I’ll go ahead and tell you: acacia wood is one of the best materials to construct patio furniture out of! Hundreds of thousands of people per year purchase outdoor furniture made of acacia wood, and for good reason. However, this isn’t to say that it’s a perfect choice. If you have an acacia chair, pull it up and let Captain Patio tell you about the virtues (and pitfalls) of owning acacia wood patio furniture.
Acacia Wood Pros
First, let’s explore all of the positive traits that acacia wood has as a construction material. Not only is it durable, but it’s naturally weather-resistant. It’s a very dense wood and has a pleasing, mellow glow. Acacia wood is also rich in natural oils that help it stay rot-resistant. As it ages, it attains a beautiful dark gray, weather look. Because of it’s fast grow speed, the prices stay reasonable compared to other exotic hardwoods. Not to mention, acacia wood is heavy, making it an ideal choice for furniture in thunderstorm prone areas. Additionally, acacia wood is very termite resistant.
At this point you may already have your wallet out, ready to fire up Google and search for the best furniture made from acacia wood. But hold on, there are also some reasons that acacia wood might not be the construction material you want for your patio furniture.
Acacia Wood Cons
Let’s start where we left off above. As I said, acacia wood is heavy, which may make it less than ideal for furniture that needs to be moved often. It’s high-maintenance compared to aluminum and many other metal construction materials, requiring a fairly intensive care regimen. If you place the wood in direct sunlight, it can cause fading and even cracking. Extreme heat can also cause warping, making it a poor choice for around fire pits or fireplaces. Finally, because acacia trees are considered exotic wood (and not native to America or Europe), it can be expensive compared to domestic hardwoods.
So, Is Acacia Wood Good For Outdoor Furniture?
As I originally said, it’s definitely a great wood to construct patio furniture out of. However, you should be mindful of the things you’re looking for in a patio furniture set and act accordingly. For example, if you plan on moving the patio furniture out of the way to give your children more room to play, you should choose a lighter material. But, if you have a covered patio and want a patio furniture set that will last for ages, acacia wood is a perfect material to choose.
Care and Maintenance
Like many types of furniture built from wood, there’s an added level of care and maintenance involved. The wood will require weatherproofing and acacia is too beautiful to paint over. This means you’ll need to apply some kind of oil to the surface of your patio furniture every couple of years.
I recommend boiled linseed/tung oil, as they are the the only two naturally drying oils that I’m aware of. In fact, most other industrially processed oils use one of these two as their base ingredient. I’d skip the rest of the crud they put in it.
Applying oil to acacia wood furniture is very easy to do, but can be time consuming. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t have the time for these maintenance tasks, you might think about another material.
Acacia Wood Sustainability
The sustainability of the wood used to construct your furniture should also be a consideration you make. Luckily, acacia trees are one of the fastest growing trees in the world. In fact, Willow acacia trees (Acacia salicina) grow up to 3 feet per year and can be ready to harvest in as little as 5-6 years. Gum arabic, a very important food additive, is also produced by many types of acacia trees. Harvesting the gum arabic destroys the tree, but many folks use the left over wood to construct furniture of all types. I can’t think of a more sustainable build process.
If sustainability is a concern for you, acacia wood might be for you!
Where Does Acacia Wood Come From?
According to Britannica,
Do You Have Any?
If you have experience with furniture constructed of acacia wood, please share in the comments below. I’d love to see your patio setup as well as hear about your experiences. Perhaps you’ll be able to help someone else out with their purchase too.
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