Q:

Is acacia wood good for outdoor furniture?

A:

Acacia wood is good for outdoor furniture. It is a dense, durable hardwood that has a high oil content and is resistant to the elements, rotting and insects. It is more popular for deck and patio furniture than garden furniture because moisture can cause it to discolor if it is left unsealed.

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Unsealed acacia wood turns dark gray and develops temporary cracks on the surface as it weathers. However, it can be treated with oil to improve its durability and enhance and preserve its golden brown color, thin grain and flame design. Some oils contain UV inhibitors, fungicides and other chemical compounds that make the wood more durable.

Acacia wood furniture ages beautifully but requires seasonal cleaning and maintenance. To prevent rotting, homeowners should clean acacia furniture with a sponge or soft brush and mild household cleaner, rinse it with fresh water and then leave it to dry out. For maintenance, acacia wood should be treated with the oil that the furniture manufacturer recommends. Oil preserves moisture in dry climates and protects the wood from excess moisture and discoloration in moist climates. Acacia wood is more readily available, ecofriendly and cheaper than teak, the most durable hardwood. It is grown in hardwood plantations around the world, but it is native to Africa, Hawaii and Australia.

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