Softwoods come from conifer trees, or cone-bearing trees, and North American softwood species have needle-shaped foliage instead of the leaves found on hardwood trees.
Softwood lumber is highly versatile and beautiful, making it ideal for structural applications, along with interior and exterior designs and projects. Explore the different softwood species that can be used for building and designing:
To preserve wood’s beauty in residential applications, finishing is often used to protect the surface from decay and weather exposure. A surface coat is often recommended to extend the life of the wood.
Due to wood’s unique properties, though, there are specific finishes, stains and coatings for each species of softwood lumber. Similarly, there are specific requirements depending on your project. For example, outdoor decks may require finishes that are formulated to withstand foot traffic.
Exterior and Interior Finishing Guides and Techniques
Find out how to finish your next project with the resources below:
California Redwood Association:
Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association:
Southern Forest Products Association:
Western Red Cedar Lumber Association: