(Cushion Care – see bottom of Page)
Our Premium Teak furniture highlights the beauty and grain of solid teak. Due to natural variations in the wood, graining and color may differ between pieces. Natural Teak weathers to a beautiful silver-gray patina over time. This weathering process will vary depending on climate, exposure to the elements, and commitment to care and maintenance. Teak expands and contracts with changes in climate. Shrinking of the wood can result in cracks in the assembly joints or the grain of the wood itself. This does not affect the structural integrity of the furniture construction.
Teak is dense and has a high oil content, which makes it particularly suitable for outdoor use. The natural oils prevent rotting and provide resistance to fungus, termites and wood-boring pests. The natural oils in teak may surface as a result of exposure to rain and humidity and appear like water stains. Oil content can vary between pieces, so oil surfacing may recur multiple times before it naturally subsides over a period of several months. Address oil surfacing by rinsing the frames with water and cleaning with a mild detergent solution when it occurs. After air drying, any residual stains can be lightly sanded with a 120-grit paper to remove them.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
A suitable stain or clear finish will help maintain the original quality of teak and increase surface resistance to moisture, UV rays, mold, mildew, and food and drink stains and will help maintain the original color of teak.
To keep the surfaces clean from dirt, mold and mildew, periodically hose with water and a mild detergent solution, scrubbing in the directions of the grain. For stubborn areas the careful use of a Power Washer to clean may be preferred. Hold the power washer approximately 30″ away from the furniture and do not exceed 1200 PSI. Rinse, and then allow to sun-dry.
Exposure to moisture over time can raise the wood grain. A light sanding with fine 120-grit sandpaper smooths the surface.
Avoid letting water stand on the surface of furniture and cushions. When items are not in use for longer than a few days cushions should be removed to avoid mold and mildew build-up.
If cushions get wet, tip them on their sides with the zipper facing down and unzipped to ensure that all water drains.
Teak furniture will last for many, many years. Although some of the newer type of stains and finishes last for years it does take regular maintenance to keep teak furniture looking beautiful but is well worth the effort and time.
You may wish to maintain the golden teak look or prefer to let the teak weather naturally to a silver/gray. Either way this product care page gives detailed instructions on the maintenance of your teak furniture.
- Care & Maintenance – Allowing the teak to weather naturally
If left untreated, as typical of all outdoor hardwood, teak will take on a silver gray patina it weathers and the wood is exposed to the elements. Teak may flex or warp slightly and cracks (known as checking) may appear; this is a characteristic of all hardwood timbers and will not affect the strength or durability of the furniture.
Very little care is needed in this instance apart from periodic cleaning to remove any unsightly mold or mildew which may accumulate over time. We recommend the use of a stiff synthetic bristle brush and detergent to clean the furniture. In cases where the furniture has been left to weather for a longer period you may find that the careful use of a pressure washer will achieve a quicker result.
All outdoor furniture will be affected by unsightly black mold or mildew sooner or later and sometimes after just a few days. To prevent mold & mildew from forming, wash when the furniture is new and then occasionally with a mixture of detergent or bleach. Existing mold & mildew may be removed with an outdoor bleach solution (eg Clorox) in a regular garden sprayer. Usually just spraying the area will remove most black marks – follow manufacturers guidelines for dilution strength and safety guidelines. For stubborn areas use of a teak cleaner may be necessary and in some cases the wood may need to be sanded to completely remove it. To clean dirt buildup use a mild detergent with a stiff synthetic bristle brush. After scrubbing, rinse off with water. Ideally this process should be done every Spring and Fall or simply as required.
- Care & Maintenance – Maintaining that new teak look
To revive weathered furniture, sand and clean the wood to remove all debris and previous treatment.
You may then apply a wood stain. There are many suitable stains and finishes you can use, for example Behr Premium Transparent Waterproofing Wood Finish is one that many of our customers have used previously.
Surfaces to be stained must be clean, dry and free of dirt, mildew, oil or grease.
Sand using medium grade sandpaper. Remove all previous treatment and smooth weathered surfaces until an even surface is achieved. You may find that the careful use of a pressure washer will achieve a quicker result. For best results sand to bare wood.
If mildew or mold is evident, use detergent, teak cleaner or bleach to remove mildew or mold prior to staining as mildew will grow through the stain if not removed.
To clean oil and grease stains, use a domestic detergent or chlorine bleach.
Stain/Teak Oil Application:
To avoid lap marks, do not stain in direct hot sun.
Apply using a natural or polyester brush. Wipe off excess with a rag.
Cleaning and sealing outdoor wood furniture is not much different from doing the same thing for a wood deck. Outdoor wood tables, chairs, fencing, wood play sets, arbors and so forth all take the same abuse from the weather.
To maintain a golden color it is important to treat the furniture with a Protective Wood Stain/Sealant. Depending on the exposure to the weather it may be necessary to do this every year or so, although if under cover or stored indoors during winter it may be several years before it will require any further treatment.
We recommend the use of a stiff synthetic bristle brush and detergent, teak cleaner or chlorine bleach to clean the furniture. You may find that the careful use of a pressure washer will achieve a quicker result.
Allow the wood to dry fully after it has been cleaned. The washing process almost always raises the grain of the wood. This means you’ll have to sand it to get it back to a smooth furniture finish. A palm sander works perfectly for this purpose. Use a fine – medium grade sandpaper. Once the wood has been sanded remove any remaining sawdust completely by lightly washing or wiping away.
Now that the wood is prepared and clean, you should seal it with a clear or colored wood stain. Test your chosen product on a part of the furniture that will not show i.e. underneath the table top, to make sure you are achieving the required shade.
There are many woodstain brands, colors and finishes easily available (for example Olympic, Behr, Cabot, Armstrong Clark etc) but generally these stains fall into two major categories, based on how the product bonds to the wood.
Teak Oil is another alternative but does not last as long and requires much more maintenance than the alternatives.
A film-forming sealant bonds to the surface of the wood like paint or polyurethane varnish. This protective film can provide a beautiful high-gloss furniture look, while still allowing the natural wood grain to show through. These products form a very durable surface that prevents the wood from weathering. Remember, a high-quality sealant will look great, but know that they will eventually have to be stripped off if refinishing the wood with a different product. Film-formers include many alkyds, latex-acrylics and varnish resins in oil or water-based finishes. Pigments are added to the products to change the wood color and add UV protection. In the past, these film coatings have been known to crack as the wood expands and contracts during normal moisture cycling. However, in recent years technological advances have made great strides toward adding a high degree of flexibility and micro porosity in these products, which prevents blistering and cracking and achieves a very handsome, durable satin finish. Eventually these sealants may have to be stripped before reapplication, because too many coats can result in discoloration.
The next major category is a penetrating stain with water repellent. Actually, the industry prefers the term “water-repellent preservative,” because it has a preservative (mildewcide or fungicide) that helps control mildew growth. Some products also contain ultraviolet light absorbers, stabilizers or blockers. Penetrating stains are available in both oil-based and water-based formulations. The resins penetrate wood pores to block out the damaging effects of weather while allowing the natural texture to shine through. These finishes offer pigment and protection, but there’s no glossy coat on the penetrating stains.
There are excellent products in both the film-forming and penetrating categories, and your choice may come down to personal taste: a glossy furniture-like finish or a more natural appearance.
We urge you to work in the shade when applying the sealers. Some sealers require you to apply two coats within 15 minutes of each other to get maximum protection. Working in direct sunlight can shorten this time dramatically, leading to poor finish and visible overlaps.
Working in the shade is easier on you, the wood and the sealer. If you can move the furniture inside your garage or other covered work area, do so. This is impossible in many instances so choose to work on an overcast day if possible.
Staining and sealing outdoor furniture requires a fine touch so your brush strokes are not seen and you don’t create any overlap marks.
You have to maintain a wet edge with the sealer, which means that you stain each piece of wood completely so that you don’t stop working until you reach the end of that piece of wood or it intersects with another piece of wood. Failure to do this can result in very unattractive overlaps where the color of the sealer seems darker at the overlap area.
Leave the finish to dry thoroughly according to the manufacturers guidelines before using the furniture.
We have tried to give you some general information to maintain your furniture but please always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing and applying any products as there are many similar products but with differing application processes and guidelines.
- About our Teak Products
Our solid teak products are crafted from responsibly harvested, plantation grown teak. The teak is kiln-dried and using mortise-and-tenon joinery provides superb strength and longevity.
Teak may flex or warp slightly and cracks (known as checking) may appear; this is a characteristic of all hardwood timbers and will not affect the strength or durability of the furniture.
Weathering and color variation over time is natural for teak wood outdoor furniture.
Teak wood is generally unaffected by insects, fungus, acids or alkalis. These qualities produce the finest outdoor furniture in the world. It is a personal choice if you choose to keep the furniture in its ‘as new’ finished condition or to leave to weather naturally to a silver/gray patina.
Our cushions are made from Olefin fabric, we found this article from the New York Times ‘The wire’ section which deals with cleaning Olefin Outdoor Fabric:
This spring, when we finally put it out, it stayed clean for about an hour before a passing raven anointed the sofa with a big, grotesque splattered stain. Since then, out among the California super bloom, it’s withstood an avalanche of bugs, buds, dust, dog hair, drippings from trees, and always something fresh from the birds.
To get the set clean again, I kinda treat it like a rug.
First, I vacuum it with a mini roller attachment on a Dyson V8 cordless stick vac. This lifts random tree goobers without rubbing their oozy dyes into the upholstery, digs out dried-up crusty stains, contours to the grooves of the cushions, and reaches between the crevices. I do not roll it over live insects, and I avoid anything wet.
Next, I hit it with a rag. A damp rag helps moisten and soften any crusted stuff that’s still stuck after the vacuum pass. For spot cleaning, I like unscented Huggies. I do two passes, first removing the big chunks, then dabbing the damp spots to grab any remaining solids or goo. A budget cloth rag also works, especially if the job is too big for baby wipes. First, get a bowl of clean water and dampen the rag. If the cushions are damp from rain or drizzle, start with a dry rag, whipping off the crusted stuff, trying not to smear it. The cushions look like absolute garbage after this step.
Scrub it with a brush. I fill a shallow metal bowl with a teaspoon of Oxiclean and a cup of warm water, then stir that around til the Oxiclean dissolves. For small spot cleaning, I use an old toothbrush, and for bigger stains, I use a 6-inch iron handle scrub brush. Both brushes’ vinyl bristles have a way of prying up pieces from fine weaves of the cushions. It leaves trace damp spots that become undetectable after 15 minutes in the sun.
For stains that can’t be lifted with the vacuum or a baby wipe, use an old toothbrush to treat stains. Dip the brush in a diluted watery mix with a squirt of hand soap and a dash of Puracy or OxiClean stain remover.
A brief word of praise for one of the finest tools of its kind: The Rubbermaid Commercial 6-inch Iron Handle Scrubbing Brush. This kind of brush—with an elliptical grip that loosely fits your fingers like brass knuckles for scrubbing—is not exclusive to Rubbermaid, and you can spot its dollar store cousins by their telltale 2-inch blue bristles that are stiff with a slight kink. The bulky peninsula stump handles on the Scotch-Brite and HDX scrub brushes probably work fine, but I like how you can stretch out your fingers in this enclosed space and shift your grip without dropping a slick tool. The straight handle on this Libman or the handle-free Oxo make my wrist and knuckles hurt just looking at them.
The crucial iron handle format—think clothing iron, not made of iron—is weirdly hard to find at Home Depot, Target, or Ace. But it’s front and center at janitorial supply houses: At Janitorial Superstore locations in Florida, Budget Janitorial Supply out of Pelham, Alabama, or Ocean Janitorial in Islip Terrace, NY, this is The Brush.
In the future: Prevent the mess. We have a cover. I have been too lazy to open the box and put it on. Now that the couch is clean, it suddenly seems well worth using the cover. It is probably healthy to look at all this like a car wash situation: You know you’ll need to do it again, but it’s pretty satisfying to clean it well anyway.
Adapt as needed. Some of your success may come down to the material itself. Our cushions are made of Olefin, a polypropylene fiber; so far, so good. If a basic soap and water mix isn’t cutting it for you, try using an OxiClean slurry that staff writer Zoe Vanderweide tested on pit stains. Use a toothbrush to work it in, blot with a rag or paper towel with clean water, and then dab it again with a dry towel.