What Kind of Wood Should I Use for an Outdoor Table?

“Super-wood” is a term that refers to the type of wood that can survive the outdoor environment. And a patio table requires a super-wood. There are a few qualities that qualify wood into the category of super-wood. The first one is that the wood must be resistant to water and strong sun radiations. It must have compact grains that make it hard to break. 

The third quality is that it must have a nice natural color that ages into a wonderful shade. It must also be resistant to rot. The last quality is that the wood must be insect resistant. Patio table legs must be hardwood so that it can hold the weight of the tabletop. Below are types of wood that can make a durable and elegant patio table. 

  1. Cedar 

Cedar is a rot-resistant and weather-resistant type of wood. It can make the best patio table because it does not crack when it gets wet. It is low maintenance and can stay for many years if you stain it. It produces resins that make it insect resistant. Its grains are in a straight line making cedar easy to handle and lightweight. 

The lightweight quality makes cedar the best wood for patio tables that will be moved around all the time. It still adheres well with paint and stains. This gives you a chance to match the color of the table with other patio furniture. It ages well into a nice silvery-grey hue.

On the other hand, cedar is a softwood that is vulnerable to dents and scratches. And it can also warp if there is excess moisture. Some say cedar has poor screw holding ability because it is too soft. 

  1. Mahogany 

This is the king of patio furniture. It has a reddish-brown color that gets darker as it ages. It grows very fast in tropical climates, hence making it readily available all the time. It has compact grains that make it strong and hard. It is easy to handle but needs a good finish for it to look excellent. Mahogany is resistant to rot and insects. 

The downside of mahogany is that it absorbs moisture and can bend over time. Mahogany that is too mature can be hard to screw or nail due to the compact grains. Mahogany is also expensive. 

  1. Teak 

Is the most popular wood for outdoor furniture because it is rot-resistant and heavy. It has straight grains that make it not warp or crack. It has natural oils that make it water-resistant and insect resistant. It adheres with any polish and looks wonderful when it is finished. And it can make the best patio table because it does not swell or shrink when exposed to harsh weather. 

Teak has a high demand worldwide making it not readily available. The high demand increases its price making it the most expensive type of wood. The high demand also has encouraged illegal logging. Make sure you buy teak wood from a certified source. 

  1. Cypress 

Go for cypress if you want a patio table with a natural hue. Cypress is known for its ability to resist water because of its natural oils. The natural oils also make the wood shine even before applying a stain. Cypress is also insect resistant and rot-resistant. It has soft grains that do not allow you to over-sand it. 

It is easy to work with but requires a lot of maintenance. Apply a coat of oil after every four months for durability. Cypress can make a good tabletop but not the legs because it does not behave well when it is in direct contact with the soil. Also, mature cypress trees are not adequate making the wood expensive. 

  1. Acacia 

Acacia is a very dense type of wood. It also has a lot of oils that make it resistant to rot, insects, and water. Acacia has a natural dark brown color that does not change over time. It grows very fast making it always available and affordable. It can survive in any environment worldwide including the deserts. 

Give it a good sealant and the wood will last for many years. It behaves the same as cypress when it is in contact with the ground. So, use it to make tabletops and avoid it on the table legs. But it is resistant to dents and scratches. Another problem is that it does not adhere well with stains and paint hence it needs frequent repainting and staining. 

  1. Redwood 

As the name suggests, it is a dark-red type of wood. Some call it the “blood-wood”. It is the best for a patio table because it is durable and can stay for years. It can make very strong table legs and a nice red top. It has compact grains that make it strong. It can match with your other patio furniture and the natural outside environment. 

Redwood is expensive because of overlogging. It is also hard to work with when it is dry. It also requires a sealant because it can easily dent and scratch. Redwood does not adhere to most stains and finishes. 

  1. Black locust 

Black locust does not mean that this wood is vulnerable to insects and rot. It is a very resistant wood that is dark brown in color. It has compact grains that make it a strong hardwood. It can stay for many years without stains and ages into a nice silvery grey hue. It is easy to work with and accepts screws and nails. 

The limitation of black locusts is that it makes tools blunt and hard to work with a machine. It does not work well with low-density glue and oily stains. It has uniform grains that make a good patio table. 


All of the above types of wood have a special quality that makes them the best for patio tables. The cost of the wood is also an important quality that you must consider. And make sure you buy legal wood because some businessmen are destroying the environment by over-logging. Remember to keep acacia and cypress off the ground.