April 21, 2024

Choosing the Right Materials for Your DIY Industrial Furniture Project

Industrial-style furniture has gained immense popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Its combination of raw materials, minimalist design, and robust construction make it a unique and attractive addition to any home. If you’re considering a DIY industrial furniture project, one of the most crucial aspects to get right is selecting the right materials. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect materials to create your own industrial-style furniture pieces.


Steel is the backbone of industrial design, and it plays a significant role in most industrial furniture pieces. When selecting steel for your project, you have several options:


  1. Square Tubing: Square steel tubing is versatile and commonly used in constructing table frames and chair legs. Its clean lines and structural stability make it a favorite among DIY enthusiasts.
  2. Round Tubing: Round steel tubing can add a softer touch to your industrial furniture. It’s often used for chair backs and handles, offering a more comfortable grip.
  3. Angle Iron: Angle iron is perfect for creating sturdy table legs and frames. It provides excellent support and is ideal for heavy-duty furniture.
  4. Rebar: If you want a rustic and raw look, consider using rebar for accents or decorative elements. It can add an authentic industrial touch to your project.


Wood is another essential material in industrial furniture design. It provides warmth and contrast to the cold, industrial feel of metal. When choosing wood, consider these factors:

  1. Type of Wood: Hardwoods like oak, walnut, or maple are excellent choices for tabletops and seating surfaces due to their durability and beautiful grain patterns. Plywood or reclaimed wood can be used for shelves and cabinet doors.
  2. Finish: Industrial furniture often features distressed or weathered finishes. You can achieve this look by sanding and staining your wood or using techniques like wire brushing or whitewashing.


The hardware you choose can significantly impact the overall appearance of your industrial furniture. Look for hardware that matches the industrial aesthetic, such as:

  1. Screws and Bolts: Exposed screws and bolts are a hallmark of industrial design. Choose ones with an aged or rustic finish for an authentic look.
  2. Handles and Knobs: Drawer pulls and cabinet handles should be substantial and utilitarian in design. Consider options like pipe fittings, leather straps, or metal bars.


The finish you apply to your materials can make or break your DIY industrial furniture project. Some popular finish options include:

  1. Clear Coat: A clear coat can preserve the natural beauty of your wood while protecting it from wear and tear.
  2. Paint: You can opt for matte or chalk paint in neutral colors for a distressed look. Black or dark gray paint can also create a sleek and industrial appearance.
  3. Patina: To achieve an aged or weathered look on metal, consider using patina solutions. These can add depth and character to your steel components.

Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a priority when working with materials like steel and wood. Be sure to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and safety glasses. Additionally, follow all safety guidelines and instructions for using tools and machinery.

Choosing the right materials for your DIY industrial furniture project is crucial to achieving the desired aesthetic and functionality. By carefully selecting steel, wood, hardware, and finishes that align with the industrial style, you can create unique and impressive furniture pieces that will be the focal point of your home’s decor. 

Whether you’re building a coffee table, bookshelves, or dining chairs, the materials you choose will play a significant role in the success of your project. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your materials, and start crafting your very own industrial-inspired furniture today!

This post was written by a professional at Southern Rust Furniture. At Southern Rust, we take furniture seriously. We specialize in Industrial Wood Desk furniture with a rustic twist. Our pieces can be adapted to fit a variety of styles, and we can customize all the details to perfect each piece for your home or office. At Southern Rust, we know that details matter, and finding one-of-a-kind custom-built furniture to fit your space is hard to come by. However, our highly skilled team can make your vision a reality. If you’re looking to furnish your space, you can view our popular pieces and order them directly, or you can meet with us to design a custom piece for your home or office.