4/1/09

White Pine's Value and Benefits in Indoor and Outdoor Furniture

Introduction

No matter where you want to add a rustic country look, pine furniture is the answer. It is as popular as it has ever been, and is less expensive than other wood furniture. Pine furniture is preferred by furniture makers because it is easier to work with and more pliant than most other woods. Solid pine furniture is durable and beautiful, and an excellent value. It will easily add warm, casual and even elegant appeal wherever it is used.

Pine Wood

Solid woods are classified as either hardwoods or softwoods, but the description is based on the tree's foliage rather than the strength of the wood. Solid pine furniture is durable and beautiful, and an excellent value. It is light in weight, has straight grains and offers resistance to swelling or shrinking. Pines have been used for centuries to build furniture for both indoor and outdoor use in the United States and England. Solid hardwood furniture like pine can also be repaired if damaged because there is no veneer or artificial surface that can be scraped or rubbed through.

Finishing Pine

Pine grows quickly and is an inexpensive wood in the production of indoor or outdoor furniture. Thus, pine furniture can offer excellent value for your money. It is also among the most commonly finished or painted types of furniture, which means you'll have many finish options to choose from if you purchase your furniture unfinished. As a matter of fact, most manufacturers suggest that all pieces of both indoor and outdoor pine furniture be finished once it is received. Paint (either latex or oil based) is a standard choice of many regardless of the furniture's final use. Alternate choices for interior use include hand waxed or lacquer finishes, which are great looks for rustic, country rooms. For furniture that is to be used outdoors however, it is strongly recommended that penetrating, oil-based water repellents that have UV protection and mildicides be used to finish the wood's surfaces. This finish is important to protect the furniture from the elements and should be repeated periodically to maintain the natural qualities and beauty of the wood.

As with any non-paint finish, results may vary somewhat as the absorptive characteristics of the pine wood may vary considerably from piece to piece. It is therefore recommended that you apply a wood conditioner to the pine just before staining. Many prefer these variations, however, and choosing amongst a wide variety of finishing products that show the wood's graining: lacquer, oil, paste, stain or color wash (also known as pickling) can emphasize very different shades of wood texture and thereby add immense interest to your home's decor.

Pine Furniture

The quality of pine furniture can vary widely. Although pine is more pliable than most hardwoods, pieces can last for decades if it is constructed well. Therefore it is important to do your homework before making your furniture purchase. Knots should be expected and can be attractive in a piece of furniture, but watch out for knots that create a hole in the furniture. Too many knots can weaken the piece. Manufacturers and sellers of quality pine furniture know this and take care to avoid using and selling such pieces. Although pine is a very sturdy wood, it can easily be dented and scratched (as can cedar and other outdoor-use woods.) Like all woods, pine will warp when exposed to constant humidity or moisture if not finished. When finished, however, it is very stable. Well-crafted pine furniture will be smooth to the touch, solid and sturdy.
By: Jason Gerth

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