What Wood to Use for an Exterior Wood Railing

Exterior railings made from wood fit right into natural surroundings. When looking for types of wood to use for railings, you need to consider a few things, such as how long you want the keep the railings for, how much you are prepared to pay for the wood, and the color of the wood in its raw state.


Pine is probably the most economical wood to use for railings. Pine looks good with a clear gloss, is pale tan in color, and can be stained to any desired shade. Since pine is a treated wood, it is insect and rot resistant.


Cypress is a darker wood, in shades of tan to red. It is popular because of its natural color and resistance to rot and insects. It costs a little more than pine, but is richer in finish.


Golden brown in color, cedar is another wood with a richer looking finish. A clear gloss is all that is needed to bring out the beauty of this wood. Cedar is also rot and insect resistant.


Redwood is in the high end market of wood. It has a deep rich red color, and is long wearing, and stunning. This is the wood to aim for if you want nothing but the highest of quality.

Tropical Hardwood: Ironwood and Pau Lope

These tan colored woods are the longest wearing, and very expensive. They last up to 40 years when treated. They are not commonly used due to the expense, but still an option for outdoor use.