Walnut is a remarkable option when it comes to making traditional-style furniture. However, this wood is also being used to create more fascinating and modern designs. As a durable hardwood, walnut is maintains a stunning finish for years. Additionally, the wood has been a major component of some of the most quintessential furniture designs in history. For generations, both furniture and interior designers view this wood as a favorite material largely because of it beauty and durability.
Walnut trees lose their leaves during the fall and winter seasons, which is an indication that it is a deciduous hardwood. Included among walnut trees are any of the classes from the Juglans genus of plants. However, Juglas regia or English walnut and Juglans nigra or black walnut are the most popular varieties used to make walnut wood furniture. When the wood is cut, the grain is straight but the grain becomes wavy the closer to the roots you get. There can be a dramatic variation in the color of walnut. It can range very light brown to very dark brown. The darker wood is produced in the middle of the walnut tree and the lighter wood is produced in the outer layers of the tree, right underneath the bark.
This wood is a hard, strong and durable and it carves well and holds its shape for many years. As such, it is an exceptional option for ornate furniture pieces, such as a headboard or mantelpiece, on which intricate woodworking are usually done in traditional furniture making. In 17th and 18th Century Europe, walnut was used regularly to make pieces of furniture like cabinets due to its inherent qualities. When it comes to contemporary furniture making, the elevated price of walnut has resulted in the popular use of walnut veneers over solid walnut.
When purchasing new or used pieces of walnut furniture, you should look for wood that has a straight grain; a clear coat of urethane should be used to accentuate the grain of the wood. As it relates to finish, this is just a matter of taste but you should be mindful that any stain on the furniture could make the gorgeous grain less obvious. Additionally, older pieces are likely made from solid walnut, while more modern pieces are more likely made out of walnut veneer.
With the proper care and maintenance, walnut wood furniture can very easily last a lifetime. A number of experts have observed the wood and concluded that its durability is the number one reason it has maintained its popularity within the furniture making industry all over the world.