Teak wood is naturally oily and requires no treatment to be used indoors or outdoors, and the use of teak oil won’t increase the life of the wood. However, teak oil does change the colour to a soft yellow-brown, and it can also help to prevent stains from seeping into the wood grain. It will also slow down the graying effect caused by ultraviolet rays.
Using Teak Oil to maintain appearance
To maintain its appearance, teak oiled furniture will need to be re-oiled periodically. If you decide to re-oil your furniture, select a good quality teak oil from your local supplier. A basic method for oiling is as follows:
Tools needed include:
- Teak Oil
- A clean 1″ or 2″ paint brush
- Some clean cotton rags
- Good light and plenty of space to work in
The process can be a little messy so be sure to wear work clothes, and household gloves will keep the oil off your hands.
- The furniture should first be cleaned [see below]. Ensure that the wood is completely dry before starting the next step.
- Take your sandpaper and lightly sand the wood until it's smooth before you start to apply the oil.
- Apply the teak oil with a clean brush, starting from the top and working downwards. The surface should be left wet by the brush, but try to avoid leaving surplus oil on the wood.
- After a few minutes – between 5 and 15 depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, the oil will start to become ‘tacky’. At this point the surface of the furniture should be wiped down with a clean cotton rag, carefully removing all surplus oil.
- One coat is usually sufficient, but you can apply a second coat if required, after a minimum of one hour for the first coat to dry.
- Once you’ve completed the oiling and the surface is dry to the touch, a second clean rag can be used to “buff up” the surface.
If you wish to remove the silver-gray appearance and dirt from your outdoor teak furniture, wash with warm soapy water using a normal medium household bristle brush [not too stiff] or a jet-wash.. Wash from the top downwards, and then rinse with clean water. There are also proprietary cleaners on the market that can be used to clean off various deposits and accumulated dirt and stains.
We do not recommend the use of steel wool or steel wire brushes to clean teak furniture, as any metal residue left in the wood grain may rust and discolour the wood.
If after washing your furniture still has some stubborn and heavily ingrained stains, these can be removed by sanding with a fine grade of sandpaper, being sure to work only with the direction of the timber grain. After sanding away the stains, if the furniture was previously teak oiled you may wish to re-oil, or if it had previously been left natural (unfinished), the fresh teak color exposed by sanding will soon mellow to a silver gray patina.