Is Mahogany Wood Good For Outdoor Furniture?

Mahogany is a beautiful and durable wood, widely used for making stunning interior furniture.

But outside, where rainwater, humidity, rot and insect damage, are a constant worry, will Mahogany wood last long?

Well, in this post, you’ll learn which particular type of Mahogany is the most rot-resistant of the lot. You’ll also discover what you can do to protect Mahogany outdoor furniture from UV-damage and weathering.

is mahogany good for outdoor furniture

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What Is The Best Type Of Timber For Outdoor Furniture?

The best outdoor timber needs to be naturally weatherproof. This means it not only needs to be water-resistant, it also cannot be prone to warping and shifting around.

That is why Teak wood is one of the best choices for any outdoor garden set.

You see, one of the unique characteristics of Teak wood is its natural oil content. This tree is incredibly oily. In fact, it is so full of oil, that it can be hard to apply penetrating finishes and stains to it.

That high oil content also means that Teak wood doesn’t readily absorb water. And bugs struggle to burrow down into it as well. Plus, as it doesn’t absorb water easily, warping isn’t an issue with Teak wood.

That’s why this durable hardwood is widely used for making boats, outdoor furniture, and backyard decking.

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

What About Mahogany? Is Mahogany Durable Too?

Genuine Mahogany heartwood is very durable. Yet, despite popular belief, Mahogany woods density isn’t the secret to its durability.

Instead, what makes this tropical hardwood last, is the fact that it is very stable. Stable woods don’t shift around, warp or crack, with changes in humidity.

But Is Mahogany Wood Is Rot Resistant As Well?

When it comes to rot-resistance, not all Mahogany tree species are equally great at resisting wood rot.

Genuine Mahogany, (also known as American Mahogany), has incredible natural resistance to decay and insects. However, African Mahogany only has a decent, (but not exceptional), resistance to decay and bugs.

In short, if you want the most durable Mahogany wood, make sure you’ve purchased Genuine Mahogany.

Related Post: Can You Use Teak Oil On Mahogany? (Or Is This Oil Finish All Hype?)

And Does Mahogany Wood Darken More Over Time?

If left outside in direct sunlight, it will. That’s because ultraviolet rays will deepen the color of this lumber.

UV rays are so intense that, through the process of oxidization, they can break apart the chemical bonds of organic compounds.

So, if you leave Mahogany furniture without any UV inhibiting protection, it will bear the full brunt of UV damage. And as Mahogany’s organic compounds change, it will begin to darken more overtime.

The color changing effects of UV damage on wood can differ according to wood species. For example, Teak wood will turn a silvery gray color (instead of darkening) under direct sunlight.

Regardless, the only way to prevent UV damage is to coat Mahogany furniture with a UV inhibiting garden furniture oil.

That’s why Ronseal’s Ultimate Protection Hardwood Furniture Oil, has been specially formulated to protect wood from weathering.

It can be used on Mahogany or Teak wood. And you can purchase this furniture oil in a natural clear finish, so it won’t stain your garden furniture.

Once applied onto the bare surface of your garden furniture, it’ll be dry in less than 6 hours.

You can learn more about this product over on the official Ronseal website by clicking here.

Related Post: Is Sapele Wood Any Good For Outdoor Use?

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

  • 1). Genuine Mahogany, (also known as American Mahogany), is rot and bug resistant.
  • 2). Other types of Mahogany wood, such as African Mahogany, are not as durable as Genuine Mahogany.
  • 3). Mahogany will darken further with time, due to UV damage. You can prevent this from happening by applying a UV-inhibiting furniture oil onto your Mahogany garden furniture.


França, Tâmara Suely Filgueira Amorim, et al. “Natural resistance of plantation grown African mahogany (Khaya ivorensis and Khaya senegalensis) from Brazil to wood-rot fungi and subterranean termites.” International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 107 (2016): 88-91.

Wood Myths: Facts And Fictions About Wood | UMass Amherst, Department of Environmental Conservation