How to Care for Teak Furniture (Indoor & Outoor Wood Care Tips)


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Wood made of teak is good-looking, durable, and practical. You can leave it out in any weather, and it will retain its original shape. Teak is also a hardwood that does not easily crack or splinter with exposure to the sun. It has a natural resistance to termites. With the right type of care and maintenance will last you for several years.

Because of its good looks and durability, teak is the favored choice to make outdoor furniture, patios, decks, and a variety of outdoor wooden structures. That being said, you can use teak for a lot of indoor wooden furniture as well.

Teak garden furniture
Teak garden furniture (Image: Crinklecrankle.com via Flickr )

Teak is well-known for its ability to take polish and oil very well. When finished properly, it is the smartest-looking of all types of wood. Because of the natural oils that it contains, teak has a fair degree of resistance to insect attack and is reasonably waterproof. Teak Is also quite dense, making it a durable wood and suitable for all types of structural frameworks.

Despite its natural durability, teak tends to accumulate mildew and can discolor with time. Therefore, furniture made of this wood needs to be treated and cleaned regularly.  In this post, we take a closer look at maintaining teak to get the best out of this popular hardwood.

Care for Teak Furniture

Over time, however, mildew can form, and the teak finish may discolor, so maintaining teak furniture through regular cleaning and treatment is necessary to keep your teak looking its best. Learn the basics of oiling teak and clean teak wood furniture by this simple guide.

Cleaning Your Teak Furniture

Cleaning materials
Cleaning materials (Image: pixabay.html)

We know teak due to its natural resistance to drought and mold. However, you should not take for granted that mildew cannot form. Also, this wood can become stained in the course of using it. It is useful to know how to clean teak. Here are a few simple steps to get the job done correctly:

Items required

  • Bucket
  • Detergent
  • Freshwater
  • Liquid bleach

Procedure

Step 1: Clear the area from items that you don’t require. You can also so spread out some newspapers or cloth under the area that you will be cleaning to minimize the mess.

Step2: Lightly rinse the furniture with water. Take care not to use very high pressure if you are using a hose.

Step 3: Now, soak a cloth soaked in a mild cleaning solution and gently rub the wood’s surface with the fabric. If there are any patches of mildew or the wood is stained, you can use the soft plastic brush and rub a little harder on those places.

Step 4: Let the cleaning solution soak into the wood for about 15 minutes.

Step 5: Now wash the entire surface of the wood with water and leave it to dry.

Oiling Your Teak Furniture

Brushing wood oil in teak furniture
Brushing wood oil to teak furniture (Image: sweetlouise)

Once your teak furniture is clean and dry, you can add a protective layer to enhance the durability. By adding a suitable finish to the wood, it will look attractive as well. You may shy away from doing this job yourself, but it is not that difficult when once you are familiar with the procedure.

For oiling teak, you can use boiled linseed oil (BLO) or tung oil mixed in solvents. You can also get special oils that protect the teak from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. You can read more about applying finishes to outdoor furniture in another of our posts.

Items Required

  • Sandpaper
  • Wood oil
  • Paintbrush
  • Lint-free cloth

Procedure

Step 1: Using sandpaper, rub down the wood’s surface until any previous coatings are removed.

Step 2: Prepare the teak oil by adding the required quantity of solvent and pigment if needed.

Step 3: Apply the oil with lint-free cloth or paintbrush. You can also use a spray painter if you have one.

Step 4: Allow the coating to dry completely. It can take between two to four hours for this process to complete.

Step 5: Once the surface of the wood is completely dry; you can apply successive coats. Ensure that the previous layer is dry before you apply the next one.

You may have to maintain your teak furniture by cleaning and oiling it every six months to a year, depending on the condition. If you follow the above procedures, your furniture will last for a long time. The process described here can be applied to teak furniture and other items both indoors and outdoors.

Sealing Your Teak Furniture

SEAL-ONCE EXOTIC Premium wood sealer, waterproofer & stain 1-Gallon. Enhanced formula for denser Brazilian hardwoods like Ipe, Teak & Mahagony. Water-based, ultra-low VOC, non-toxic, 11 color tints.
Wood Sealer for hardwoods like Ipe, Teak & Mahagony (Image: Amazon)

If your furniture is left outside and exposed to the elements, you may have to undertake a third maintenance procedure, sealing the surface. Teak wood contains natural oils that maintain its strength and durability. By applying a sealant, you can restore the original color of the wood without using oil or any staining material.

Items Required

  • Sandpaper
  •  Lint-free cloth or paintbrush
  • Teak sealant liquid

Procedure

Step 1:  Clean and dry your furniture, as described above.

Step 2:  Leave your furniture out in the open for a couple of weeks. By doing this, you will allow the grain to open up. It gives the sealant a better chance of better penetration and adhering well to the wood.

Step 3: Using Sandpaper rub down the surface of the wood gently until you see the honey color of the wood.

Step 4:  Rub the wood’s surface with a dry cloth to ensure that all the loose sawdust and debris get brushed away.

Step 5: Apply the sealant with a spray can, paintbrush, or lint-free cloth.

Step 6: Allowed the coating to dry.

Step 7: Once the previous coat dries, apply another two or three layers.

If you repeat this procedure at least once a year, you will be able to enhance the life of your teak furniture.

Conclusion

Having teak furniture is nice, but it needs a minimum amount of maintenance. If you maintain your furniture regularly, you can get the best out of it. The common mistake that people make is not to maintain their teak furniture. Over time it deteriorates and begins to look dilapidated.

In this post, we have explained the necessary procedures for cleaning and oil teak furniture. Even if you keep your furniture outdoors, you need to go through the additional process of sealing it. We have also described in full detail on how to apply a sealant to your teak furniture. If you follow these procedures, you can get the best out of your teak furniture, which will always look good.

Featured Image by Faraway Furniture / shai aharony

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