6 Different Types of Walnut Wood for DIY Projects (With Pictures)
Walnut wood is excellent for DIY projects. It is a beautiful wood that goes well in any setting. It has bold, classic lines, and its rich brown sheen complements natural elements. It can build cabinets, furniture, and even a fireplace. But, what type of walnut wood is suitable for your project?
Walnut trees grow throughout the world, particularly in the temperate climate of the United States. Choosing a suitable one for your DIY project requires a bit of research.
In this article, we cover the different types of walnut wood. We’ll also discuss the benefits and various uses of walnut wood. So, it’ll be easier for you to choose walnut wood that fits your needs. Let’s jump right in!
The 6 Types of Walnut Wood for DIY Projects
Walnut wood is a species of the genus Juglans, which belongs to the Family Fagaceae. There are different types of walnut wood in this genus. It’s commonly used by carpenters and furniture makers.
Here are some types of walnut that are great for DIY projects.
1. Claro Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans hindsii
- Common Names: California Black Walnut
- Where Found: Oregon and California in the US
- Weight When Dried: 640 kg for every cubic meter
- Texture: Medium
- Janka Hardness Rating: 1,130 lbf (Pounds-Force)
Claro walnut wood is a common variety of walnut, and it’s popular for large projects, such as furniture and cabinets. It has slightly darker streaks throughout the wood. Also, it has lighter coloration making it a beautiful choice when you want to add a rustic look to your project.
It’s got a tight, even texture, and it is considered the strongest of all walnut varieties in terms of weight per cubic foot.
Claro walnut wood is a moderately priced variety of walnut. It’s considered a “first-grade” wood. It makes it an excellent choice for woodworking projects in high-traffic areas.
2. English Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans regia
- Common Names: European Walnut, Circassian Walnut, French Walnut
- Where Found: Western Asia and Eastern Europe
- Weight When Dried: 640 kg per cubic meter
- Texture: Medium
- Janka Hardness Rating: 1,220 lbf
English walnut is a tough, heavy wood with a straight grain and close, uniform texture.
It’s the most commonly used walnut wood in the furniture and cabinetmaking trades. English walnut wood’s color ranges from golden brown to light brown tints.
Sometimes, it has dark streaks throughout the species. The actual color of each piece of wood varies. But, this is considered one of the most consistent types of walnut in terms of coloring.
English walnut is an excellent choice for cabinetry or fine furniture. It’s also an excellent choice for flooring and interior trim work because it has such a uniform, tight grain. It makes carvings, decorative objects, furniture, and fine veneer.
3. Black Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans nigra
- Common Names: Black Walnut
- Where Found: Eastern US
- Weight When Dried: 610 kg per cubic meter
- Texture: Moderate natural luster
- Janka Hardness Rating: 1,010 lbf
Black walnut wood is an excellent wood for building cabinets and furniture. It’s best known for its stability, shock resistance, strength, and versatility.
It has a beautiful dark brown to black color with a fine grain pattern. When compared to the white walnut, the black walnut has a finer grain. Also, the heartwood is darker in color.
This tree species grows fast. Also, it attains a large size and lives up to 300 years. It is used for furniture construction, veneer, and gunstock making because of its hardness, durability, and rich color. Black Walnut trees are abundant across the United States, including the Appalachian regions.
The wood is easy to work with and takes stains well.
4. Bastogne Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans x paradox
- Common Names: Paradox, Bastogne Walnut
- Where Found: California in the US
- Weight When Dried: 745 kg per cubic meter
- Texture: Medium
- Janka Hardness Rating: 1,250 lbf
Bastogne walnut wood is a cross between quarter-sawn and plain-sawn walnut. It has a pleasant, mild aroma. Also, it’s not hard. But it can be tricky to find, although it is the least expensive walnut wood available.
This wood is an excellent value for any DIY project with its yellow to orange color with dark brown streaks and swirls. It is also stable, making it a good choice for furniture. It’s easy to work with, and you can make your custom furniture pieces fast.
5. White Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans cinerea
- Common Names: White Walnut, Butternut
- Where Found: Eastern US
- Weight When Dried: 435 kg for every cubic meter
- Texture: Medium to coarse
- Janka Hardness Rating: 490 lbf
White walnut is a lovely wood to work with, especially when you’re working on a decorative project. If you’re making a tabletop or some other small decorative pieces, white walnut can be an excellent choice.
The drawback of white walnut is that it develops small cracks. It’s not too prone to cracking like some other walnut woods, but it can still go askew. Also, it’s prone to insect attacks and doesn’t last long.
The grain of the board also leads to the occasional knot in the wood. So, if you’re looking for tight, precise joints, don’t use white walnut.
If you’re working with a larger piece of white walnut, you’ll want to decide whether you want straight or curly grain. Straight grain is easier to cut and sand down for finishing. Curly grain has more character and looks more natural. But it can make for more challenging joints when cutting and shaping.
6. Peruvian Walnut Wood
- Scientific Name: Juglans spp
- Common Names: Nogal, Tropical Walnut
- Where Found: Central and South America and Southern Mexico
- Weight When Dried: 600 kg per cubic meter
- Texture: Medium to coarse texture and good natural luster
- Janka Hardness Rating: 960 lbf
The most valuable walnut wood is the exotic, hard-to-find Peruvian walnut. Besides, if you only have access to one type of walnut wood, it should be this one.
The exotic nature of the Peruvian walnut can make the difference between a great-looking piece and one that looks cheap and dull. It’s not only found in Peru. You can find it in other regions, such as central and southern America and southern Mexico.
Peruvian walnut wood is darker than other walnut wood types. It comes in a chocolate brown color. You can also get it in light-colored streaks. This walnut wood is more costly than other types of walnut wood. It’s also hard and dense wood with an attractive grain.
Chunks of it make excellent projects for the home and office. Some people use it for furniture, flooring, or even artistry. Others use it to create musical instruments or other decorative items.
Uses of Walnut Wood
Walnut wood is a valuable resource material. It’s one of the most popular wood species globally. Its popularity comes from its beauty, strength, stability, and ability to be used in a wide range of applications.
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of walnut wood for DIY projects, let’s look at various uses of walnut wood.
- Furniture Making: Walnut is the perfect wood for furniture. It’s because it’s durable and doesn’t absorb moisture. It’s also resistant to mold and rot.
- Flooring: Walnut wood flooring is made using glued-on slats. They provide a unique look that brings natural beauty to your home. The wood’s grain is straight, making it easy to stain. Also, the wood is resistant to warping.
- Countertops and Cabinetry: Walnut countertops and cabinetries are aesthetically appealing. They add color and texture to the kitchen or bathroom. It’s because they’re easy to clean and maintain their original color over time. Also, they have a contemporary look. Cabinets made of walnut wood are expensive. But they look great in kitchens or living rooms.
- Kitchenware: Walnut wood kitchenware is stylish and durable. It resists warping and cracking in high-heat environments. Also, it doesn’t absorb moisture or stains as easily as other woods do.
Characteristics of Walnut Wood
If you’re looking to buy some walnut for a project, you might be surprised at how many different types of wood you’ll find. Here are the characteristics that make walnut wood an appealing material:
- Grain: The grain patterns can be wide or narrow, straight or wavy. It makes it possible to make furniture with a unique look, with distinct features in each piece.
- Color: The colors are stunning. From whites and tans to deep chocolate browns and warm reds, there’s a lot of variety to choose from.
- Durability: It’s hard and durable, making it perfect for high-quality furniture pieces such as tables and chairs.
- Texture: The texture is the most obvious characteristic to look for in walnut wood. Walnut is characterized by fine, coarse, and medium texture. It’s difficult to see without running your hand over the surface. The fine texture provides additional strength and prevents warping. It gives walnut durability.
- Shock Resistance: When it comes to woodworking, ‘shock resistance’ refers to the ability of wood to handle shock without suffering damage. Walnut wood has a shock-absorbing ability. That’s why it is used for making musical instruments.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Walnut Wood
- It’s resistant to wear and tear: Walnut wood has many benefits, including its ability to withstand wear and tear from both wind and water. It does not splinter or crack easily compared to other types of wood such as pine, maple, or oak.
- It’s easy to work with: Walnut wood is a soft and light wood that can easily be worked with. It can be laminated, and it’s easy to sand and stain. It’s also helpful for outdoor projects because it doesn’t absorb moisture.
- It’s attractive and stylish: Walnut wood is the most popular wood for interior design today. Its beautiful dark color and texture make it perfect for any interior design DIY project. It’s not only a beautiful material but also helpful in many ways. Besides, it’s also great for making wooden toys, statues, wooden planks, and decorative boxes.
- It stains and polishes well: Walnut wood is becoming more popular because it stains and polishes beautifully. It’s a medium-grained wood with a grain that looks almost like wood knots or small branchlets. It makes it appealing. Walnut wood also comes in many different colors. You can stain it to match your decor.
- Walnut wood is costly: Walnut wood is expensive if you’re planning a large project, such as a table or desk. But, if you’re looking for a small piece of unique decor for your home or office, walnut wood is worth the cost.
- It scratches easily: Walnut wood is a wonderful material. It’s strong and beautiful. But it’s also prone to scratching. That’s why walnut wood enthusiasts often use oil or wax finish on their furniture to make it more durable.
- It is prone to insect attacks: Walnut is prone to insect attacks and can’t be treated with pesticides. If you have walnut wood in your home, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping it away from insects. Over time, these insects can cause damage that appears as unsightly gaps in the wood. If left untreated, these cracks can spread and render your wood unusable. You can seal the wood with a high-quality sealer, such as lacquer or polyurethane. Also, you can use a spray that repels insects, such as pyrethrin.
Walnut wood is a common choice when it comes to home decorating. Its color and hard texture can help create a respectable and warm atmosphere while not being too elaborate or complex. It’s also affordable. You can buy it in pieces of any size, including in bulk. You can use various types of walnut wood based on your needs or the specific project you are working on.
Learning about the different Walnut wood types can help you decide which type would be best for your project. We hope this article has helped you identify the best walnut for your DIY project.
Featured Image Credit: DWilliam, Pixabay
- 1 The 6 Types of Walnut Wood for DIY Projects
- 2 Uses of Walnut Wood
- 3 Characteristics of Walnut Wood
- 4 Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Walnut Wood
- 5 Conclusion