Parawood is not well-known among wood types; however, its source is a famous tree with other vital uses. Certain wood types are preferred for home furniture due to their characteristics which include aesthetics and grain patterns. Parawood, though unpopular, is an excellent choice for home decor.
An unpopular wood like this, with a name that describes it as wood that is not real, can be confusing. However, parawood has long been used to make chairs, tables, cupboards, and other projects for your home.
If you’ve heard about parawood and are interested in learning more about it to see if it’ll be an excellent option for your home decor, follow this guide for the details. Before you use parawood to build that furniture, you should learn about its characteristics, benefits, and maintenance requirements: this way, you’ll see why more and more woodworkers prefer it when building home decor projects.
Table of Contents
What is Parawood?
Parawood is a hardwood obtained from the deciduous para rubber tree or Hevea Brasiliensis; the same tree produces natural latex for making gloves, tennis shoes, chewing gum, and other rubber materials. The tree is common in tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Central America, like Brazil and Indonesia. Being a hardwood has little to do with any wood’s hardiness; however, parawood is solid and durable.
It is sometimes referred to as rubber wood which is understandable since it is obtained from the tree that produces rubber. While plantation hardwood, Malaysian Oak, para rubber wood, and white teak are some of its other aliases. Rubber wood is gentle to the touch and is lightly colored with distinct brown patches.
Rubberwood is considered eco-friendly since it is obtained from the tree after its latex-producing years, lasting about 25 years. Instead of cutting down the tree and trashing it, lumber is obtained from it and used to make pleasant furniture.
Durable lumbers with dense structures like parawood are great for making furniture. They can withstand general wear and tear with natural stain-resistant qualities for long-lasting clean decor. These qualities make the wood low-maintenance, requiring little attention to keep it attractive and durable.
Characteristics of Parawood Furniture
Several properties make up any wood, with these characteristics separating the wood from others. Here, we see some inherent properties of rubberwood and how they affect the furniture:
1. Uniform Grain
Parawood’s uniform grain structure is one of the first things you’ll notice when you come in close contact with it. This means that furniture created from this wood will have an appealing grain structure that includes interlaced and straight grains.
2. Light Color
The typical parawood color is pale yellow or a light hue similar to the color of the sapwood the tree produces. Lumbers are typically brown or dark; rubberwood’s light shade makes them unique and easy to absorb stains and finishes.
3. Dense Structure
Para rubber tree is slow-growing, so the annual rings are narrower, forming a dense grain structure. Due to the density and straight grains, parawood is strong and can withstand a lot of pressure, increasing the furniture’s lifespan. The dense grains also keep it stable with minimal shrinkage, while controlling its density can be done during the kiln drying process.
Advantages of Parawood Furniture
If you’re wondering why parawood furniture has become a mainstay in most home decor, here are some of the benefits of having parawood furniture:
- Easy to use: Furniture makers value parawood as it is easy to work with, significantly when cutting, shaping, and joining. Even though it has a densely packed grain, it is easy to cut and shape since the grains are arranged.
- Affordable: When compared to other hardwoods, parawood is a budget option suitable for people on a tight budget but still want to enjoy durable lumbers.
- Low maintenance: You only need to do a little to maintain parawood furniture and ensure it lasts up to twenty years. Keeping it from rotting and periodic cleaning are some of the few practices to maintain rubberwood furniture.
- Durable: One of the most popular benefits of using parawood furniture is its durability from its highly destined structure. Its packaged composition makes it durable and difficult to break with little pressure. Furniture from this wood will last longer; however, the wood is susceptible to decay.
- Eco-friendly: Cutting down trees for lumber has always come with many apprehensions; however, parawood is seen as an eco-friendly wood as it is cut down after its productive years. It produces latex for 20 to 25 years, after which you get an 80ft tall tree for lumber. Ensuring the parawood is sourced from trees past their latex-producing years is vital.
- Gentle to the touch: Parawood may be hardwood, but this does not affect its texture. The wood is soft to the touch, which makes it an excellent option for furniture and even flooring.
- Attractive: Lumber used to build furniture should be beautiful. Parawood’s packed and straight grain structure makes it highly attractive. Its light color makes it easy to absorb stains and finishes to further enhance its appearance.
- Resistant to warping: Warping is a common wood problem, and finding lumber like parawood that is highly resistant to warping is rare. Parawood’s straight grains and densely packed structure reduce the space in the wood, which gives it a low shrinkage capacity. Lumbers with outstanding resistance to warping will have a longer lifespan.
Care And Maintenance of Parawood Furniture
You need to pay extra attention to taking care of your parawood furniture to improve its lifespan; luckily, maintenance is straight for rubber wood. Here are the simple tips to follow:
1. Use Coasters And Mats
Placing coasters and mats under cups, plates, mugs, and hot objects will prevent direct contact. Moisture and heat can leave marks on the furniture, reducing its appeal. This tip is typical for tables and stools.
2. Dust Frequently
Clean the furniture using a soft, lint-free cloth to remove debris and dust as they happen. The key is frequently cleaning the parawood furniture to prevent any buildup, which can leave tough stain marks on the furnishings.
3. Use Mild Cleaning Soap
Use only mild cleaning solutions when cleaning parawood furniture, as concentrated solutions can strip your stains and finishes. Dip the soft cloth into a combination of cleaning solution and water, squeeze out excess moisture, and wipe the furniture with the fabric.
4. Fix Minor Scratches
Minor scratches may occur after some time, especially if you have kids; fixing them as they appear will keep the table looking clean. Use a wax stick or touch-up pen of a similar hue to cover the scratches to ensure it blends with the wood.
5. Apply Protective Finish
A great way to care for your parawood furniture and prevent scratches and stains is by applying a protective finish to the surface after staining. This protective finish seals the wood and prevents moisture from penetrating, adds an extra layer, making it difficult for scratches to reach the wood, and provides shine for an appealing look.
6. Utilize Professional Restoration
A professional restoration would be ideal in some cases where deterioration is widespread. Allow experts to renew the furniture and fix all scratches, faded areas, and loose screws.
Buying Parawood Furniture
Now that you understand the importance of having parawood furniture in your home decor, you may wonder how to buy the exact furniture that suits your needs. Here are simple tips to follow when purchasing parawood furniture:
1. Consider Type, Design, And Style
To buy parawood furniture, you must consider the type of furniture you want, including tables, chairs, cabinets, bookcases, nightstands, and more. Check your space and needs to determine the right size, with large furniture providing more room but requiring a more expansive space and typically costing more.
Parawood furniture comes in various designs and styles, from modern to rusty, which fit different scenarios. Consider your home decor and style while choosing furniture to fit seamlessly into the space.
2. Research Reliable Brand or Retailers
Take some time to research furniture brands and retailers with the type of fittings you want. Read customers’ reviews and ratings to understand each brand’s product quality and customer service. You can check online catalogs, but if you can, visiting the physical stores are even better, where you can physically inspect joints and edges while observing the finish.
3. Set Budget
Even though parawood is relatively affordable, budgeting will always be a consideration when making furniture purchases since they come in different price points. Setting a budget helps you streamline your search and removes fittings beyond your budget.
4. Check For Eco-Friendly Certifications
Certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) indicate that the parawood is sourced in an environmentally friendly manner. Buying only eco-friendly parawood furniture will help preserve the forest and protect the climate. You can check for these certifications on manufacturers’ websites or ask for them when visiting their physical stores.
5. Check The Return Policy And Warranty
Product warranties and return policies are essential, especially for furniture that can get damaged during delivery. See what the return policy from the manufacturer or retailer says about furniture damaged in transit, among other instances, including the warranty period.
Here are some frequently asked questions about parawood furniture and their answers to provide a clearer perspective on this lumber:
Ans: Parawood furniture is known for its strength and durability due to its dense structure. It does not split easily and has a high warp resistance.
Ans: You can stain and paint parawood furniture. The Parawood’s light hue and straight grain structure ensure the wood absorbs these finishes properly.
Ans: Dip a lint-free cloth inside a mixture of water and a mild cleaning solution, squeeze off excess water, and dust the furniture to remove dirt from the surface.
Ans: Parawood furniture is eco-friendly as it is obtained from rubber trees that have passed their latex-producing years. Instead of trashing them to plant another, these trees are used to make furniture.
Parawood is a durable, eco-friendly lumber used for furniture making, with its fine grain structure ensuring an appealing look. It is easy to maintain for long-lasting usage; however, you must pay extra attention as it is prone to decay.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly hardwood furniture with remarkable durability and ease to use, parawood is an excellent option. Before purchasing the furnishings, research the manufacturer, their return policies, and their warranty.