Wondering which wood is right for your project? Here is a handy guide to our hardwoods to help you decide.



Sapele (2)

Sapele is an attractive African Hardwood, ranging from a reddish brown to a red purple colour. It has minimum grain and character knots. Also it has a deep natural sheen making each piece unique. Because of this it is also often used to create musical instruments, veneers and decorative panels. Sapele is also known as ‘African Mahogany’ as they share many of the same qualities. Hardwearing and durable, Sapele is a great choice for your doors, windows

Caring for Sapele.

Sapele has a high resistance to rot and water damage, but we highly recommend treating this wood. Treatments will also enhance the beauty of this wood. The colour will naturally deepen over time if exposed to light. We would recommend using the Sikkens range of stains on sapele timber. You would need to apply x1 coat of Sikkens HLS and then a further x2 coats of Sikkens Filter 7.

The Sikkens stains come in a range of colours.





Oak is an enduring favourite for both interior and exterior furniture and fittings. Oak’s strength and range of subtle colours make it a great choice for traditional designs and it is a great choice for doors, windows, timber framed buildings, flooring, gates and furniture. The timber can have coarse grained appearance, which can give a wonderful pattern to the wood. Oak comes in numerous grades such as

  • Air dried Oak
  • Kiln dried Oak
  • Green Oak

Oak is highly durable, hardwearing, however it should be noted it is prone to movement and blackening.

Caring for Oak.

Oak is a robust and durable wood but does require protection from the elements. Water can react with the tannins in Oak, causing a blackening effect and UV rays can cause the wood to become silver in colour. Treatment of Oak wood depends greatly on the finish you would like to achieve. We recommend applying a clear wood preserver as the first layer as this helps to prevent the blackening process from happening during the weathering process. Next we would highly recommend using Osmo oil in at least a minimum of two coats but we would recommend multiple coats to be applied to build up the layers. Osmo oil brings out the lovely grain in Oak and is easy to apply. We offer a full finishing service where we can do this for you.

Examples of some of our Oak products



Idigbo (2)

Idigbo is another African hardwood, it is a budget end hardwood. Pale yellow to rich cream in colour with a wonderful bright, clean finish.  It is not recommended to be installed without the the timber being treated with a stain / paint. Idigbo is often used in furniture, window frames and external wood constructions due to its attractive finish and durability.

Caring for Idigbo

We highly recommend that you treat your Idigbo to prevent any UV changes and also to prolong the life of the wood. Idigbo is a naturally acidic material and as such can become stained if left in contact with Iron items. Idigbo paints very well and we would recommend an aluminium primer prior to the undercoat as its a South African hardwood it will help the paint bond.

Examples of some of our Idigbo products




Iroko is a higher end African hardwood. When freshly cut or unexposed to light it has a distinct yellow colour which cures to a rich golden brown. The grain is coarse, yet even, enhancing the natural beauty of the wood.  Iroko is also known as ‘African Teak’ because of its similar appearance and durability. Iroko is highly durable, with minimum movement. It can be hung in its bare state and is brilliant for marine environments. Its unique colouration is not to everyone’s taste. This timber is perfect for gates, doors, windows and garden furniture.

Caring for Iroko

Iroko has a very high durability and can be left untreated if desired. The wood itself has a slightly oily quality to repel water. Exterior Iroko furniture will silver evenly in sunlight and if you wish to add a stain careful consideration needs to taken. A must is a aluminium primer followed by a undercoat and desired topcoat.

Examples of some of our Iroko products

Scandinavian Redwood – Softwood

Scandinavian redwood is a softwood and is a very popular and commonly used softwood. It comes in various grades which determines the knot quantity. The joinery grade has reduced knots. Redwood is great for construction on doors, windows, cladding interior and external (if treated). Redwood does need regular maintenance.

Caring for Redwood

Redwood must be treated if being used on external products and it paints very well. We would recommend applying a clear wood preserver with an insecticide. This will help to prevent any fungal or insect attack. Next we would recommend using the red Zinsser Shellac based stain blocker built in knotting solution. Redwood must have a knotting solution applied as it is prone to the knots bleeding through while painting. You can then apply an undercoat and topcoat of your choice. For ease Sadolin Superdec is a good choice as this is self undercoating and priming and you can paint directly onto wood. We have used this method and have found it to be the best method.

Examples of some of our redwood products



These are our most popular hardwoods / softwoods. We offer a bespoke service on all of our products, so if you have a particular wood in mind for your project please contact us on 01398 332266 or email info@wooden-workshop.co.uk

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