The sapwood of walnut is creamy white, while the heartwood is light brown to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks. Walnut can be supplied steamed, to darken sapwood or left unsteamed. The wood is generally straight grained, but sometimes with wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure.
Walnut works easily with hand and machine tools, and nails, screws and glues well. It holds paint and stain very well and can be polished to an exceptional finish. It dries slowly, and care is needed to avoid kilning degrade. Walnut has good dimensional stability.
Walnut is a tough hard timber of medium density, with moderate bending and crushing strengths and low stiffness. It has a good steam bending classification.
Rated as very resistant to heartwood decay, it is one of the most durable woods even under conditions favorable to decay. Sapwood liable to attack by the powder post beetles.
Furniture, cabinet making, architectural interiors, high class joinery, doors, flooring and panelling. A favored wood for using in contrast with lighter colored timbers.