How to identify the different wood used in Wooden Antique Furniture

Wooden Antique Furniture
Wooden Antique Furniture (Source Image: maxpixel)

Don’t worry if it takes you a while to decide on the best furniture for your home. There are many options that you can choose from. But the ideal way to keep it stylish is to choose wooden furniture. It is important to know what kind of wood to choose to get furniture that is suitable and easy to maintain, or furniture that will restore and maintain the unique decor and flavor of your home.

Wood can be divided into two categories: Softwood and Hardwood. Contrary to popular belief, softwoods are just as durable as hardwoods, but are more flexible and easier to work with. Both hardwoods and softwoods are suitable for furniture making.


Teak has stood the test of time. It is sturdy, durable and has a beautiful grain. It is resistant to weather, heat, water, rot, microbial activity and pests. With proper care, teak can last up to 70 years.

  • The grain of teak is long and straight, without large knots.
  • The color range is from a beautiful rich golden brown to an elegant yellowish white. However, the color can change when exposed to the elements.
  • Teak contains natural oils and resins that give it a characteristic leathery odor that is very pronounced in high quality teak.
  • Teak is hard and will not crack or split.
  • Besides its smell, its most characteristic feature is its water resistance.
  • High quality teak does not absorb water droplets. The water droplets remain on the surface.


Indian rosewood or sheesham is widely known for its density, strength, natural rich grain and durability. It is stronger and cheaper than teak and is the preferred wood for high-end furniture in India.

  • It has a characteristic rose odor, which is an important distinguishing characteristic of rosewood.
  • It has a golden brown to dark brown color with white to light brown streaks in the sapwood.
  • The grain is straight and rough with a natural luster.
  • Rosewood is brittle and will split at the ends if not allowed to dry naturally. Properly dried, it is tough and strong despite its low moisture content.
  • It has high compressive and flexural strength, and is very stable and durable.
  • Rosewood is also known for its smooth surface and luster when well polished.


It is one of the hardest woods and is known for its strength, durability, resistance to weathering, termites and fungus.

  • It is a light colored wood, but will darken with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • It has a high resin content and is water resistant, but lacks luster.
  • It is 25-30% heavier than teak and much harder.


Mahogany is known as a rich wood and is popular for its characteristic reddish-brown color, hardness, strength and beauty. Its luster and weather resistance make it a highly desirable wood for furniture.

  • The characteristic reddish-brown color of mahogany wood darkens with age.
  • The grain of mahogany is fine and even, varying from straight to wavy. The grain should be irregular, creating a unique and attractive pattern.
  • The wood is very strong and has relatively few voids or pockets.
  • The texture of mahogany is fine to medium grained.
  • It resists expansion, shrinkage and warping, making it durable and ideal for furniture.

Mulberry Wood

Mulberry wood has a soft appearance, but is strong and durable. It has a flawless surface, is easy to carve, and can be used to make beautiful furniture, ornaments, and flooring.

  • Mulberry is a natural, golden-colored wood with pale yellowish-white sapwood that turns a medium to reddish-brown color with age.
  • The grain is straight, even and of medium texture with a natural luster.
  • The bark is fairly thin.
  • It is durable, insect and weather resistant.
  • Although mulberry is one of the hardwoods, it is easy to carve and turn.


Deodar is a very strong wood. Naturally, it is rot resistant and can be polished to an elegant finish. It is relatively easy to work and is the most durable of the softwoods. It is a desirable wood for many industries. Deodar is the wood of choice for making high gloss furniture.

  • The wood is yellowish-brown in color.
  • Unlike teak, it is lightweight but strong and durable.
  • Deodar is coarse-grained and fine-textured with knots at regular intervals.
  • It is rot, water and insect resistant and has good durability.
  • It is not glossy, but can be polished to a beautiful finish.

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