Outdoor furniture constantly takes a beating from the harshest weather elements. The correct wood type for this environment is capable of withstanding anything the weather throws at it. So, is eucalyptus wood good for outdoor furniture?
Eucalyptus wood is inherently high in protective oil that makes it repellent to water and moisture. With this property, eucalyptus wood will not rot or decay, making it well-suited for outdoor furniture.
Is eucalyptus a hardwood or softwood?
Eucalyptus are tropical hardwoods native to Australia with the exemption of a few species originating from countries outside of Australia. Even though they are evergreen, they shed leaves throughout the year.
This leaf structure and shedding behavior is a crucial factor differentiating eucalyptus from softwoods. Also called conifers, softwoods usually have needle-like leaves that remain on the tree throughout the year.
As a hardwood, eucalyptus has strong lumber with tight, straight grains and a less porous structure. The wood is highly dense and popularly used in many outdoor applications and structural support in building constructions.
Various eucalyptus species are known for their robust timber and high-grade pulp, popularly used in papermaking.
Why is eucalyptus wood good for outdoor furniture?
The outdoor living space is characterized by a punishing range of weather elements, fungi, pests, and dirt.
Your outdoor furniture must be capable of withstanding elements such as the sun’s UV rays, rainstorms, and precipitation.
Eucalyptus fits the profile, with many characteristics that are advantageous within the outside environment. Let us break it down.
Eucalyptus wood is robust
The wood is naturally strong and creates robust outdoor furniture. Furniture made from eucalyptus can take on heavy outdoor usage and will remain sound for years despite such activities as frequent lounging, grilling, kids playing, pool parties, and more.
The high density of eucalyptus lumber makes it very strong, with tightly packed wood grain contributing to this property.
Eucalyptus wood is rot- and decay-resistant
The wood structure is high in protective oils that make it repel moisture and water. Thanks to these protective oils, eucalyptus wood is highly resistant to rot and decay.
It can survive in damp outside environments and take on some heavy rains and elevated humidity without flinching. It will naturally resist the damaging effects of these vagaries of nature.
Also, the wood has excellent resilience against damaging pests such as termites. This means you can use it in the garden without worrying about these pesky creatures.
Neither will you worry much about molds. Because eucalyptus resists water and moisture, it will not create the conditions supporting the growth of molds. And if you treat the wood, its resilience will significantly multiply, letting you enjoy great value for your money.
Eucalyptus has exceptional durability.
The wood can last about 25 years or longer with proper care and maintenance. So long as you shelter it from direct sunlight and cover it with protective covers or keep it indoors when the weather gets too chilly, the patio furniture will serve you for decades.
Since the eucalyptus is significantly weather-resistant, living outside will not damage the wood. It will trample on pests and live through harsh climatic conditions year after year.
Over time, your furniture will fade and develop a silvery patina. This is a natural process that eucalyptus wood undergoes as it loses its natural oils to evaporation. This greying has nothing to do with the wood’s structural integrity.
Still, you can keep the furniture looking good as new in its reddish-brown glamor if you treat it and refinish it annually. Consider coating it with a high-quality acrylic sealant at least once every year to prolong its service life.
Despite its excellent durability comparable to teak, eucalyptus is far cheaper. You can get your outdoor furniture at a fraction of the cost of a similar piece in teak. So it is a good investment that does not break your bank.
No grading options to worry about
Popular hardwoods like teak are available in different grades. This means you will pay more for a more superior grade or risk buying a grade that you are not happy with.
With eucalyptus, the product grade is consistent. If you are shopping for eucalyptus outdoor furniture, you only need to decide on the type and design what you want. Once you make a decision, you can be confident that you will get the quality you expect.
This consistency makes it a lot easier to make your decisions when buying eucalyptus sets for your garden or patio.
Eucalyptus is highly sustainable.
While most eucalyptus species are native to Australia, the tree is prevalent in nearly every continent. They grow fast and are renewable, so their supply is never a problem.
To harvest wood from a eucalyptus tree, you simply need to cut it down and not uproot it. New growths soon sprout from the stump, continuing the cycle of growth. So you do not have to keep planting the tree afresh like most hardwoods.
This rapid growth and regrowth ensure the continuous availability of eucalyptus products around the world. You can be sure that you will get your eucalyptus furniture when you need it, unlike teak that can hit you with scarcity in supply just when you need it.
Eucalyptus furniture is low maintenance.
You can always treat the furniture with a suitable sealer such as water-based polyurethane to prolong its life. If you prefer the silvery grey shade of a piece of weathered eucalyptus furniture, you can keep it without much sealing.
In any case, the care required for this wood is minimal. Sealed outdoor furniture made of eucalyptus will only require dusting and light cleaning from time to time to keep it dust-free.
The protective sealer and the wood’s natural resistance to pests, moisture, and water ensure that you do not have to worry about safeguarding it from these elements.
Eucalyptus wood has a consistent grain
Woodgrain can impact the quality of your furniture. One of the things that enhance the beauty of natural wood is its grain.
With eucalyptus, the furniture usually has a medium-soft texture with beautiful straight and even grain. These features tend to be the same regardless of the species. This means you do not always need to paint your wood to enhance its beauty.
Eucalyptus wood is naturally beautiful in its reddish-brown shade, and you can clear-coat it with a protective finish to maintain this color and make the grain pop.
So, is eucalyptus wood good for outdoor furniture? With these qualifications to its name, it is, indeed.
Is eucalyptus outdoor wood furniture durable?
Eucalyptus is one of the most durable hardwoods available for outdoor furniture. Many users love it because of its ability to resist moisture and water, making it rot and decay-resistant.
Because the wood will resist pests and fungi, it can remain serviceable for decades. Its high density also plays a key part in its durability.
The high density makes eucalyptus wood strong enough to withstand the heavy usage that is common outdoors.
Can you treat eucalyptus outdoor wood furniture?
Eucalyptus outdoor furniture requires treatment with a protective coating such as oil-based polyurethane to extend its service life.
Even though the wood is highly durable and can withstand the harshest weather elements, it is not completely weatherproof. Letting it stay outdoors without protecting it can reduce its lifespan.
Also, the beautiful reddish-brown color will often fade into a silvery grey patina as the wood loses its natural oil content due to evaporation. This greying process is natural and unavoidable, so you need to treat the wood with an appropriate sealer to maintain the wood’s original color.
Extreme cold weather can also cause your eucalyptus outdoor furniture to crack if it is untreated. Treatment can help increase the wood’s resilience to harsh climatic conditions such as chilly weather.
So, every once or more times a year, consider giving your garden furniture a light sanding or thorough cleaning, then weatherproof it with a clear coat of wood sealer or oil-based polyurethane.
Does eucalyptus outdoor wood furniture fade?
Yes, eucalyptus wood will eventually fade into a silvery grey patina if you leave it untreated. If you want to maintain its like-new appearance, ensure you oil it and treat it with a suitable wood sealer every couple of months.
How do you protect outdoor eucalyptus furniture?
Applying a clear coat of wood sealer on eucalyptus outdoor furniture should help protect it from fading and the damaging effects of harsh outdoor weather.
You may also consider investing in protective furniture covers for your eucalyptus outdoor furniture. The wood does not hold too well against extreme cold weather and could crack if you do not protect it from such.
Covering the furniture when not in use can greatly reduce its exposure to dirt and other damaging elements. As a result, it will reward you with an extended length of service.
Can Eucalyptus wood get wet?
This wood is pretty dense, with tight pores in its structure. It is also rich in natural oils that make it repel water and moisture, so it will hardly get wet.
Even if you keep your eucalyptus outdoor furniture in a damp environment, you can expect it to resist rot and decay and stay sound.
Is eucalyptus wood expensive
Eucalyptus wood is not as expensive as most hardwoods. It generally costs less than traditional hardwoods like cherry, hickory, and mahogany. Its fast growth and abundance in supply worldwide help keep its price low.
Despite comparing closely to teak wood, eucalyptus products sell at a fraction of an equivalent teak product. You can expect to buy furniture sets made from eucalyptus at prices about 30-40 percent lower than similar furniture sets made from teak.
Cons of eucalyptus wood you need to understand
Despite being a beautiful, dense, and durable tropical hardwood, eucalyptus is not without its share of limitations. This section looks at why you would want a different wood choice other than eucalyptus for outdoor furniture.
Eucalyptus furniture tends to be vulnerable to extreme cold weather
When the mercury dips too low below zero degrees, your eucalyptus starts to lose its resilience. If you live in a place that experiences frosty winters, you will have to bring your outdoor furniture indoors until the warmer months come back around.
Otherwise, the snowy conditions could cause the wood to crack. Once this happens, it can be an uphill task to mend the damage.
Eucalyptus wood is still susceptible to some pests
The wood will resist insects such as termites pretty well, but pests like the Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer will still cause problems for your furniture if they happen to exist where you live.
These borers will lay eggs underneath the wood surface, damaging the furniture in the process. They could also leave a sticky substance on your furniture that can provide a foothold for molds and other fungi.
Eucalyptus tables and chairs will fade if left untreated
You should have no problem if you are a fan of the silvery grey patina of weathered teak and eucalyptus. However, if you prefer your eucalyptus piece looking good as new, you will have to commit to treating it with a protective finish after every few months.
Without this care routine, your wood will soon lose its reddish-brown glamor and fade into a silvery grey tint as the natural aging process takes its course.
Eucalyptus can trigger allergic reactions in some people
One of the distinct characteristics of this wood is its high oil content. It is also a renowned source of medicinal oils that have been in use for eons. Be that as it may, some people may be allergic to the oil in eucalyptus.
For people with such allergies, coming in contact with the tree might trigger an allergic reaction.
So, while the tree produces oil that could improve asthma, bronchitis, and other conditions, some people are allergic to this oil. And unsealed eucalyptus furniture could cause a reaction.
Is eucalyptus wood good for outdoor furniture?
If you are looking for robust, durable outdoor furniture, eucalyptus could be an excellent choice. The tree produces inexpensive furniture that is well-suited to the outdoor living space in every aspect.
We hope that this article helps simplify your search for the best and most affordable outdoor furniture for your patio or garden. Ciao.