Porch swings come in a large variety of materials, including wood, wicker, wrought iron and man made poly resins. But today we are going to focus on wood porch swings. There are many types of wood in the world, and you can get a porch swing made out a a handful of these. Let's take a look at what woods are available and some of the qualities that each one offers.
Cedar is a great, year round wood for outdoor purposes. You can find cedar in fencing and home siding, so it makes sense for porch swings as well. One thing about cedar that many people like and many do not, it is purely personal preference, is that it slowly and naturally turns a silver gray color, taking on a very rustic look. Cedar is very durable and strong without being overly heavy, so it is easy to move when needed. Cedar naturally does not warp like many other woods meaning that it does not need a lot of extra, protective maintenance and care. For outdoors, cedar is a great choice, it basically comes down to whether or not you like its weathered look.
Teak is another very popular choice in outdoor furniture. Teak porch swings are also very durable in all weather conditions. It has a tight grain and natural oil so that it resists rot. Like cedar, you do not have to finish it with a spar varnish, you can let it weather naturally. Unlike cedar's gray, it turns a rich brown when exposed to air. Also, teak does not cause rust when in contact with metal. The down sides to teak is that it is expensive and, due to its dense nature, it is quite heavy.
Cypress, another wood known for its close grain and weather resistance to warping and shrinking, is known for its beauty. It is not used as much as cedar or teak, but is growing in popularity. It is heavier than cedar, but not as heavy as teak. Cypress can range in color from quite light to a rich golden brown, and it is also known to take an antique finish quite well.
Oak is a popular wood indoors, and can also be found in porch swings, but are definitely better used in weather protected areas. Oak is a hard wood that is quite heavy. Because of its open pores, it is affected by weather and needs to be protected with a weather resistant spar varnish.
I like the look of pine, but it is a soft wood that is better suited for the indoors. Many choose pine because it is more affordable than most any other wood, but it does not weather well. But porch swings are available in pine, so a spar varnish is a must, which should be regularly checked and maintained .
Regardless of the wood you choose for your swing, there are benefits of wood in general. Primarily that it does not hold the heat or the cold, so it is always comfortable to the touch. This is really nice because most other materials become hot during the summer and can deter users from enjoying a sunny afternoon relaxing outdoors. Also, any wood fits easily into the natural environment, regardless of the look and feel that you are trying to create.
So, consider the different qualities of the wood porch swings available, and choose one that suits your lifestyle and tastes best, you are bound to find one that you can enjoy for many years to com.
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