Cedar wood, with its distinctive scent and rich red tones, is unlike any other wood type commonly used for furniture. But is Cedar a good wood choice for your furniture? Let’s take a look.
Characteristics of Cedar Wood
Cedar has some amazing qualities for both indoor and outdoor furniture: it gives off a distinctive, rich scent; it’s naturally resistant to rot and decay; and it repels insects. And it is durable, even in humid conditions or exposed to the elements.
Cedar is recognized by its red and pink tones, which come from the heartwood of the tree. But pale, yellow streaks from the sapwood are prone to flow through cedar lumber as well. And frequent knots give it rustic character!
Should You Buy Cedar Furniture?
What style is your home?
This distinctive appearance makes it a good fit for Country style homes. However, the color variation and knotty appearance mean it won’t make for “fine furniture” or fit formal or contemporary styles.
What will you use the furniture for?
Cedar’s soft wood is easy for woodworkers to work with, but it will dent more easily than hardwoods like Maple or Oak. Its hardness is comparable to Pine, and, like Pine, isn’t the best choice for tabletops, desktops, or other furniture that gets heavy use.
Indoor Cedar Furniture or Outdoor Cedar Furniture
Due to its natural rot and insect resistance, it can be used outdoors in the elements. As with any outdoor wood furniture, it’s best protected by a coat of sealant which should be reapplied every year or two to extend the furniture’s lifespan.
Inside, however, Amish woodworkers use Cedar to craft Hope Chests or storage boxes. Cedar is sometimes added as an interior lining to hardwood drawers or chests, in order to offer the natural insect repellence and scent. In this case, it’s often left unfinished to maximize these qualities.
Summary of Cedar Wood Furniture
In summary, the question of whether to get a Cedar wood piece of furniture comes down to a few things. Cedar’s a great, rustic fit to any Country or Log-Cabin style home. Even though cedar is a soft wood, its durability, affordability, beautiful colors and natural resistance to rot and decay make it a prime candidate for outdoor furniture. Likewise, a good choice for storage pieces—particularly if you seek to protect prized cloth heirlooms or other sensitive valuables from bugs.
So, is Cedar the right wood choice for your new furniture?