If you’re considering buying pine furniture, this article is here to help. Find out about the different types of pine and how it’s used to make furniture
History of Pine Usage in Furniture
Now a stalwart in the furniture world – the use of pine wood in joinery and construction is thought to have originated in Northern Europe during the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC), where the abundance of pine and spruce trees were felled to make basic log cabins.
Pine wood has continued to prove popular throughout history thanks to its sustainability, particularly in Scandinavia and North America, where plentiful forests still supply much of the wood for our pine furniture today. Pine is a soft wood, relatively cheap and identified by its light colour range, from pale yellow to brownish orange. Its natural fragrance and characteristic style of knots makes pine an attractive wood for home furnishings.
Types of Pine Used in Furniture
Pine furniture is available in a wide variety of hues and finishes, making it incredibly versatile and suitable for many different interior styles. It is particularly suited to the country look, as well as more rustic styles. Like all woods, the fact that it can be painted makes pine furniture even more flexible as it can be adapted rather than replaced when trends change. While not as durable as harder woods such as oak and walnut, solid pine furniture is long lasting providing it is protected and properly cared for.
White pine originates in the USA and Canada and is characterised by its pale colour, straight grain and even texture. It is stronger than yellow pine, and commonly used in joinery for doors, windows and skirting boards. Yellow pine also comes from North America and has a straight grain and even texture. Colour varies from pale yellow to pale brown and it is used in high-class joinery, furniture and light building construction. Like white pine, it is a sustainable wood source and used in abundance throughout the world.
Mexican pine is native to Central America to Southern Mexico. It ranges in colour from pale, yellowish white to light brown, and also has a straight grain with even texture. The use of Mexican pine in furniture is somewhat controversial, due to the forests being endangered and concerns over the treatment of the Mexican labours that harvest it.
via kris on Pinteres Antique pine and reclaimed pine create a very different look as the soft nature of the wood means it is often subject to dents and marks over time, and a build up of dirt can darken the wood. The aged patina of antique pine furniture is an acquired look and a great choice for adding natural timeworn character to your home.
Reclaimed pine furniture is created from wood that has had a former use, such as old floorboards or tongue and groove panelling. This gives the furniture great character, in addition to the environmental benefits of re-purposing reclaimed materials.
The appeal of solid pine means it is often left untreated and enjoyed in its natural rustic state, yet this makes it not so well suited to dining areas or homes with young children as spills will stain the wood. Don’t let this put you off unfinished pine furniture however – as it can simply be treated with a stain and varnish of your choice to enhance its durability.
Pine furniture should be shielded from temperature extremes as the wood can warp, and kept out of direct sunlight to avoid fading. Coasters and place mats should be used to guard from spills and heat marks. To protect and enhance pine furniture, apply furniture wax every six months or when the wood appears dry.