Best Types of Timber for Furniture: Six Woods You Should Choose for Interior DIY Projects

Best Types of Timber for Furniture: Six Woods You Should Choose for Interior DIY Projects

Published on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Timber is a fantastic, timeless choice for furniture.

We have been using it for centuries, and, with the right care, it can last for generations.

That said, are you looking to try your hand at an interior DIY furniture project? Creating your own chair, table, shelf, drawer, cabinet, desk or bed frame? You’ll probably be interested in learning which wood is going to be best for your project.

With an almost innumerable species of timber, each with their own aesthetic and technical properties, making a choice can be a rather daunting prospect. You want that balance of beauty, durability and workability. Luckily, we’ve drawn on our extensive timber knowledge to produce a list of the top types of wood for making furniture.

Best Types of Wood for Furniture

Looking for a beautiful timber at the right price that’s going to be suitable for your interior furniture project? Right this way!

We’ve included your traditional choices in there (after all, they’re classics for a reason, right?), as well as a few more unusual shouts.

1. Oak

A highly durable timber — making it perfect for any type of furniture experiencing a lot use. In terms of species, you can’t go wrong with European Oak or American White Oak.

There’s quite a bit of variety in the colour of oak. If you choose white oak, you’ll be treated to a delightful white or light/medium brown; red oak is similar, with a reddish tint. Oak is an undisputed furniture classic.

A few extra notes on oak: It produces fantastic results when machining and is also suitable for steam bending, gluing, staining and finishing. As well as being resistant to fungal attacks, oak’s incredible strength makes it a highly popular, solid choice for any furniture project.

2. Cherry

Most people are drawn to cherry timbers, such as American Cherry, for their beautiful, unique reddish brown colour. Over time and exposure to light, cherry can darken, giving it an even richer look.

Luckily, it also makes a fantastic timber choice for furniture because of its even grain and resistance to scratches, in addition to being non-toxic.

Cherry’s workability also makes it a firm furniture favourite. Did you know that cherry steams well, making it perfect for curved designs?

3. Maple

For those looking for a timber in a modern creamy white or a lovely, warm golden hue, maple is bound to be right at home.

There’s a few different types of maple, but each one will perform fantastically for the purposes for interior furniture. Take a look at American Hard Maple, for example.

A little extra fact about this timber’s performance properties — did you know that it’s naturally non-toxic? This makes maple perfect for use as a kitchen chopping board, for example.

4. Mahogany (Sapele)

There’s a reason why Ron Burgundy’s apartment smells of rich mahogany; it’s a fantastic choice for any interior furniture making project. As with most things, it’s a classic for a reason.

As a wood, mahogany has the winning combo — incredible strength and beautiful, natural aesthetic beauty. Who isn’t a sucker for those timeless reddish-brown hues? Mahogany is traditionally more on the heavy side, with a straight grain and top-notch strength.

5. Tulipwood

This is the timber to go for if you’re after a pale, creamy colour. Tulipwood’s white sapwood is complemented by its yellowish-brown or pale olive-brown heartwood.

Tulipwood performs excellently for interior furniture projects. Fantastic working properties, and takes a paint very well — pretty much everything you could want from a paint grade timber.

6. Walnut

Looking for something special to create fine furniture? Walnut should fit the bill; its chocolate brown colour will ensure your furniture has that premium touch. Check out American Black Walnut as a species, for example.

Walnut performs fantastically for furniture, ticking all the boxes: dense, strong, beautiful, with a medium texture. Walnut is on the lightweight side.

Looking for some more advice on wood for your interior furniture project?

Our friendly team of experts know everything there is to know about timber. Get in touch to talk through the requirements for your next project!