Shorea Furniture in Your Home and Garden

If you’re planning on investing in a new patio set of outdoor furniture, what are the advantages of choosing shorea over its more familiar rivals?

Truth being told, there are plenty. Shorea has long since been overlooked in favour of teak on the market for outdoor garden sets. While times are changing and shorea is definitely becoming more popular in the west, you’d still be hard pressed to find a similar teak set which sells for less. The price inflation for teak furniture has absolutely nothing to do with the suitability for its cause. As a matter of fact, Shorea outdoor furniture sets are more accustomed to the weathering and insect invasions, and they’re also more capable of surviving the test of time.

Shorea can be expected to retain excellent condition for up to thirty years when used outside, which might not sound like a lot in furniture terms. But to expose any wood to torrid conditions, winter and summer, for that long is impressive.

Furthermore, there are certain cleaners and oils that can be applied to restore a shorea set to its original splendour. A new set will usually come in a reddish colour, either light or close to brown. This rich vein of colour tends to last for a year or so before the wood begins its natural fading process.

Just like teak, shorea will slowly lose its redness and develop an inviting gray patina. Some collectors prefer this silvery look and encourage the shorea to take on its usual discolouring process. The vintage fashion is certainly popular in certain quarters and sells particularly well on auction sites where eagle eyed antique hunters are more than happy to snap it up for impressively high prices.

Others will naturally prefer the original colour of the shorea. There are many treatments on the market which cater for owners to restore their shorea sets to the original reddish charm from the time of their purchase.

Unlike many woods, shorea can be restored without losing quality and looking shoddy. It’s recommended that owners apply linseed or teak oil – which will do the same job – every two months. This process helps to retain the red colour of the original shorea, although owners should understand that no retail product will prevent the graying process permanently.

If a shorea furniture set has already turned gray, there are several other teak cleaners on the market which can be used with the wood to restore it to its original look. It’s also possible to take light gritted sand paper and work it equally over the surface of the furniture. This will remove the gray slowly and over multiple uses, you should see the return of the original colour.

It would be hard to predict an original colour for shorea without seeing it beforehand. The hardwood comes in so many different forms and there are extreme differences in how one might look over the other. There’s no guarantee that the colour of your shorea furniture will match the original from its stay in the tropical rainforests of South East Asia.

Mechanically, very few hardwoods offer attributes as ideal for outdoor furniture as shorea. Extreme resilience in the face of equally extreme weather conditions makes it a great timber. If it can’t be folded up and stored in the garage through those wet and miserable winter months, it’s going to need tremendous durability to merit a long term place in any garden. Thankfully for shorea owners, the wood offers just that.

In comparison to other hardwoods like teak, shorea isn’t always as easy to find in retail stores. There’s a strong market on the auction front, but try to remember that shorea is a wide stretching term for several other trade names. Balau and Meranti are both descendents of shorea trees in essence, but the species is so vast that different names are used to describe particular timbers.

There are subtle differences in the various groups, of course, but you can usually rest assured that shorea furniture will keep you satisfied for many years after purchase. Its popularity in the garden retail industry looks set to grow with time.