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Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture Pros and Cons

Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture Pros & Cons

Acacia wood is a fantastic outdoor furniture material. It’s durable, resistant to the elements, easy to maintain, and looks great. And since it’s readily available all over the world it doesn’t cost a fortune like some other exotic furniture woods do.Tens of thousands of acacia wood furniture sets are sold each and every year for good reason, it holds up. It’s an extremely durable wood that doesn’t take a ton of maintenance to keep looking great. In fact, most people don’t do a thing to it. It doesn’t even need stain, paint or a sealer. Leave it bare or use a simple oil to help preserve it. Acacia wood’s natural coloring and grain is so beautiful you don’s have to alter it with finishing products or paint.

I can tell you from experience that acacia is one of the best species of wood for furniture making. Especially outdoor furniture. And it’s fairly easy to work with if your making the furniture yourself. It cuts easily and isn’t that hard to carve if you’ve got a sharp chisel. But for all it’s benefits, it does have a few drawbacks.

Ahead we’ll look at acacia wood furniture in more details along with both it’s pros and cons.

Benefits Of Outdoor Acacia Wood Furniture

First, let’s look at all the positive traits acacia wood has that makes it a fantastic material to building outdoor furniture with.

  • Acacia is an extremely dense and durable wood that’s hard to damage.
  • It’s also weather resistant and doesn’t absorb much moisture which makes it a great wood for outdoor furniture. Especially in wet or humid climates.
  • It has a really nice natural coloring and grain that doesn’t need stain or paint to dress up.
  • Acacia wood is also rich in natural oils that help prevent rot.
  • As it ages, acacia turns a beautiful dark gray, weathered look similar to Ipe.
  • Acacia wood is heavy which makes sturdy furniture that doesn’t need additional reinforcement.
  • It’s very resistant to termites.
  • Because of how fast and easy it grows, the price is more affordable compared than other exotic hardwoods because it renewable and grows all over the world.

Overall acacia wood is a great material to build furniture out of. It naturally has everything you need for use in the outdoors. Resistance to the elements, strength, durability, good looks, and its affordable.

If you like to make your own furniture like I do then I definitely recommend trying it out. Acacia is a hard wood but not so hard that you need special tools. It’s easy enough to cut and drill through with simple hand tools if you maintain them and they’re sharp. Although I do like to use my power tools to speed things up.

1. Price

Compared to other exotic hardwoods like teak or ipe that are used for outdoor furniture, acacia is very affordable. You get the same high end, real wood, outdoor furniture look for a lot less which gives me more budget for other stuff like the expensive cushions and outdoor bar I want.

2. Durability

Acacia wood is extremely durable and hard to damage. It can even survive harsh weather like hurricanes. It’s because of how dense the wood is. Regular things like wear and tear, scratches and your standard weather are probably not going to be a problem like with cheaper wood furniture. So how long can you expect acacia wood furniture to last outdoors? Most furniture sets can last for at least a few decades without much maintenance. But if you do maintain them, keep them oiled and take them inside in really bad weather, you could see a lot more use out of them. I’ve seen acacia wood furniture that’s 100 years old still in use so long term durability really isn’t an issue.

Acacia has a Janka hardness rating of 2,300 which makes it 55% harder than hickory.

3. Sustainable

Acacia is a sustainable wood that grows all over the world. And it’s easy to grow and grows fast when compared to other hard woods. Acacia trees can grow in almost any condition and each part of the tree is typically used for something which makes it a great product if your into protecting the environment.

4. Style

Acacia wood furniture is very in style. The naturally good looks and coloring make it very appealing. And it has a high end look similar to teak or ipe which everyone seams to want. Only it’s way more affordable. And because of how heavy acacia is it feels like a much more expensive product then it actually is.

Because its grain pattern changes depending on where the trees are grown, there’s lots to choose from in terms of individuality. I definitely recommend picking out your own slab if your making the furniture yourself. Especially for table tops. Acacia potentially has some really beautiful grain patterns.

5. Easy To Work With

If your like me and like to make furniture, you’ll appreciate how easy acacia wood is to work with compared with other hard woods. Now, it’s not as easy as a soft wood like pine, but compared to other hard woods it’s easy.

The Babul variety of Acacia wood is very pliable when it is freshly cut. You can shape and bend it if you know how. Just make sure you buy it when it’s fresh. Once the wood starts to dry out it gets more difficult to bend.This is pretty much the same as with any wood species if your used to working with something different.

Once the wood starts drying, its surface becomes harder and more durable. This durability is one of the main reasons why acacia is so great for outdoor furniture sets like benches, tables, chairs, and more. But as it hardens it gets harder to shape.

However even when dry acacia isn’t hard to cut and drill. It’s much easier than Ipe which can be so hard I’ve seen it spark a saw blade. It just gets harder to bend.

Acacia Wood Patio Furniture Cons

Now lets take a look at a few drawbacks to using acacia wood patio furniture.

Acacia wood is heavy. Although overall I also see this as a huge plus, if your moving the furniture around a lot it can be a pain. I never move my acacia wood table so I like that it’s very heavy duty. But moving it is like a 4 person job which can be a problem if you don’t have the help.

It does need some maintenance if you want to maintain it’s coloring. Otherwise the wood will turn a shade of grey. I actually like the grey coloring so it’s no problem for me, and I don’t like maintenance so acacia is great. But if you want a rich color then you’ll have to at least keep it oiled.

In some extreme weather conditions acacia can eventually fade and crack. If you live in Arizona for example, where it’s extremely sunny and dry, I’d keep the wood oiled. That beating sun and heat can dry out and crack the wood over time. It’s a good idea to add in a little moisture.

Extreme heat can also cause some warping. This isn’t an exclusive thing to just acacia, any type of wood can warp under very extreme weather conditions, so adjust and care for the wood as needed based on where you live. Compared to other types of outdoor wood furniture though I consider acacia one of the best regardless of the conditions but it’s not indestructible.

Because acacia trees are considered exotic and not native to America or Europe, they can be expensive when compared to domestic woods. Now, when compared to other exotic hardwoods, acacia is very affordable, but not when compared to pine.

Acacia is also prone to having knots. If this is an issue for you then choose your slab carefully.

Outdoor Acacia Wood Furniture Care & Maintenance

One of the reasons why acacia wood is such a great outdoor furniture material is due to it’s natural resistance to the elements. You can use it outside with no maintenance and it’ll do just fine. It will eventually turn grey but overall it’ll hold up really well. But, if you want it to last as long as possible and keep it’s beautiful natural coloring, some maintenance should be done.

1. Cleaning

If you want to keep your acacia wood patio furniture looking it’s best then keep it clean. As with any wood product, acacia has some pores that can absorb dirt and grime. However, the good news is that acacia is a hard wood with a very dense structure, so absorption isn’t a huge problem. But it’s still good to keep it clean just in case.

Wipe down your patio furniture to get rid of dust and pollen. Pay special attention to cleaning the base of the legs and anywhere that sees wear and tear from use. Places like the arm rests and table top.

Try to avoid spilling liquids like alcohol or perfume on the wood. They can pull moisture out of the wood which can make it crack. If this happens clean the spill as soon as you can and oil the effected areas.

2. Avoid High Heat

High heat sources can dry out wood furniture. Places like a barbecue, fire pit or heater. You can still use acacia near these things, just make sure not to get too close. Acacia wood, as well as other types of wood furniture, can dry out, crack and warp.

Consider oiling the furniture every so often if you keep it near high heat. Oils keep the wood moist which helps prevent cracks and warping.

3. Oil

If you want to preserve the acacia wood’s natural coloring, which is quite beautiful, then oil it. Without oil the wood will eventually turn a shade of gray. Which some people actually prefer. But if you want to keep the gray out then use oil. I like to oil my wood every few months but you can vary that based on where you live and how dry and hot the climate is.

Remember, direct sunlight dries out wood faster so oil more often.

I recommend using a natural linseed or tung oil. I’d stay away from any industrially processed oils because they generally have additional ingredients I don’t want to use on my wood.

Applying oil to acacia wood furniture is very easy to do. However it can take a while depending on how big or intricate the wood work is. I use a simple soft rag and rub it in and then wipe it down. Kind of like waxing and then biffing a car. Be gentle, but acacia is a dense wood so you shouldn’t scratch it with just a cloth.

So, Is Acacia Wood Good For Outdoor Furniture?

Yes, acacia wood is a great wood to build patio furniture out of. It has the look of exotic hardwood furniture without the crazy price tag. It’s durable, long lasting, holds up to the elements, looks great and is easy to maintain. And, if your building your own furniture, it’s not that hard to work with.

However, there are a few minor drawbacks mainly due to it’s weight and price. Compared to cheap aluminum patio furniture or pine, acacia is more expensive. And it’s very heavy so moving it around a lot will be an issue. But, if you want a patio furniture set that will last for ages and won’t be moved very often, acacia wood is a great choice.

Acacia Wood Sustainability

Acacia trees are one of the fastest growing in the world. And they grow in a wide variety of climates. Because of these two factors, acacia wood is a very sustainable product. If that’s an important issue for you then you’ve found the right product.

  • Willow acacia trees (Acacia Salicina), can grow up to 3 feet per year and can be ready to harvest in as little as 5-6 years.
  • Gum arabic, a widely used food additive, is produced by many types of acacia trees. Harvesting gum arabic destroys the tree, but most farmers use the leftover wood to construct furniture which is a very sustainable process.

If sustainability is something your considerate of, then acacia wood is something you should consider.

The Many Names Of Acacia Wood

Acacia trees are grown all over the world which is why they have so many different names. However, the quality of the wood and therefore the furniture made with it is always extremely high.

Thorn tree, wattle, or mimosa are all names for the same acacia tree. There are over 1,300 species around the world, but it’s most commonly the Babul variety that ends up as outdoor patio furniture.

Babul Acacia wood is considered an invasive species in Australia because it’s not a native tree. It historically grows in the Middle East, India, and Africa. It’s natural density, sustainability, good looks and hardiness makes it a great wood for making outdoor furniture no matter what name its given.

Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture Gallery

Here’s a small list of some of my favorite outdoor acacia wood patio sets. I love how the wood looks when both grey and it’s natural color.

acacia wood patio furniture table and chairs under a pergola

Acacia wood patio furniture table and chairs under a pergola

Custom acacia wood table with epoxy center and outdoor sofas.

Custom acacia wood table with epoxy center and outdoor sofas.

Light acacia wood patio set. Tables and chairs with bench.

Light acacia wood patio set. Tables and chairs with bench.

Darker acacia wood table and stools. Indoor/outdoor Modern living.

Darker acacia wood table and stools. Indoor/outdoor Modern living.

Aacacia wood table and stools. Indoor/outdoor Modern living.

Aacacia wood table and stools. Indoor/outdoor Modern living.

Poolside lounge chairs made from acacia wood.

Poolside lounge chairs made from acacia wood.

Modern patio set made from acacia wood slabs.

Modern patio set made from acacia wood slabs.

Acacia wood outdoor chairs with white cushions.

Acacia wood outdoor chairs with white cushions.

Modern acacia wood outdoor furniture set.

Modern acacia wood outdoor furniture set.

Poolside acacia wood outdoor furniture with plush cushions & pillows.

Poolside acacia wood outdoor furniture with plush cushions & pillows.

Acacia wood slab marked at the supplier.

Acacia wood slab marked at the supplier.

Summary: Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture Pros & Cons

Acacia wood is a fantastic outdoor furniture material. It’s durable, resistant to the elements, easy to maintain, and looks great. And since it’s readily available all over the world it doesn’t cost a fortune like some other exotic furniture woods do.Tens of thousands of acacia wood furniture sets are sold each and every year for good reason, it holds up. It’s an extremely durable wood that doesn’t take a ton of maintenance to keep looking great. In fact, most people don’t do a thing to it. It doesn’t even need stain, paint or a sealer. Leave it bare or use a simple oil to help preserve it. Acacia wood’s natural coloring and grain is so beautiful you don’s have to alter it with finishing products or paint.

I can tell you from experience that acacia is one of the best species of wood for furniture making. Especially outdoor furniture. And it’s fairly easy to work with if your making the furniture yourself. It cuts easily and isn’t that hard to carve if you’ve got a sharp chisel. But for all it’s benefits, it does have a few drawbacks.

If you have any questions or comments about acacia wood furniture E-mail any time.

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