Choosing the Right Timber for Your DIY Project

The right timber for your DIY project could be the difference between a successful project that you’re proud to show visitors or a piece that has you questioning why you bothered. A DIY project is exciting and rewarding, and a cost-effective way to get the end result you want. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, have enthusiasm for woodworking, then all you have to do is choose the right timber. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Some of the most common DIY projects at Whitmore’s Timber are deckings, wooden planters, shelves, tables and even benches. These are popular DIY projects as normally they can be quite expensive to buy or get installed. With the correct timber, making these things shouldn’t be too difficult. However, you need to know what is the right kind of timber for a particular project. Find our handy tips on choosing the right wood for DIY projects below.

Exterior Timber

The timber used for outdoor projects needs to be able to withstand weather conditions and any insect attacks, such as termites.

Pine for Outdoor Use

Pine is a good choice for exterior use as it is strong, dense and resistant to wear. It can also bear weight, which is great for outdoor projects such as benches. Pine comes in a number of grades depending upon how you’re going to use it. For example, H4 can be used when it comes into contact with the ground, and H3 is used for above ground.

Outdoor pine has a golden yellow colour, with wood grain that is fairly straight, making it a good candidate for stain or paint. Pine outdoor furniture is beautiful both stained or unfinished, but adding a stain should help it last longer. Not only does pine have the structural qualities you need for outdoor furniture, but it also looks great. Browse our southern yellow pine and pitch pine, which are easy to work with for all sorts of outdoor DIY projects.

Cedar for Outdoor Use

Cedarwood naturally resists rot and decay, so it is a fantastic option for outdoor timber projects. The natural oils in cedarwood help preserve the wood and resist the growth of fungus and bacteria. Cedar also works well in humid climates, so if you are in a hot place, it would work well for the outdoors.

Cedarwood is very resistant to changes in temperature, so its furniture is less prone to expanding or warping. Cedarwood would be a great option for an outdoor bench, planter, or table. Browse our lebanon cedar and western red cedar.

Redwood for Outdoor Use

Redwood is naturally resistant to moisture, rot and insects, as well as looking great, and being very smooth. It is a very tough timber, and is used often for the construction of benches and tables. Redwood is ideal for outdoor picnic tables, dining sets, garden furniture and more.

Interior Timber

If you want to make something for inside the house, is it also important to know which timber is best.

Cherry Wood Furniture

Cherry wood is an interesting wood, as it darkens with time, giving it a rich look that continues to grow. The colour makes cherry wood a popular choice, as well as the fact that it is extremely resistant to scratches and dents. Cherry wood has an even grain and is non-toxic, so it is a perfect material for an indoor DIY project. Browse our American cherry and European cherry timber.

Pine Wood Furniture

Pine is a popular choice for furniture, and has many qualities that make it a great timber to work with. It is a common softwood, durable and very easy to work with, which is a bonus for new woodworkers.

Pine also has a light colour, offering various shades of cream, yellow and white.
It is also easy to stain or paint, and looks attractive unfinished or with a natural varnish, meaning you decorate it however you like. A positive of pine is that it’s fairly inexpensive, so a good option is you are practising for a bigger project later on. Try pine when making interior shelving, tables and chairs.

Hardwood for Indoor Use

Hardwoods are generally the best type of wood material for indoor furniture. Hardwood furniture has a combination of beauty and durability that cannot be matched by any softwood or engineered wood. Hardwood is really durable, so ideal for the everyday wear and tear of indoor furniture.

Softwood for Outdoor Use

For durability, a properly treated and manufactured softwood will perform very well. Most hardwoods survive outdoors all year round while softwood furniture often might need to be covered or brought indoors in the worst weather. It is therefore better to use softwood for your outdoor DIY projects.

If you need more help deciding which wood is best for your specific DIY product, get in touch on 01455 209121 or email us at