A Guide For Identifying The Types Of Wood Used In Furniture

There are different types of wood used in the manufacturing process of furniture and identifying these types would be a tricky and difficult task. If you are unaware of the types of wood then it would be impossible for you to identify what your furniture is made up of which type of wood. 

To make this difficult task simple for you we brought an identification guide for you. After reading today’s article you will be able to identify each type of wood by simply analyzing its colour, texture, and pattern of grain.

Guide For Identifying The Type Of Wood Used In Furniture

There are three main types that are further categorized into many types that are used in the manufacturing of design furniture. Today we will discuss all these types one by one:

1. Recognizing The Types Of Softwood

You can easily recognize the wood type whether it is softwood or not. For recognizing it you must look at the furniture. If you see that there are many dents and scratches on the surface of the furniture then it means this furniture is made up of softwood. 

You can also check it by scratching at any part of the furniture with the nails of your finger. If this will create marks on the furniture then it means it is made up of softwood. The softwood occurred mostly from cedar, redwood, and pine. 

credit: woodworkingtrade.com

Identify Pine Wood

You can easily identify pinewood by analyzing its colour, grain pattern, and texture. If the wood has a straight grain, darker growth ring,  and is yellowish in shade then it means this is pinewood. 

This wood is mostly used for the manufacturing of indoor casual furniture like dressers, chairs, tables, etc.

Identify Cedar Wood

For recognizing the cedar wood you have to look at its colour because this wood has reddish colour with straight grain. Then smell the wood if it gives an aromatic scent then it would be definitely cedarwood. 

It is most widely used in the manufacturing process of outdoor furniture because of its water-resistant qualities. It can also be used for making indoor furniture like wardrobes. 

Identify Redwood

Redwood is identified by its dark red colour and has a wavy grain texture. You may get confused between cedar and redwood so you must keep in mind that it has darker red colour as compared to cedarwood. Also, the redwood didn’t have the aromatic smell like the cedarwood. 

Redwood is mostly used in the manufacturing process of outdoor furniture because it also has water and rot-resistant features. 

2. Recognizing The Types Of Hardwood

Hardwood has a more rough and porous pattern as compared to softwood. You can easily identify the hardwood by simply looking at the grain and touching it with your fingers whether it is hard or not. The hardwood occurs mostly from the oak, walnut, mahogany, ash and maple trees. 

credit: homedepot.com

Identify Oak Wood

You can recognize the oak wood by looking at its surface and analysing whether it is porous or not. Also, look at the wood and verify that it has few knots with darker growth rings.

Oak white and oak red are widely used in making all kinds of furniture and both have a brown colour. For making a difference, the red oak will have a shade of red colour in it by which you can easily identify it. 

Identify Walnut Wood

Black walnut is commonly used in the manufacturing of furniture. You can identify it by the green or purple colours that are mixed into the rich brown colour. It has darker growth rings with a straight grain texture. Walnut wood is used for manufacturing luxurious and expensive furniture.

Identify Maple Wood

Take a look at the furniture and if it has a light yellow or creamy colour with the scattered grain patterns then it would be maple wood. When it is fresh it has a creamy colour and with the passage of time, it has been changed into a yellowish colour. 

Maple wood is widely used for making indoor furniture like dining tables and chairs. It gives a beautiful texture to the furniture because of its unique grain patterns.

Identify Mahogany Wood

You can recognize the mahogany wood with its fine long grain texture having few knots on its surface. It occurs in pinkish colour and will get darker with the passage of time. 

For identifying it perfectly you must identify the age of the furniture and analyze it according to the shade it would have at that age. Mahogany is used in the manufacturing of various types of furniture and is considered the cheaper alternative to walnut wood. 

Identify Ash Wood

The ash wood comes in a light beige or brown colour with having the wide spaces between the growth rings. You can get confused between oak and ash because they give the same texture. 

You have to analyze that the ash wood has less and lighter brownish colour as compared to the oak wood that has a reddish shade.

3. Recognizing The Types Of Engineered Wood

You can identify the engineered wood by simply looking at its end grain pattern. Sart analyzing from the top of the wood and take your eyes to the sides. 

Verify that the grain is placed throughout the wood and if you analyze that even a small spot is missing the grain then it would be a fake engineered wood. The original engineered wood always has the same grain texture throughout the piece of wood.

Read more:

9 Things To Consider Before Choosing Furniture For Your Bedroom

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These are the methods that you can apply for identifying what your furniture is made up of and which type of wood. I hope this simple and easy guide will help you a lot in learning and identifying the types of various woods. If you still didn’t identify your furniture then post a comment and we will help you by telling you what to do and how to do it. 


  • Kyle Gordon

    Hi there! My name is Kyle Gordon, a part-time week-end warrior renovating homes, house flipper, and full-time IT engineer. This blog is a collection of my extensive experiences as a remodeler, renovator, and home improvement enthusiast. More so, I'm here to share with you lots of great ideas and experiences you can use to make your home into your dream home: we'll cover demolition, design, implementation, and development of many past and furture projects.