Is Black Walnut Good For Outdoor Furniture?

If you want long-lasting outdoor furniture, then it needs to be made from durable material. It really is that straightforward.

All of the wood preservatives in the world can’t overcome the fact that some timbers aren’t suitable for the outdoors.

And what makes for suitable outdoor timber? Well, exterior wood mustn’t be prone to warping. It needs to be naturally water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and even bug-resistant.

Now, there are several types of wood that are great at handling over-exposure to the great outdoors. But, does Black Walnut wood in particular also fit the bill of a quality exterior timber?

Well, in this post, you’ll learn which wood type makes the best outdoor furniture. And you’ll also discover why Black Walnut makes a poor choice for any exterior furniture.

is black walnut good for outdoor furniture

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What’s The Best Type Of Wood For Outdoor Furniture?

Teak wood is one of your best options for any outdoor furniture set.

It is a naturally water-resistant tropical hardwood. And this is all down to the fact that Teak is filled with natural tree oils. So much so, that it can be difficult to apply penetrating oil-based finishes and stains onto it.

Now, its high oil content means that the fibers of Teak wood don’t readily soak up water. Which is why it is so resistant to warping. And termites will struggle to munch their way down into it too.

This is why Teak wood is widely used for garden furniture, garden decks and even boat decking.

Related Post: Can You Apply Lemon Oil On A Teak Wood Surface?

Can You Use Black Walnut For Outdoor Furniture?

Well, garden furniture obviously needs to be more than just resistant to rot. It also needs to be resistant to warping and bugs as well.

And Black Walnut wood is warp-prone. It’ll need a wholly waterproof seal to prevent it from cupping due to changes in humidity. In fact, only really old first growth Black Walnut is dense enough to resist warping.

What’s more, beyond water-resistance, outdoor timber needs to be bug resistant too. And Black Walnut wood is fairly vulnerable to insects.

In fact, the sapwood of Black Walnut is helpless against dry wood termites. And once bugs get into wood, nothing short of a harsh chemical treatment is going to get rid of them.

Related Post: What Is The Best Finish For A Walnut Table? (Solved!)

Wait…What Is A First Growth Tree Exactly?

First growth trees are very old slow-growing trees. As a result, they’ve had a long time to develop very dense wood grain.

The highly dense grain of first growth trees are stronger and more rot-resistant.

Do Walnuts Come From Black Walnut Wood? The edible walnuts we consume as food come from the English Walnut tree (the Juglans Regia). They do not come from Black Walnut trees (the Juglans Nigra). Black Walnut is instead harvested primarily for its lumber.

Will Black Walnut Wood Fade In The Sun?

It will fade quite a bit if you leave it in direct sunlight. UV-damage will lighten the color of Black Walnut wood. This is due to UV-damage bleaching out the color of this lumber.

However, this is not a unique problem to Black Walnut. Without a UV-inhibiting coat, Teak wood will also succumb to weathering, turning a silver gray color over time.

What Is Black Walnut Best Used For? Due to its toughness, Black Walnut is great for making durable interior furniture and flooring.

To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Black walnut is a rot-resistant hardwood.
  • 2). However, it is still prone to warping and termites, making Black Walnut unsuitable for outdoor furniture.
  • 3). A better choice for outdoor furniture is Teak wood. It is both rot and bug resistant, making it ideal for exterior garden sets and even decking.


Williams RD. Juglans nigra L., black walnut. Silvics of North America. 1990;2:391-9.