Caring for Teak Furniture

Caring for Teak
We are often asked about the best ways to care for Teak Furniture. Because of the hard and yet forgiving nature of the timber it will withstand a great deal of abuse. But it will also repay a little tender loving care, so you may care to read through this page and pick up a few hints.

Generally, you can buy our Teak Garden Furniture in one of two conditions:
Fine sanded
Oiled with Teak Oil.

Fine Sanded
If you buy your furniture fine sanded it will have only the natural color of the wood coupled with the raw natural texture of the teak grain. The untreated timber is a very pleasant yellowy-brown olive color when still fresh.

If your furniture is to be used indoors, and away from a lot of natural sunlight, over a period of time -perhaps six months to a year - the wood will gradually become a darker shade of brown.

If on the other hand the furniture is left outdoors, the effects of the suns rays will 'bleach out' the timbers natural color, gradually turning it a soft silvery gray color. This silvery gray 'patina' which develops over time gives Teak Furniture a distinctive appearance. The silver gray color resulting from this natural ageing process is considered to be very attractive, and allows the furniture to blend in well with many outdoor environments. Teak furniture left in this state is easily maintained, and needs no treatment whatsoever to give many years of service. And this is about as easy as a maintenance schedule as its possible to get!

Teak Oiled
If you buy your furniture already oiled with teak oil it will have a darker than normal mid brown color and a soft sheen. Teak wood is of itself 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 timber. It does change the color somewhat and it can also help a little to prevent stains from seeping into the timber grain. It will slow down the graying effect caused by ultra violet rays.

To maintain its appearance teak oiled furniture will need to be re-oiled periodically. If you decide to re-oil your furniture you can contact us for supplies of teak oil, or buy from your local supplier. A basic method for oiling is as follows:

The furniture will need to be cleaned first [see below] Afterwards ensure that it is nice and dry before starting to oil. Have a good look around the furniture first and attend to any areas requiring sanding before starting work.

You will need some teak oil, a clean 1" or 2" paint brush, some clean cotton rags, good light and plenty of space to work in. It can be a little messy so be sure to wear some overalls, and wearing household gloves to keep the oil off your hands is a good idea as well.

The oil can be applied 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 too much surplus oil behind as you work.

After a few minutes - maybe 5 - 15 depending on the ambient temperature, 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 touch dry, a second clean rag can be used to buff up the surface.

Please be sure to dispose of any used rags and cleaning cloths carefully, and in accordance with the instructions from the oil manufacturer.

Cleaning Teak Furniture
If your Teak furniture requires cleaning this can be done with a normal household bristle brush [not too hard] and some warm mildly soapy water. Wash down afterwards with clean water. There are also proprietary cleaners on the market which can also be used to clean off various deposits and accumulated dirt and stains.

We do not recommend the use of high pressure hoses, and steel wool or steel wire brushes should not be used at all as any residue left in the grain will rust and discolor the wood.

If the furniture 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 stains away like this, if the furniture was previously teak oiled you may wish to re-oil, or if it had previously been left natural, the fresh teak color exposed by sanding will soon mellow in with the existing silver gray patina