Know your furniture wood

Determining wood types in furniture will help you choose the right paint or stain since different types of wood absorb paint and finish differently. When it comes to choosing the best wood for your furniture, understanding its properties is a must. This guide is aimed at helping you to know your furniture wood. 

Types of wood

Certainly, there are two types of wood hardwood and softwood. In botanical terms, hardwood comes from flowering trees while softwood comes from conifers. Both hardwood and softwood are used for everything from structural to decorative purposes.


Comes from angiosperm trees such as maple, oak, and walnut that are not monocots; trees are usually broad-leaved. It grows slowly compared to softwoods. So, hardwood is relatively expensive. Example includes:

  • Mahogany
  • Walnut
  • Red Oak
  • Ash
  • Birch
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Beech
  • Teak
  • Indian Rosewood


Softwood comes from gymnosperms, which are seed-bearing evergreen trees such as pine, spruce, fir, cedar, juniper, redwood, and yew. Example includes:

  • Parana Pine
  • White Pine
  • Eastern
  • Lodgepole Pine
  • Pitch pine
  • Scots pine
  • White Spruce
  • Red Cedar
  • Scots pine
  • White Spruce
  • Fir

Terms to know about wood

Every tree has two parts Heartwood & Spawood. They are the inner and outer areas of the tree.


The Heartwood is the older section of the tree, which dies as new sections grow around it. It does not decay as long as the new growing sapwood surrounds it. It becomes firmer over time as the dead fibers get bound together. Because of that strength, the Heartwood section is the best for woodwork. 


The Sapwood lets water travel up the tree to the leaves. The sapwood is the outermost portion and is usually the new wood.  Because sapwood contains the sap-conducting cells of the tree, it tends to have a relatively high moisture content. This is good for the living tree but it is not so good for the woodworker, because sapwood tends to shrink and move considerably when dried, and it is much more susceptible to decay and staining by fungi.

Growth Rings

Each year, the tree forms new cells, arranged in concentric circles called annual rings or annual growth rings. These annual rings show the amount of wood produced during one growing season. Growth rings won’t always show up on furniture wood as complete circle rings you’d see inside a tree trunk.

Depending on how that trunk is split into slabs, you will see many different patterns on the piece of wood.

Most popular woods for furniture

Maple Wood

Maple may be the ideal furniture wood. While there are many different types of maple, almost all are durable and make gorgeous furniture.

Mahogany Wood

Mahogany wood is one of the more traditional woods in furniture making, mahogany is a beautiful wood. It is lighter in weight than some of the other wood types here but has the strength of oak.

Oak Wood

Oak is a very durable wood often utilized for flooring and kitchen furniture. It also looks inviting and is relatively inexpensive, so it’s an excellent wood for furniture.

Cedar Wood Furniture

Cedar is a soft wood, so it’s not ideal for indoor furniture. One usually sees closets constructed of cedar as its aromatic quality repels bugs. However, it’s an excellent choice for outdoor furniture since cedar is naturally weather-resistant. 


We at Mastercrafts will bring contemporary home furnishings that share style and substance with your ambiance. After all, Furniture is the key element of interiors and you must buy it wisely. Explore our sleek and stylish furniture today at and follow us on Instagram @the.mastercrafts. 

Happy Reading!

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