Padauk wood | Is Padauk Wood Good For furniture?

What is Padauk wood?

Padauk wood is extremely hard, durable, and rot-resistant. Padauk is a beautiful, reddish-brown hardwood that’s often used in high-end furniture and flooring. It is also a popular choice for all types of woodworking projects.

Padauk is native to Africa, and Asia. It is widely found in India, Indochina, the South Pacific, West Africa, and even southern Florida.

It is one of the most popular woods among woodworkers because of its unique dark color and response to a variety of woodworking projects.

If you’re considering using padauk for your next project, here’s what you need to know about this unique wood.

#Padauk wood
Scientific namePterocarpus
Tree SizeUp to 100 to 130 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet in diameter
DistributionCentral and tropical West Africa and some countries in Asia such as Burma and Indonesia
Wood TypeHardwood
Rot-resistantDurable and rot resistant

Uses of Padauk wood

Padauk wood is widely used for furniture, veneer, flooring, turned objects, musical instruments, and tool handles. It is a popular hardwood used in guitar making because of is very durable, resistant to wear and tear, and easy to work with.

Padauk wood is a hard and strong wood with no hazards of scratches and dents. )Hence it is considered a suitable wood for flooring.

Padauk wood is an excellent turning wood that is easy to carve and finish. It is used to make small wooden decorative items. The market value of these products is very expensive.

Padauk wood color

Padauk wood color ranges from pale pink to dark brownish red. Gets its rich color from the high levels of tannin in the wood. When the wood is first cut, it has a yellow or reddish-orange hue. But over time, the color will darken to a deep red or purple.

The main reason wood changes color over time is due to exposure to air (oxidation) and light. Mostly while lighter woods become a bit darker whereas dark woods become slightly lighter. The process of changing the color of wood occurs very rapidly when the wood is exposed to air and direct sunlight.

The grain of Padauk wood is usually straight, but can sometimes be interlocked. It has a coarse texture and fairly large and open pores.

How hard is Padauk Wood?

Padauk wood is very hard. The African padauk has a Janka hardness of 1,970 lbf (8,760 N), and the Burma padauk has a 2,150 lbf (9,550 N) which is significantly higher than many other hardwoods.

The Janka scale determines the relative hardness of a particular domestic or exotic wood species.

So here are the Janka hardness ratings of other popular wood types compared to Padauk to get an idea about how hard Padauk wood is.

Wood speciesJanka Hardness
Red Palm1900
Bolivian Rosewood1960
Black Palm2020

Padauk wood advantages and disadvantages

Padauk is a beautiful, rare hardwood that is often used to make high-quality applications. But it also has some disadvantages which you should know before using it.


1. Appearance

Padauk is a dark wood, which makes it look beautiful and gives it a high-quality look. It is preferred because of its unique color.

2. Extremely Durable

Padauk wood is extremely durable, and stable and it doesn’t shrink or warp. The tannin present in the wood makes it naturally durable.

3. Natural rot-resistant

Padauk wood is excellent resistant to rot and moisture, it is also resistant to termites and other insects. Padauk has a very high oil content, which keeps moisture away from the surface of the wood. And also protect the wood from insects.

3. Easy to work

Padauk is hard and dense but easy to work with. It turns, glues, and finishes well.


1. Expensive

Padauk is a rare and expensive hardwood. Apart from the native place, you may have to pay a higher price.

Working with Padauk wood

Generally, padauk wood is not easy to work with. Padauk is a tropical hardwood, so it’s important to take care when working with it. The wood is dense and can be difficult to work with if you’re not used to the right tools. But with the right tools and a little patience, you can create some stunning pieces.

When working with padauk, it’s important to use sharp tools. The wood is hard, so dull tools will cause more damage and tear out.

But some species of padauk have more hardness and interlocked grain such as Burma Padauk, which is harder than African padauk wood.

Types of Padauk wood

There are several species of padauk wood, but only a few are true or accepted. The most popular types of padauk are African padauk, Burma padauk, and Andaman Padauk.

Some brief information about these species is as follows.

African Padauk

African padauk is a heavy, durable, and decay-resistant hardwood, also commonly known as vermillion. It is native to Central and tropical West Africa.

Generally, African padauk is easier to work with hand and machine tools. Wood turns, glues, and gives excellent results after the finish.

Wood Color: Wood color varies, ranging from pinkish orange to a deep brownish red.

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter.

Janka Hardness: 1,970 lbf (8,760 N)

Average Dried Weight: 47 lbs/ft3 (745 kg/m3)

Common uses: Furniture, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, veneers, and decorative items.

Burma Padauk

Burma padauk is a very heavy, durable, and insect-resistant hardwood, it is native to Burma (or Myanmar) and Thailand.

It is difficult to work with because it is very hard. When you are working with Burma padauk wood, keep your tools sharp.

Wood Color: Wood color varies, ranging from pale golden yellow to a deeper reddish brown.

Tree Size: 50-100 ft (16-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Janka Hardness: 2,150 lbf (9,550 N)

Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (865 kg/m3)

Common uses: furniture, veneer, flooring, turned objects, musical instruments, tool handles, and other decorative items.

FAQs about Padauk wood

Is padauk wood expensive?

Yes, padauk wood is a bit more expensive than many other hardwoods. In the United state, padauk wood is available at a higher price than in Africa and Asia. But its price depends on its quality or grade.

Is padauk good for outdoor furniture?

Padauk wood is a good choice for indoor and outdoor furniture. It is durable and resistant to termites. Also, It is easy to work with and finishes nicely. It requires very little maintenance as compared to other hardwoods.

Padauk wood changes its color rapidly in the external environment and becomes dark. You can use Shellac wood finishing to reduce or stop the process of changing the color of the wood.

Is Padauk wood good for cutting boards?

Padauk hardwood is an excellent choice for making beautiful cutting boards. Because Padauk is beautiful and resistant to damage. Additionally, padauk is a hardwood which makes it a durable option for cutting boards.

Padauk wood has large open pores, so many people do not consider it suitable for cutting meat because it will trap bacteria in these tiny holes.

But some people prefer it because of its deep dark or vibrant color as it can be used in combination with any other light wood to create a pattern.

Is padauk wood toxic?

Padauk has been reported as a sensitizer, which can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Padauk wood dust can be irritating to some woodworkers when they are sanding. This is a problem for people whose woodworkers have allergies or asthma.

So be careful while working with any type of wood. Cover your skin and use eyeglasses.


If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful wood to work with, padauk is a great option. This reddish-brown wood is perfect for a range of projects, from furniture to woodworking.

The wood is very strong and durable, making it a popular choice for furniture and flooring. Padauk wood is also used in musical instruments and turned into beautiful pieces of art.