Wooden garden furniture includes a large array of different types of chairs or rocking
chairs, tables, swings or gliders, and chaise lounges, all of which are made to be used outdoors. Garden furniture
can be made from cedar or cypress, pine, teak, common hardwoods (such as oak, maple, or ash), redwood, or treated
wood. How long it lasts through weather and insects is determined by which wood and what type of finish, if any, is
Probably the most common finish for outdoor furniture is stain. Stained redwood can be
very attractive in a garden and picnic tables are often made from redwood. Any of the hardwoods, such as oak, are
beautiful when stained. Some wood can be made to look similar to another by the color and type of stain that is
used. A final clear sealant can be applied to help weatherproof stained or painted outdoor furniture.
Grades in lumber are particularly important where pine furniture is concerned. The higher
the grade, the less warped it will become, and usually the prettier the grain. Higher grade pine furniture can be
stained, but lower grade pine often looks better painted and can accent a garden with bright colors.
Cedar furniture is not always stained, since cedar itself has weather resistant qualities;
however, staining will prevent it from fading to gray as cedar does over time. Cedar goes especially well in a
garden where the house has a cedar shake roof and a rustic setting. Cypress is similar to cedar and also has
weather and bug resistant qualities. Both are known for being termite-resistant.
Teak is a member of the tropical hardwood tree species and is very resistant to weather
and insects, two of the many reasons it is used quite often for decking on ships. It is an ideal choice for outdoor
furniture. The oil that is naturally in teak makes staining unnecessary, but staining can bring out the innate
beauty of the wood. Many people keep their teak furniture oiled, rather than staining it.
A good portion of wooden garden furniture is made from treated wood. This is wood that has
been pressure treated with chemicals to make it bug and weather resistant. This also makes it difficult to stain or
paint and the wood itself is more functional than decorative; however, it can last five to ten times longer than
regular wood and so is cost effective.