Part of the birch family, alder is moderately light and it is more soft than other hardwoods. Alder is an ideal wood species for furniture and cabinetry because it has a consistent color, is stable, and accepts stains well. When cut, alder wood is white, however, it changes color as soon as it is exposed to air. Once exposed to enough air, this wood is light tan to reddish brown, and like cherry wood, it gets darker and redder with age. Its grain pattern and look are similar to that of birch wood. The grain is moderately fine, straight, and has a uniform texture. Alder is easy to work with, either by using hand or machine tools. It also sands well. Red alder, in particular, has good properties when glued, stained, and finished.