pine swing bench

Selecting Wood for Outdoors

by / 5 Comments / 1844 View / February 5, 2010

Would you believe after 4 years of blogging, I have my first guest blogger?

It so happens that I've  been thinking about writing about outdoor wood selection for some time now and then I met Hazel Jennings, writer for the

Hazel writes about wood for a living!


So Hazel and I agreed to "guest blog" on each other's blog site and I asked her to give us some information about wood quality as it relates to selecting outdoor furniture.

I've been busy working on some exciting garden media projects for all of you, so a big "Thank you" to Hazel for helping me out!

*This is not a "paid advertorial," (though I could use the money big time!), so take advantage of this useful information.


Which Wood Would You Choose?

When looking for outdoor furniture, its hard not to just consider aesthetics.

I love half the clothes coming down this seasons hottest runways, but the majority of them wouldn't be a good fit for me or my lifestyle, right?

Though the size, color, and design of your patio sets should reflect your personality, you also want to make sure the material will suit your needs as well.

Whether those needs are related to budget, sustainability, weather conditions, or durability, every material used for outdoor furniture has its ups and downs.

It's  good to know the facts before getting lost in the nearly endless varieties of outdoor furniture!


western red cedar patio furniture


Western Red Cedar:

As a writer for you can imagine that I know A LOT about cedar!

The two aspects that cedar is most famous for are its aroma and resistance to decay.

The naturally lustrous wood is warm with that rich reddish hue, and the subtly aromatic qualities fill any space it's used in with a rustic and homey feel.

Cedar is also filled with naturally occurring oils that act as preservatives against both decay and insect attack.

Plus, it's environmentally friendly, as for each cedar tree that is used for our outdoor furnishing, five more are planted!


I'm trying very hard not to make this sound like a late night info-mercial, though I just can't resist- But Wait! There's  More!

Western Red Cedar is also an incredibly affordable material.

Though it's rich in aroma, color, and natural protective oils you don't have to be rich to enjoy it.


But, artists beware, if you're hoping to paint your furniture or structures in anyway, cedar is not a good choice.

It resists paint the same way it resists moisture and becomes incredibly difficult to paint.


pine swing bench

Southern Yellow Pine

Pine is one of the most affordable woods out there: if budget is your main concern, pine may be the best bet for you!

It's also much easier to paint than Red Cedar, so people looking to add their own color and decorative painting to their furniture would find pine to be a great option.

Unfortunately, it lacks the weather-durability of many other woods.


Though structurally incredibly sturdy, it is very susceptible to decay and damage.

However, a pressure treatment process creates Pressure Treated Pine that boasts a 30 year warranty against rot, decay, and insect damage.


teak patio furniture

Grade A Teak

Teak is "grade A"  if the tree has reached full maturity to provide the best quality wood.

This process takes over 30 years, and only a few countries are able to export this fine and rare wood.

Teak, once its achieved Grade A status, is one of the strongest woods available.


Teak is absolutely the best hardwood used to manufacture outdoor furniture because it is dense with a tight grain, durable, and has a high content of natural mineral deposits that effectively repel water and moisture.

It will absolutely not warp or decay due to changes in temperatures.

Because this wood takes so long to become so great,  it will cost you.

It is absolutely the best, and it is absolutely the most expensive.


Though, like other expensive products, it will last much longer than other materials and would be worth the price of not having to replace it in several years.

But, if you're  designing on a tight budget,  you might want to look elsewhere.


polywood outdoor furniture


If you've made the important and honorable commitment to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle, look no further than Polywood outdoor furniture.

Polywood isn't even actually wood! It's engineered from polyresins, recycled plastics, and high density polyethylene, and then crafted to look and feel like real wood.

Made completely of recycled materials, you will absolutely be doing your part to help the earth by using this material.


Plus, even though it looks, feels, and acts like real wood, it's not.

It requires barely any maintenance at all and will endure all weather conditions.

It's green and low maintenance, but if you're  someone looking for real, through-and-through wood, don't be fooled by its appearance!

Well, these are the top four competitors for top spot in outdoor furniture materials.


There are a lot of other materials out there, but hopefully knowing a little more about four of the most popular will help you make a more informed decision when you're shopping for this spring's  outdoor decor.


Just like anything, what type of wood is best for you is completely dependent on your lifestyle, budget, and desired uses,

So, there's no way for me to tell you exactly what to buy (besides, wouldn't that take all of the fun out of it?), but at least now you can go into the decision as an expert!


Hazel Jennings is the in-house writer and social media manager for

As someone more likely to be caught enjoying the outdoors than anywhere else, she loves working with, learning and talking about, as well as writing on the furniture and structures that pull families away from their televisions and out into nature.



Hazel has a passion for the environment and thinks all great design should work with and reflect the beautiful outdoors. is a family of five websites specializing in outdoor furniture and structures.

Offering a wide variety of top quality and handcrafted pieces,, and can boast the absolute authority on both their products and their ideal uses.

A team of customer service representatives and professional project advisors are always on hand to help guide you through selections, decisions, and in the case of our structures: design, customization, and installation.

As experts in the field, writes a well-read blog,, to help outdoor enthusiasts and gardeners design their gardens, lawns, and patios to suit their needs.


With five websites and a blog packed full of useful and applicable information, is not only passionate about their high grade products, but making sure everyone can get the most out of their outdoor spaces as possible!

To learn more: visit,, Follow them on twitter with @CedarStore, or, of course, simply call them up at 1.888.293.2339.

5 Comment

  1. Patio furniture can add style and flare to any space while being comfortable and inviting.

  2. Red cedar is a really good choice for outdoor furniture. I love the looks of it and I know it sound cheesey, but I love a replanting aspect of it to preserve the nature.

  3. Recently I have had the opportunity to find some fine pieces of Red Cedar furniture  made in Lethbridge Alberta. made from Red Cedar  imported from  British Columbia.  The red Cedar does make a great patio furniture.  Looks beautiful and resists decay.  My choice for outdoor patio furniture.

  4. It’s worth checking whatever type of real wood is used (but particularly with Teak) that it is sustainably forested. THE FSC symbol is one way to check for that

  5. […] patio furniture materials that have stood the test of time, check our Shirley Bovshow’s Eden Makers Blog for tips and […]

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