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 (In which case we recommend using a protective finish like Behr Premium Transparent Waterproofing Wood Finish 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. Over time the 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 like Behr Premium Transparent Waterproofing Wood Finish, although there are other products available.
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. 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 Teak Oil or Wood Stain. 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 or Teak Oil. 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.
Teak Oil is available from most hardware stores. 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.
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.