Can You Make Furniture From Olive Wood? Is It Any Good?

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If you have ever wanted to make or even purchase olive wood furniture, I’m here to show you which furniture can be made from olive wood, how quality it is, and, of course, whether olive wood furniture is expensive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Olive wood is popular for small, high-end furniture due to its hardness and beautiful appearance.
  • It’s not suitable for large furniture because olive trees have small, curvy trunks.
  • Common uses include chairs, small tables, and decorative chests.
  • Olive wood is expensive.
  • It’s primarily used for indoor furniture, as it doesn’t fare well outdoors.

Is Olive Wood Good For Making Furniture?

guy making olive wood furniture

It’s impossible to make everything from olive wood, and that’s why I’m writing this section.

Olive wood is hardwood, which makes it a perfect choice when making furniture. It has a Janka Hardness Rating of 2690. When compared to Oak (most used in the furniture industry), olive wood is more than double as hard.

Also, olive wood is easy to work with because it’s easy to turn and carve despite its hardness. You can carve it with hand tools pretty easily. It also can be glued and finished well, which is fantastic.

Let’s see some disadvantages now. The biggest problem with olive wood is that it’s hard to get lumber from it. It takes years for olive trees to fully grow, and even then, the trunk is very curvy, so it’s impossible to make high-quality and straight lumbers, which are important for making larger pieces of furniture.

Olive wood should also be dried slowly because it could wrap if you dry it forcibly. Another disadvantage of olive wood is that it can’t survive for too long in the open. That’s the reason you should only make indoor furniture from olive wood.

Because of its own oils inside, olive wood may be resistant to water-based finishes. That’s why many people seal the wood with a shellac wash coat, which is compatible with olive wood. Another thing, many olive trees will have gaps in trunks, which isn’t a good thing when it comes to industrial furniture.

So, even though olive wood has some great properties (check them here), it’s not suitable for most furniture manufacturers.

Types of Furniture Made From Olive Wood

Because of all of the above, not many types of furniture are made from olive wood. Yet, some of them may be very interesting to you, so you can buy them or even make them if you’re a woodworker.

Most common furniture made from olive wood:

  • Chairs
  • Small coffee tables
  • Decorative chests
  • Flooring (rarely)
  • Coat racks and stands

As you can see, not many types of furniture are produced from olive wood. Again, the reason lies in its size and availability. All of this furniture will be high-end and will cost you much more than furniture made from oak, for example.

Larger pieces of olive wood furniture can be made by gluing slabs and planks. That way, you won’t have problems producing larger furniture such as dining tables. But again, not many people make that.

Olive woods are usually twisted and curvy, which makes them a fantastic choice for making epoxy tables. That way, you can show all the olive wood beauty, while still making the table extremely durable and staunch.

Why Is Olive Wood Furniture Expensive?

olive wood board

Olive wood is extremely expensive because of the wood’s availability, price, and size. Also, people working with olive wood mostly make only high-end furniture, and that’s one of the reasons, too.

The availability of olive wood is very limited, and that’s mostly because people use it for olive fruit production, and it’s not worth selling the wood. Also, in some countries, it’s even prohibited by law to cut olive trees (for wood).

All that makes olive wood lumber, slabs, and slats hard and expensive to get. For instance, lumber prices start at $26 per board foot but can easily cost more than $100. That’s what makes olive wood furniture extremely expensive. Much more than furniture made from some other types of wood.

How To Care For Olive Wood Furniture

applying mineral oil to olive wood cutting board

If you already have some olive wood furniture or are planning to buy it, I want to share a few tips and tricks on caring for olive wood furniture. That way, the furniture will last for years.

How to care for olive wood furniture:

  1. Regularly remove dust from it.
  2. Wash it once a month using soapy water, and then dry it using some microfiber towels.
  3. Once a year, apply mineral oil to furniture. (clean it, apply 1st coat of mineral oil, let it dry, and apply 2nd coat of mineral oil). Don’t use olive oil or vegetable oils for that purpose. Mineral oil is the best because it won’t leave the furniture greasy.

Don’t use products such as Pronto for cleaning and maintaining olivewood furniture. That’ll make it greasy, it’ll change the appearance of furniture, and also may „kill“ the olive wood’s natural smell.


Is olive wood good wood?

Olive wood is extremely good wood, especially for burning and creating smaller pieces of art, furniture, musical instruments, utensils, and more. It has a great smell and a rich appearance, full of various colors.

Is olive wood a hardwood?

Olive wood is considered a hardwood. Its density is about 62 lbs/ft3 (990kg/m3). It is one of the densest and hardest woods out there.

Is olive wood hard to carve?

Even though olive wood is very dense and hard, it’s pretty easy to carve, even if using hand tools only. It’s because of its tight grain and natural oils. Many woodworkers love to carve olive wood because of the sweet aroma that comes from the wood while carving.

Can olive wood be used for flooring?

Yes, olive wood can be used for flooring and is actually fantastic for that purpose because of its hardiness. However, olive wood flooring, especially parquets, is very rare because of the high price. In my opinion, olive wood flooring is beautiful, and if it’s more affordable, more people will use it.

Is olive wood good for tables?

When we’re looking at olive wood properties only, it’s fantastic for tables. However, the problem is that olive wood lumbers aren’t large, which makes creating tables much tougher. Most people do it by gluing smaller slabs into one large table board.

Is the furniture made from olive wood any good?

Furniture made from olive wood is extremely high-quality and is considered high-end furniture. With proper care, you can expect it to last a few hundreds of years.