The Benefits of Solid Wood Furniture

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I’ll admit, our tastes run classic. Ours is NOT the home sporting the Color Of The Year each year (much as I love to paint our walls). So it probably won’t be a surprise to you that we love solid wood furniture. (As I type this, my feet are actually resting on our solid wood coffee table, which I think Dear Husband said was formerly an ice chest.)

Wood is such a versatile project for building, whether homes or furniture. Want to extend your roof line? Wood is perfect for custom-made supports. Hiring a pro firm like SCI Roofing & Construction is perfect for made-to-measure roof carpentry, which is the ideal for odd shapes.

But in my family, we’re especially fond of using solid wood furniture in our home interior:

  • We love its durability and quality construction.
  • We love how wood transforms any room into a  welcoming and warm space.
  • I especially love how some paint, or paint stripper plus stain, can give any solid wood furniture a whole new look. (For what it’s worth, there are now lots of choices for low- or no-fume, environmentally friendly paint strippers, which is what I use.)

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So the next time you’re weighing the cost of buying solid wood furniture vs. something less expensive, take these factors into consideration:

This is a collaboration post. However, please know I stand behind everything written here, and only include links to products/services/resources I’m willing to recommend personally.

Why we love solid wood furniture:

1. It’s durable

When was the last time you purchased a piece of particle-board furniture on the cheap from your favorite discount-department store chain?

How long did it last?

Exactly.

When I moved into my second apartment, my parents bought me two solid-wood bookcases as a housewarming present. Those bookcases have moved thousands of miles, and lived in multiple residences and locations, in the two-plus decades since then. They are in just as good shape as when my parents first bought them.

2. It’s adaptable

I found an old wooden kitchen hutch at a flea market once. I loved the rustic-farmhouse decor vibe it emitted, with its distressed white paint.

Fast-forward a decade, to my new life in our new home, with a new baby. That flaking white paint was no longer such a good idea.

With a few weekends of effort, the white paint gave way to a beautiful stained finish.

I’ve stripped paint off more items than I can count in my life, And I’ve repainted countless more, in new colors to suit new decors or new rooms of my dwelling.

Try painting (or stripping) inexpensive particle-board furniture, and all you’ll get is a mess.

3. It’s easy to work with

Even novice DIYers can work with wood. Just this past weekend, as I was getting ready for this week’s children’s resale event, Dear Husband cut me some mitered replacement braces for the inside of a kids’ table we’re selling, to replace the particle-board ones that came with the table (and had since disintegrated).

With a little more experience, it’s not hard to create custom shelves from solid wood, and finish them however you like to match your decor. One of the first things my baby bro Evan did to their new home a few years back was install a long shelf over their flat-screen TV mount. With their vaulted living room ceiling, the results were stunning.

Right now, he’s in the process of installing a whole wall of new shelving in their laundry room.

4. It’s natural, renewable, and eco-friendly

Unlike plastic and other synthetic materials, wood comes almost in its natural condition. This makes it an ideal choice for those who are trying to avoid high levels of indoor air pollution.

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Moreover, synthetic materials are more likely to release toxins into the air. And these toxins can cause or worsen headaches, breathing problems, allergies, and even heart disease. By choosing natural materials like wood inside your home, you can help protect your family from these harmful fumes. (Make sure you’re choosing solid wood furniture, though, not plywood; most plywood is full of formaldehyde and other chemicals.)

5. It’s beautiful and easy to repurpose

One reason many young families shy away from solid wood furniture is the cost. New wooden furniture often comes with a hefty price tag.

However, there are plenty of ways around this. My personal fave is keeping my eye open for great deals on secondhand furniture at yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets.

But with a little bit of skill (or an interest to learn), you can create beautiful wood furniture by repurposing existing items. My brother Evan is expert at this. He loves to tinker with building things. But before his current job, he lived in a remote rural community that was literally hours from shopping centers.

With no ready source of wood for building, and little spare cash, he became a devotee of websites dedicated to repurposing old wood into new furniture. Since the one reliable source of building material he could access where he lived was free scrap wood from shipping pallets, he built all sorts of things from wood pallets. Including various chairs and tables, the desk for his home office, a bed for himself and his new bride (complete with roll-out storage bins for underneath), and beautiful decorative pieces. Like this plaque he made for our mama.

I love how Evan made this beautiful mountain scene on the foot of their bed, using natural variations in the colors of the scrap pallets.

Are you and your family fans of solid wood furniture? Have you or family members ever built anything (furniture or otherwise) out of wood? Let us know in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “The Benefits of Solid Wood Furniture”

  1. I agree with you! When we got married (ages ago) we bought a lot of solid wood furniture, for our bedroom and our dining room. But also many others in less solid material (because of price, sure). Well, needless to say, the wooden ones are still with us and the others have not survived the first moving (we’ve moved 4 times already).

  2. I love the solid feel of wood furniture. I just wish I could get it in white or black without being painted! Our ikea particular board bed last us a good ten years but for the price I wish it had been made properly.

  3. I agree I also love solid wood furniture! I used to like the cheap stuff but I quickly figured out the downfalls of junk.

  4. Solid wood is definitely the strongest and best. It’s the way to go if you are looking to invest in an item you can pass on to family members for generations. I have noticed furniture stores using tricky language when it comes to wood furniture. The tag will say something like “100% wood” but if you dig a little deeper, you will find some parts are made with MDF or other “wood” composite covered with veneers of solid wood. They aren’t lying when they say 100% wood, they are just using language that would lead you to believe it is of a much higher quality. It definitely pays to ask for the specifics when shopping around.

  5. I love solid wood. I still have furniture pieces that were my greatgrandparent’s and they are intact. I love how you can easily paint over wood and how sturdy and durable they are.

    Also, if you have the chance to buy second-hand, you can reuse the wood and make other pieces of furniture which in my opinion is one of the great things about it.

  6. My husband and father-in-law are really good at working with wood. I keep telling my FIL that he could retire and make custom pieces. Half of the furniture in my home is custom-built and all real wood!

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