Best Wood For A Picnic Table

Picnic tables are a staple of outdoor gatherings, providing a perfect platform for enjoying meals and socializing with friends and family. A well-built picnic table should be durable, stable, and able to withstand the elements. One of the crucial factors in ensuring the longevity of a picnic table is the selection of the right wood. The choice of wood can impact the table’s aesthetics, durability, maintenance requirements, and cost.

In this article, we will explore the best wood options for building a picnic table, taking into account various factors such as durability, cost, and appearance.

When choosing the right wood for a picnic table, it is essential to consider the table’s location and intended use. Outdoor furniture is exposed to harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and UV rays, making it more susceptible to damage and decay. As such, the ideal wood should possess resistance to rot, insects, and weathering. The wood should also be strong enough to support the weight of people and food without warping or splitting. Additionally, the wood’s aesthetic appeal is a crucial factor, as it can affect the overall ambiance of the outdoor space.

By considering these factors, we can make an informed decision and select the best wood for our picnic table.

Cedar: A Popular Choice for Outdoor Furniture

Cedar, due to its natural resistance to decay, insect damage, and moisture absorption, is a widely favored option for outdoor furniture, including picnic tables. Its natural oils act as a preservative and protect the wood from rot and decay, making it perfect for outdoor use.

Cedar picnic tables require minimal maintenance, as the wood naturally weathers to a beautiful silver-gray over time. Compared to other types of outdoor furniture, cedar is a superior choice due to its durability, longevity, and ability to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. It is also lightweight and easy to move, making it an ideal option for picnics and outdoor gatherings.

Overall, cedar is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting and low-maintenance picnic table.

Redwood: A Durable and Attractive Option

Redwood is a highly favored material due to its impressive resistance to both decay and insects.

It is a popular choice for outdoor furniture, including picnic tables, because of its durability and natural beauty.

Redwood is known for its rich, warm color that deepens with age.

It is also a versatile wood that can easily be stained to match any outdoor decor.

To maintain its natural beauty, it is recommended to apply a sealant or oil to protect it from the elements.

Regular maintenance like cleaning and sanding can also help prolong the life of the table.

Overall, redwood is an excellent choice for a picnic table due to its durability, attractiveness, and staining options.

Pressure-Treated Pine: A Budget-Friendly Alternative

Pressure-treated pine is a cost-effective option for outdoor furniture, including picnic tables, that offers decent durability and resistance to decay and insects. This type of wood is often favored by those who are looking for a budget-friendly alternative to other hardwoods.

Pressure-treated pine is treated with chemicals that help to prevent decay and insect infestation, making it a durable option for outdoor use. However, there are also some cons to using pressure-treated pine. The chemicals used in the treatment process can be harmful to human health and the environment, and the wood may have a greenish tint that some people find unattractive.

To maintain pressure-treated pine, it is important to keep it clean and dry to prevent rot and mold growth. Applying a sealant or stain can also help to protect the wood from moisture and prolong its lifespan.

Overall, while pressure-treated pine may not be the most luxurious option for a picnic table, it can be a practical and cost-effective choice for those on a budget.

Teak: A High-End Choice with Impressive Durability

Teak, a highly sought-after wood for outdoor furniture, boasts remarkable durability and offers a touch of luxury to any outdoor space. Its resistance to rot, insects, and weathering is unparalleled, making it a popular choice for high-end outdoor furniture.

Unlike other hardwoods, Teak requires minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for those who want durable and beautiful outdoor furniture without the hassle of constant upkeep.

While Teak may come at a higher price point than other woods, its long-lasting quality and stunning appearance make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a luxurious outdoor living experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the maintenance requirements for each type of wood?

To maintain wood for a picnic table, sanding techniques are critical to remove splinters and roughness. Sealing options such as varnish, oil, or water sealant can protect the wood from moisture. Staining or painting options offer additional protection and aesthetic value.

Can these woods be used for indoor furniture as well?

In terms of indoor versatility, some woods used for picnic tables such as cedar, teak, and redwood can also be used for indoor furniture due to their durability. However, a durability comparison between these woods for indoor use is necessary.

How do these woods hold up in extreme weather conditions?

When it comes to durability comparison in extreme weather conditions, certain woods fare better than others. Stain and sealant options can also play a role in protecting the wood. However, the best wood for a picnic table may differ from what is best for indoor furniture.

Are there any specific tools or techniques required for working with these woods?

When working with wood, it is important to understand woodworking basics and choose the right saw for the job. A circular saw is ideal for straight cuts, while a jigsaw is better for curved cuts. Always wear safety gear and follow proper techniques to avoid injury.

Are there any environmental concerns associated with using these woods for furniture?

When sourcing wood for furniture, sustainability is a critical consideration. Deforestation is a significant environmental concern associated with the use of certain woods. It is essential to source wood from sustainably managed forests to reduce the impact on the environment.


In conclusion, choosing the best wood for a picnic table involves considering several factors, such as durability, appearance, and budget. Cedar and redwood are popular choices due to their natural resistance to rot, decay, and insects. Pressure-treated pine is a budget-friendly alternative that can withstand outdoor elements with proper maintenance. Teak, on the other hand, is a high-end option that boasts impressive durability and a beautiful appearance.

When deciding on the best wood for a picnic table, it is essential to consider the intended use and location of the table. If the table is to be used frequently and exposed to harsh weather conditions, cedar or redwood may be the best options. However, if budget is a priority, pressure-treated pine may be the right choice. Teak is a luxurious choice suitable for those who want a high-end piece of furniture that will last for years to come.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on individual preferences and practical considerations.