Is White Oak Good For Outdoor Furniture? (Find Out Now!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Curb appeal is crucial. But functionality is fundamental. So, how do you create a practical yet stylish outdoor space? Many people prefer white oak patio accessories. So, is white oak good for outdoor furniture or not?

White oak is ideal for outdoor projects because of its cellular structure. That means it resists rotting and decay while also being impenetrable to liquids. Plus, you can stain white oak furniture quickly to give it an exceptional veneer.

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Is White Oak a Good Wood for Outdoor Furniture?

As one of the most beautiful hardwoods on the planet, people use white oak to build many things. From kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities to decks and patio furniture, you can find this wood everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean it’s ideal for every application.

Although strong and durable, you may still have to finish white oak to make it impervious to severe weather conditions. Meanwhile, many builders use it to make boats because it’s naturally rot-resistant. So, consider your project and its exposure to rain, sleet, or snow. Then, decide if white oak is the best option.

TIP: Weigh the pros and cons of several types of wood to determine which one works for your layout.

How Long Does White Oak Last Outside?

With routine maintenance, you make your white oak patio furniture last a lifetime. After all, hardwoods can endure harsh environmental conditions inside or out. So, most finished hardwoods last between 100 and 150 years on average. And because it’s so durable, white oak is also one of the most expensive woods available.

You can create an attractive outdoor space using white oak pieces, and there shouldn’t be a problem. However, finding white oak patio furniture might be difficult on a tight budget. And some retailers sell oak pieces at a premium. But there are less expensive patio materials to consider in the meantime.

Is White Oak Rot Resistant?

Hardwoods come in a variety of species, which means you need to know how to tell the difference. And depending in the species of white oak you choose, it may or may not be rated as rot-resistant. Most of it is, though.

In general, white oak naturally resists rotting and decay. However, that doesn’t mean you can set white oak pieces in standing water. Builders often prefer it over other materials because of that property. But oak woods aren’t indestructible. So, maintenance is elemental.

NOTE: If you spot mold or mildew on rough cut wood, remove it fast. Then, try to cover it with some stain or varnish.

How Do Your Waterproof White Oak?

Waterproofing hardwoods is easy. And white oak is no exception. This is especially true since white oak is already naturally water-resistant. But you can prolong the life of your outdoor furniture even more with these three steps:

  • Use Wood Oils. Linseed oil and Tung oil are great for wood. They also create a beautiful finish while protecting the surface from moisture. Apply wood oils first to prepare your piece for the next steps.
  • Seal the Surface – Stop water absorption in its tracks. Use a varnish, laquer, or polyurethane product to coat the surface of your wood. Then, move on to step number three.
  • Finish with Sealant – Complete the waterproofing process with a sealant-stain combo. That way, you can finish the surface and waterproof it at the same time.
Meanwhile, remember to let each coat dry in between steps. Expect to wait at least an hour or two depending on the stain and wood. But always look at the label for specific instructions. And then try to find ways to dry wood stain faster.

TIP: You can buy factory-finished white oak outdoor furniture from many major retailers.

Which Type of Wood Is Suitable for Outdoor Furniture?

Whether you’re making outdoor furniture or buying it, white oak is always a great choice. That’s because it stands up against most weather conditions and is easy to manipulate. Plus, bugs don’t like to eat it. So, you won’t have to worry about termites.

For many builders, red oak and white oak are two of the best exterior hardwoods money can buy. Other people like working with pine wood better. But redwood and cedar are both excellent woods for outdoor use as well. And that means you have many choices.

NOTE: The durability of a hardwood may affect its pricing, so beware.

Is White Oak Suitable for Exterior Doors?

Many home builers use white oak or red oak to create exterior doors and windows. Designers can easily etch the surface for decoration, and the doors are generally durable in all weather conditions. Plus, white oak has a distinctive grain. So, many homeowners prefer its aesthetic.

Oaks and other hardwoods are practical for indoor or outdoor use. So, you can create a cozy spot outside or whip up a wonderful enclosed patio. Either way, your white oak pieces should be around for quite a while. And if you take care of them correctly, you’ll have them for many years.

What’s the Difference Between White Oak and Red Oak?

There is a significant difference between red and white oak. But the most obvious difference is the color. White oak is naturally darker than red oak. And it has a beige or brown tint. Meanwhile, red oak is naturally lighter than white oak. Plus, it has pink or red undertones instead of brown ones.

You can stain and varnish both types of wood with little trouble. However, you might still have to sand the surface. That’s especially true for processed wood pieces or handmade furniture. And if your pieces sit outside, make sure they’re both kept away from standing water.

Related Questions

What Color Is White Oak Furniture?

White oak is usually light brown or beige. However, different species of the wood have different coloring. For example, red oak is light brown as well. But it also have tints of pink or red in the grain. So, compare various oak hardwoods to find the one you like best.

What Color Does White Oak Turn?

White oak may be durable, but it’s not indestructible. So, you may spot mold or mildew if you leave wooden furniture in standing water for too long. Meanwhile, you can tell if there’s a problem just by looking at the surface. If the wood is damaged, it will change color.Keep in mind that white oak can change color over time without provocation. That means you might notice it going from beige to dark green, black, or purple in some spots. On the other hand, red oak stays the same color. It only gets a little darker with time.

Is White Oak Expensive?

Hardwood patio furniture is expensive compared to indoor hardwood furniture. But there’s a good reason for that. It’s because hardwoods are more dense than other woods. So, materials like red oak and white oak last for much longer.Hardwoods also grow slower than softwoods. And that means companies can charge more for processing and delivery. On the bright side, oak is one of the least expensive of the hardwoods. So, while it may cost more than other materials, you could still save money.

Does White Oak Need to Be Treated?

You do not have to treat white oak if you don’t want to. White oak is naturally water-resistant and not prone to rapid decay. Plus, most hardwoods aggressively renew themselves with time. So, you can leave white oak untreated and avoid all of those nasty chemicals.

Do You Need to Hire Custom Furniture Makers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Make Outside Beautiful

Transform your favorite outdoor spot into a relaxing getaway with white oak furniture. Just be sure to choose the right species.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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