Choosing A Prime-Stock Wood Species For Your Home Design

egg and dart moldingSome woods are more highly prized than others for carving and home design. These ones are not recommended for dramatic stains or coats of paint! Take a look at three options that are popular in America for high-quality, luxury design.

Black Walnut

While this particular species of walnut tree is, in fact, native to North America, it’s also been prime stock since colonial days. This wood is incredibly sturdy, making it historically a popular option for everything from rifle stocks to family heirloom furniture pieces. While the wood sometimes leans grey, the deep, moody, purple-brown of finer heartwood cuts is highly prized. Imagine that beautiful color on your simple egg and dart molding or architectural wood carvings. Lovely and statement-making. Anything but a clear stain is discouraged for this unique wood.


Ah, tropical mahogany, conjuring images of graceful fireplace corbel designs, intricately carved wood trim, and richly colored vintage molding. Fun fact: Mahogany is generally thought of as a hardwood, but most species of mahogany actually have a midrange Janka rating. What is the Janka rating, you ask? The Janka system is a way of determining the relative hardness of woods by driving a .444 inch steel ball into the wood sample until half the diameter of the ball is embedded and then calculating the force required to do so. White Oak, for example, has a higher Janka rating than most mahogany species. Even so, mahogany is a coveted classic hardwood due to its reddish hue, rarity, and relative strength.

White Oak

White Oak has a finer texture than its cousin, the red oak, and is harvested far less often. Originally used for majestic colonial and British ships and favored by coopers for barrel-making, white oaks are relatively rare today compared to 450 years ago. They picked up popularity as home design material when the Victorians stained and polished it, marketing it as Golden Oak. Its wood errs more on the tan side than white, but its pale color and fine grain make it a beautiful choice for everything from wood onlays to dainty egg and dart molding.

Although we don’t typically have these three options on hand, our experts and artisans at Enkeboll are happy to order one for your special project. Call or email to discuss making your creation out of one of these prized exotic cuts.

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