to damage. It is also dense, weather-resistant, and rarely absorbs moisture. These features make the wood a great option for outdoor use, especially in wet and humid areas.
Is acacia wood waterproof?
Yes, acacia is waterproof. The wood is water-resistant, making it ideal for use in areas with frequent contact with water. These include kitchens, bathrooms, and garden furniture. Whether treated or not, acacia can last years without getting affected by water.
Does acacia wood last outdoors?
Yes, acacia wood last outdoor. This is because the wood is durable and is not affected by outdoor conditions unless they are very extreme. Avid wood workers confirm the wood is hard to damage, making it more suited for outdoor use. It resists both weather elements and rots from insects.
Can acacia wood be left outside?
Yes, acacia wood can be left outside because of its weather-resistant properties. The wood is not easily affected by weather elements and will last longer, particularly in humid areas. However, extremely high temperatures can still be harmful and cause the wood to wear, so it is best to preserve the wood to be safer.
How long does acacia wood last?
The lasting period of acacia is not specific, even though it is thought to last a few decades. Overall, acacia wood durability outdoor is not an issue. Some woodworkers say it can last up to 40 years, whether treated or not.
Is acacia wood weather-resistant?
Acacia wood is weather-resistant, making it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture and projects that require a lot of wear and tear. Its high density means that it won’t rot or succumb to insect damage, and its natural oils make it resistant to moisture and humidity.
Does acacia wood rot?
No, acacia wood is highly resistant to rot as it contains rot-resistant natural oils. In fact, acacia is often used in outdoor applications where it’s exposed to moisture and humidity, such as decking, fencing, and garden furniture. So while it’s possible for acacia to rot under very specific conditions, it’s not a common occurrence.
Acacia Wood for Outdoors Summary
Is acacia good for outdoor furniture? Yes, but it has a few downsides. For instance, it darkens if exposed to sunlight and heat for too long.
Additionally, the figured grain pattern is not every woodworker’s cup of tea. However, using acacia wood outside makes up for these shortcomings in a thousand ways.