Walnut is a hard wood, it is strong and durable and it takes carving well. The colour varies from a light to a dark nutty brown, with the grain generally being straight, the notable exception being burr walnut which exhibits a wild and abandoned grain pattern. Some antique furniture is made from solid walnut although because of its high price many pieces were made by veneering thin sheets of walnut on to a pine or other softwood carcase.

Burr walnut is generally veneered because the burr pattern only occurs where a branch or root grows out of the main trunk. It is therefore rare and occurs in small areas and so has to be joined for larger pieces such as tables and wardrobes. Burr walnut reached its height of popularity in the Art Deco period and many pieces still come onto the market, although not all are in good condition.

Antique walnut furniture can have problems with old worm damage as walnut is particularly susceptible to wood worm attack. While a few old holes on a piece that has been treated for wood worm can be ignored, evidence of a widespread or current infestation may well render the piece so weak as to be unusable and should be avoided. Despite its pitfalls vintage and antique walnut furniture for sale is still sort after and is extremely attractive and decorative.