Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Care for Teak Furniture

Happy Monday!
We had a beautiful weather all weekend which allowed us to work outside and really get the backyard ready for the season.  

Teak is one of the most beautiful high quality woods available.  It's a very dense, straight-grained hardwood with a coarse texture.  It is resistant to rotting and is almost impervious to the effects of sun, rain, snow and frost.  It makes it perfect for outdoor use.  
We have outdoor dining chairs with teak arms, a teak coffee table and a teak bench in our backyard.  This weekend we spent a little time maintaining these pieces.  Most of the teak arms on our dining set are in perfect condition, but they had grayed and dried out a little bit causing splinters.  We store the furniture in our shed during the winter.  I don't know if an animal got into the shed and ate some of this arm or what, but it was in need of some maintenance.  Teak starts out a warm golden color, but turns to a gray patina usually within a year.  I am not as big a fan of the gray so I also wanted to address that.
Using an electric sander, I sanded the arms of all of the chairs.  Some needed more sanding than others, but in the end they all were smooth and not going to give our guests splinters anymore.  
After sanding all of the arms, I applied two coats of teak oil.  Honestly I think teak oil should be applied each year.  We have owned these chairs for 15 years and I think this is only the second or third time we have done this.  It makes a huge difference and helps prolong the life of the teak.

Next I turned my attention to the teak coffee table we bought a few years ago from Restoration Hardware.  You can see the difference between the side with the teak oil and the side without.  I also power washed and sanded this piece before applying the teak oil.  You can also use a teak cleaner before the oil to clean the piece thoroughly.  It's best to start with a clean piece to get the best results.
The most dramatic difference was this teak bench that my husband bought for me as an anniversary gift 14  years ago.  It was a mess covered in green and apparently attacked by bird droppings.  We were so busy that I forgot to snap a before photo.  After power washing it and lightly sanding it, it looks brand new.  
So if you're like me and you prefer to keep your teak's original golden color, rather than letting it turn a gray patina,  just lightly sand and then apply a teak cleaner and protectant.  Well worth the time and effort.  Have a great day!


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