Let's Talk Wood

Lately I have had a crazy obsession for all things wooden, from dinning tables to kitchen cabinets. The whole earthy and natural look just steals my heart.

Most clients want to know how you can tell the difference from authentic solid wood and soft wood. Well here is all that you need to know. With a great help from Panesar’s Kenya Ltd , who have specialized in hand crafted, solid wood furniture for over 60 years, yes, you read it right!

From, Mahogany, Meru oak, white oak, palm wood, cypress, teak, you name it. They have it. And yes they now how to work the wood to amazing furniture pieces, grand carved doors and kitchen cabinets. Most of the wooden products are made from their signature color. The furniture can be finished in a light stain or dark stain from dark walnut, light wall nut.

Solid wood is cut from trees while soft is of two different types namely, Medium density fiberboards and chipboards; these are processed woods that are compressed to form boards. So how do you know the difference between solid wood and soft wood?


Well first of all, the important thing you need to know about the two types wood is that the grain is different. With soft wood, there is a repetition of the grain pattern; As for Solid wood, there is no repetition when it comes to the knots.

My ultimate favorite is Palm wood which has an interesting grain and a natural look to it. Palm wood is quite hard and is a great option if you love a natural touch to your home. Teak also has an interesting natural finish to it.


Solid wood is also known to be quite heavy. Any product made from solid wood has a sense of weight to it as compared to soft wood, which is quite lighter. When it comes to furniture made from mahogany and Palm wood are quite heavy.

Solid wood has edges that are smooth and continuous


 Most people prefer to use soft wood because it is known to be quite affordable.  While products made from solid wood cost a bit more and they are of great quality and long lasting.

Mahogany is one the solid woods that is commonly used because it is a bit more affordable and easy to find, compared to other solid wood.


When it comes to the finishing of wooden products, one can easily tell the difference between solid wood and soft wood.

With soft wood, although you can get a wide variety of finishes and colors, it is not easy to manipulate it to create designs with smooth curves.

There is also a visible edge that is usually glued on, this is because the edges are lined with a laminate. When soft wood is exposed to heat or water it easily gets

damaged and it is not stronger as compared to solid wood. The life span of soft wood is dependent on how the furniture is maintained. If kept well, it can last a long period of time.

Solid wood has edges that are smooth and continuous and varnishing is well done to have a polished finish.  With a piece of furniture made from solid wood, there are rays that appear on the surface whereby when one looks at it from different angles, there is a change in the color on the surface. This is only seen in solid wood.


Another way to know the difference between solid wood and soft wood is that, solid wood has a natural smell when it is still fresh. Palm wood has an oily smell and cypress is known to have a musky smell. Soft wood doesn’t have a natural distinctive smell since it goes through processing.

So the next time you are thinking of changing up your furniture, its best to invest in good quality solid wood furniture and if you want to know where to get some of the best wooden furniture, you can always pop into Panesar when u can get an endless variety to pick from.


Photos by: @boroinside

Furniture from: Panesar’s Kenya Ltd.


Panesar Center. Mombasa

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