Know Your Softwoods


This article discusses softwoods used in home furnishings. While they need more care and are high maintenance, they are also cheaper. Most furniture manufacturers of repute use hardwoods so that the furniture is long lasting. When you are buying furniture online, it is important to note the kind of wood used, the grain and texture, the polish and whether the wood being used is suitable for the kind of furniture. Being well-informed takes you a long way in making sound buying decisions so that you have a furniture piece you will cherish for life and not something you regret buying whenever your eyes fall upon it.

If you can afford it, you should go for hardwood furniture. But if budgets are tight, you can choose from amongst the following most commonly used softwoods:


Strength: Not very strong.

Color: Yellow, red or purplish. Resembles mahogany.

Texture: Straight grained with even texture.

Uses: The best varieties have a peculiarly pleasant aroma which is offensive to insects; hence it is highly valued for making drawers and chests.


Strength: Soft. Easy to work and finishes well.

Color: White and yellow. Looks good without staining.

Texture: Straight grain and occasional knots. Fine even texture.

Uses: Doors on primary pieces, joinery, and turning.


Strength: Fairly strong and resists warping.

Color: Light colored.

Texture: Straight, wide grain and fine texture. Does not finish well.

Uses: Mainly for secondary pieces such as drawers and joinery.


Strength: Moderately strong.

Color: Light brown.

Texture: Straight grain and even texture. Easy to work and finishes well.

Uses: Joinery.


Strength: Very strong. Easy to work.

Color: Red.

Texture: Straight grain and even, coarse texture. Finishes well.

Uses: Secondary furniture pieces such as frames, joinery, drawers.


Strength: Strong. Easy to work and finish.

Color: White to yellow brown.

Texture: Straight grain and even texture.

Uses: Joinery and frames.


Strength: Very hard and durable. Difficult to work.

Color: Reddish orange.

Texture: Close grain and fine texture. Finishes well.

Uses: Cabinetwork, joinery, turning and veneer.


Strength: Light, soft and weak. Low shock resistance, decay resistance, and steam bending properties. Glues, screw, nails, and finishes satisfactorily.

Color: Pale reddish brown to grayish brown heartwood and whitish sapwood.

Texture: Straight grained, sometimes interlocked with a fine, uniform texture.

Uses: Millwork, packing cases and boxes, artificial limbs, caskets, polo balls, cricket bats, Venetian blinds, veneer and inexpensive furniture.

Now you can make well-informed choices regarding the wood to be used in your dream home. Happy decorating!

The Author:

The author is an expert in the field of interior design and home improvement techniques. She has vast experience in the manufacture of Amish Furniture.

Photo. Karolina Grabowska

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *