Woods vary in hardness, colour and type of grain. The type of grain can vary from very open and can have a straight irregular or fixed pattern. Some woods have very attractive patterns.

The main purpose is knowing the kind of wood you are working with is to make it easier to determine how the wood will react to stains and various types of finishes. For example, softer woods are very absorbent and, in many cases, are more difficult to stain. They tend to absorb the stain irregularly and often will require an extra coat of finishing compared to the number of coats on hard woods.