Pine Wood is very low cost and takes paint well, making it ideal for kid’s furniture (the same holds true for birch and poplar woods). Pine develops a nice, rustic patina from age and use, and it resists shrinking and swelling. However, it is a soft wood making it prone to scratches and dents.
Cherry Wood is easily shaped and polishes up well. However, it is expensive and sometimes the color darkens with age.
Maple Wood is affordable and very durable. It can take a beating and look great for years. As it takes dark stains well, maple is often stained to mimic a more expensive wood, such as cherry or mahogany, with no real noticeable difference. The downside is that if maple is not properly sealed first, the staining can look blotchy. It is also heavy and the grain has less variation than other woods, so if you’re looking for an abundance of waves and swirls, it is not your best choice.
Oak Wood is very durable and is often cut in a way that makes it resistant to warping. It has a distinctive look because of its visible wavy grain, and a clear finish will nicely highlight that grain. Unfortunately, stain can overly darken and exaggerate the grain, so it can end up looking two-toned.
Walnut Wood is a very strong and stable wood that can take intricate carving. The color can be stunningly beautiful. One negative is that some may not like the variation from dark to light that's sometimes found on a single plank. It is also one of the more expensive woods.