The Best Woods for DIY Furniture

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Real wood furniture has always been a staple of good design, and the craze of DIY furniture has brought skilled woodworking with natural materials back into the limelight. Real wood furniture is desirable because of its durability, resistance to scratches or gouges and its natural beauty. DIY furniture projects can come in a myriad of forms, and furniture building can be done by individuals with wide range of woodworking prowess. Similarly, the types of wood that can be used in furniture building are numerous and can be easily tailored to specific color or hardness preferences. If you are thinking about taking on a DIY wood furniture project, it is helpful to know what types of wood are available for woodworking when it comes to DIY furniture. The most popular types of wood for furniture include maple, pine, oak, cedar and cherry wood.


As a softwood, pine is not appropriate for all DIY wood furniture projects. Pine is a lightweight material which makes it easy to work with and move once a piece is completed, but is more susceptible to dings and scratches than hardwood options. More often than not, pine furniture lumber requires a coat of primer prior to painting or staining because it has a pale hue in its natural state. Pine is one of the least expensive choices for DIY furniture.

MapleClean wood furniture.

As a common hardwood used for DIY wood furniture, maple is known for its strength and durability. The most common real wood furniture created from maple includes bedroom furniture or large hutches and china cabinets because of its known sturdiness. Maple wood is resistant to moisture and often has unique swirls in the wood grain that make it stand out from other hardwood choices. It is most commonly found in a light color, but takes stains and paint well.


If you are contemplating how to build furniture for your home, oak has probably crossed your mind as a furniture lumber choice. Oak is high on the list for DIY wood furniture projects because it has a longstanding reputation of both beauty and strength. Real wood furniture made of oak often has a pink, reddish or green tint depending on the type of oak tree harvested, but all take stain and paint easily. Oak features open wood grain which makes mixing and matching other furniture pieces in the home a simple task. Because of its durability and popularity, oak can be a pricier option than other hardwoods.

CedarCrafting wood furniture.

If you are considering how to build furniture for your deck or other outdoor space, cedar presents a great option. As a softer wood, cedar is easy to maneuver while crafting your DIY furniture, and it is highly resistant to rot. Cedar often has warm tones of red and brown with a light grain, and takes to stain and paint with ease.

Cherry Wood

Cherry wood is another popular selection for types of wood for furniture, although it is best used for indoor pieces. As a true hardwood, cherry wood is known to be resistant to decay and rot and is able to stand up to dings, dents and scratches throughout the years. Because of its density and strength, it can be difficult to work with when creating real wood furniture. Cherry wood, as its name suggests, comes in deep red hues with noticeable grain.

If you are comparing the types of wood for furniture for your next DIY project, contact us at Reno Lumber today. We can walk you through each of the options listed here to help you select the best type of natural hard or softwood for your specific needs.

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