Walnut Wood Uses for Furniture – Strengths and Weaknesses

The quality of walnut wood varies from tree to tree. This term is often referred to as density, which greatly affects the quality of the materials that we can use to make furniture. 

Its dense density makes the furniture last for decades and is not easily eaten by termites. One of the woods that meets the high-density criteria is walnut wood.

Many families in various parts of the world use this wood as furniture in their homes—for example, people in North Africa, Asia, and America. 

Europeans rarely use this wood as furniture in their homes because it is scarce in their country, and traders usually sell at high prices. If you are interested in buying wood furniture, you need to know walnut wood, its advantages, and its disadvantages.

The characteristics of walnut wood

Walnut wood has unique characteristics compared to other types of wood. People often ask about the walnut wood uses, maintenance, and how it is worked into furniture.

In the world of wood furniture, walnut wood is an exotic wood that has beautiful finishes and is easy to work with. Not only does it have a beautiful dark and rich color, but it is also favored for being dense and hardwood.

Many woodworkers love to work with walnut wood as it has good adaptability from mid-century furniture to formal office furniture. Furniture lovers will not be able to resist the impressiveness of walnut wood.

Walnut wood has large varieties but only a tiny number native to North America, known as Eastern Black Walnut, American Walnut, or American Black Walnut. This type of walnut wood is the most used for furniture and other woodworking.

Here is some explanation of walnut wood uses and more.

Durability

Walnut wood may not be the toughest type of wood but it is still considered a sturdy and solid type. It stands up well in everyday use such as for accent tables, dining sets, bureaus, wardrobes, headboards, bed frames, and many more.

Walnut wood is not prone to decay which makes the piece lasts for a long time. Though it is considered a strong and sturdy piece of wood, it is not heavy, making it perfect for furniture.

The color

Walnut wood is famous for its rich brown color, which adds drama to any room with walnut furniture.

The color of walnut wood varies from light to dark brown, which comes from the heartwood. Sometimes the heartwood part streaks with a purple or green hue, which makes it even more beautiful.

On the outer side of the sapwood, it has the color of pale yellow and creamy white. When it is combined with the darker color of the walnut tree, it creates a beautifully striking contrast.

If other woods get darken over time, walnut wood gets lighter as it ages. You may notice there is rich honey color comes through the dark brown color of the wood.

However, walnut wood’s color changes may not be as visible as other wood such as cherry wood. But still, it gives a beautiful color to the furniture.

The grain

In general, walnut wood has a straight grain pattern. Though sometimes you can find curls or wavy grain pattern that makes the wood looks more appealing.

Softwood or hardwood

The term hardwood refers to the dicot tree, while softwood comes from the gymnosperm tree.

There is a general misconception about softwood and hardwood in which hardwood means wood that is resistant to damage while softwood is not.

In this case, the walnut tree comes from a dicot tree which means it is the hardwood type.

Is walnut wood good for furniture?

Walnut wood is widely used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, knickknacks, gunstocks, paneling, and more. It is very common to find walnut wood in formal furniture such as in the office or executive room. Walnut wood is valued for its strength, color, and grain.

It becomes a great choice for furniture as it has smooth finishing which has a natural look with dark shades to compliment.

Furniture made of walnut wood can last for a very long time and even a lifetime, while a person can ditch furniture from particle boards more than 10 times during the same time.

Is walnut wood good for outdoor furniture?

Though walnut wood is very sturdy, it is suitable mainly for indoor furniture with a dry and humid climate. Constant outdoor exposure will shorten the lifespan and durability of walnut furniture.

This means furniture made of walnut wood should not be placed on the patio, porch, or deck. Also, direct exposure to sunlight may alter the color of walnut wood from dark brown to lighter color.

Walnut wood does not warp easily despite the heat and humidity changes, plus the wood is resistant to rot.

The natural characteristics of walnut wood make it the favorite among woodworkers. The walnut wood uses are various from furniture, flooring, and other wood stuff.

Walnut Wood Advantages

There are many things that you must understand when you want to buy furniture from walnut wood. 

This understanding is related to the advantages and disadvantages of this wood as furniture. Some of the advantages of this wood are:

1. Eco-Friendly

The first advantage of using wooden furniture is environmentally friendly and eco-friendly. 

All materials and processes that carpenters use to do their finishing are all easily decomposed by bacteria. Using these wooden furniture helps save the environment from pollution.

In fact, currently, the residue from wood sawdust can be used to make other furniture using glue and press technology. So all materials can be used by carpenters to produce furniture.

2. Varying Colors and Textures

Each wood has a different texture, and this is similar to fingerprints for humans. 

The uniqueness of this texture makes each piece of furniture very unique. While the color of this wood also varies greatly from light brown to blackish brown.

To make the color of each wood come out, the carpenter usually will use clear coated or apply oil to the surface. This surface coating technique is still common for carpenters to use today. 

Using this wood as a material for making furniture can make a room look natural and comfortable.

3. Easy Furniture Manufacturing Process

Currently, many machines can help carpenters form this wood into furniture. 

Carpenters no longer need to saw wood manually. Can use a wood cutting machine and laser techniques to make engravings in wood.

The existence of sophisticated machines to process wood into furniture makes carpenters not bother making furniture manually. 

The furniture that carpenters make with this technique is also much more affordable than using manual saws. The process of making furniture can also be accelerated with the help of these machines.

4. High Durability Wood

Walnut wood can last more than decades, and very high-quality wood can last up to hundreds of years. According to the wood-database.com site, this wood can last between 150 – 400 years. 

It looks amazing, isn’t it, and that means those of you who use it as furniture will be able to pass it on to the next generation of your family.

This very high durability can occur because it has a high resistance to denting and scratching. Even Black Walnut alone has a value of 1,010 lbs or 4500 N, and the resistance is above the values of Black Cherry, Alder, and Chestnuts. 

The respective resistance to Denting and Scratching values of Black Cherry, Alder, and Chestnut’s wood is 950 lbs, 590 lbs, and 540 lbs.

5. Resistant to Water and Mold

That is common to destroy wood, not just termites. Several factors can damage wood, such as damp air and mold. Walnut wood has excellent resistance to water and mold.

6. Low Maintenance

Walnut wood is included in the hardwood category, so you don’t need to be difficult to care for it. No need to be sprayed using a termite repellent. 

The only maintenance you need to do is wipe immediately when there is a drink spill on the furniture from this wood.

7. Easy to Repair

No manufactured furniture is perfect so that it can break sometimes. Furniture made of this wood can be easily repaired. You can do it independently when a bolt or nail is loose.

8. More Fire Resistance

Almost all hardwoods have better fire resistance than softwoods. This makes walnuts into the category of wood that is more resistant to fire.

Walnut Wood Disadvantages

You already understand the advantages of this wood and need to know what its weaknesses are. You can see some of the weaknesses of this wood below.

1. More Expensive Price

All quality furniture is definitely expensive, and this is included in the furniture made of this wood. The higher the resistance to denting and scratching of wood, the more it grows for a long time to form a dense wood density. 

Walnut hardwood is included in the category of wood that has a high resistance to denting and scratching. That’s why you won’t be able to buy walnut furniture at a low price.

2. Installation Process Only for Professionals

Walnuts fall into the hardwood category, where the cutting process is more difficult than softwood. The furniture manufacturing process is only suitable for professional carpenters.

3. Not Resistant to Weather Changes

You can’t put walnut furniture in direct sunlight. If the furniture is often exposed to sunlight, it can make the color change whiter. Of course, walnut furniture that has had excessive sun exposure will look less attractive.

4. Very Heavy Wood

Walnut falls into the category of heavy timber trees. Transfers by transportation from the furniture store to the home require a truck. 

Meanwhile, even more, difficult things will be experienced when you have to move the furniture alone. Make sure you move the furniture with the help of other people when the furniture you have to move has large dimensions.

How to Care for Walnut Furniture?

Those of you who intend to buy furniture from walnuts need to know several ways to do maintenance. 

Applying the right care can make the furniture usable for a very long time. You can see several ways to do the treatment here.

1. Avoid Various Sharp Objects

Walnut is indeed a hardwood. But still, as the owner, you need to avoid sharp objects that might scratch the surface. The surface scratched by sharp objects can cause the outermost layer that protects the color to be eroded.

Missing the outer layer of protection can cause furniture to fade in color quickly. It has become the original characteristic of walnuts, where the color will become lighter brown by the time. 

The wood of the walnut tree has a dark brown color, and this color is characteristic of wood originating from North America.

2. Adding a Special Layer

You already know the original characteristics of this wood which will fade over time. It is necessary to add the outer layer of wood regularly. The layer that you can use to make the color come out is the oil finish. 

The application of the oil finish can be made many times, and this coating makes the wood look darker.

The process of changing the color to be lighter does not happen significantly. Furniture made of walnuts can last for hundreds of years with proper care. 

In that time period, you will definitely be able to see the changes getting brighter. Add a layer in the form of a clear coat that can also be applied to prevent color fading in furniture.

3. Avoid the sun

You can’t put walnut furniture in direct sunlight. If the furniture is often exposed to sunlight, it can make the color change whiter. Of course, walnut furniture that has had excessive sun exposure will look less attractive.

4. Clean the dust

Wherever you live, in all environments, there is dust flying in the air. In a long time, the dust can accumulate a lot on the surface of the walnut furniture. 

The body in large numbers can have particles that cause a scratch on the surface.

You need to clean the surface from dust regularly using a soft cloth. Some examples of these fabrics are cotton cloth, cloth diapers, and microfiber. 

The purpose of using a soft cloth to clean the surface is to avoid scratching on the surface.

5. Avoid Drink Spills

Having wooden furniture can make the atmosphere look natural in the house. However, using furniture in the form of a table makes you have to be diligent in cleaning the table to avoid spills that can damage the finishing parts on the surface.

Damage that occurs on the surface of the furniture will make it look less attractive. Some spilled drinks can cause damage due to liquid sticking to the surface of the table. 

If you accidentally spill a drink or anything on the furniture, then you have to clean it up immediately.

I can’t put off the job. If there is a liquid firmly attached to the surface, you can clean it using a soft cloth dipped in mild dish detergent.

6. Add the Wax

The protective layer that can be used on furniture of any color is transparent coating and oil; it can add wax. The addition of wax can inhibit the aging of furniture. 

You can apply wax using a soft cloth. It is necessary to remove various kinds of dirt on the surface before adding the layer.

Please do not use excessive layers, and it is necessary to spread the layers quickly. Should not leave the coating uneven or lumpy for more than 20 minutes. A successful coating can be identified by touching a surface that should feel soft.

7. Clean Stains Immediately

Sometimes you’ve been really trying to avoid the bad things about walnut furniture, but the stains keep growing. All you need to do is clean the stainless immediately. 

The more delay in cleaning the stains, the more difficult it will be to clean. Take a soft cloth dipped in vinegar. 

Next, you only need to wipe the stains using a cloth that has been dyed vinegar. 

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