Restoring Teak Wood

Restoring Teak Furniture; The Do’s and Don’ts

Restoration is a practical as well as an emotional process, you don’t just restore your grandfather’s wall clock so that it works properly but you do it because the clock reminds you of him, it still smells like him conjuring up for you all the sweet and wondrous memories.

Restoring your furniture is no different, you do it to lengthen its life and also because you may have some memories attached with it. However, if the furniture in question is teak wood then you actually don’t even have to spend a lot of time maintaining it.

Tectona Grandis or teak wood is widely known for the abundance of natural oils and silica in its grain. These oils and silica make teak one of the most durable and rot resistant wood out of all the other types of woods. This is the reason why teak is the favorite choice in patio and other garden furniture.

And while maintaining and restoring teak doesn’t take up as much time as other wood types do, it still requires a little time and effort.

The Colour of Teak Wood

Counted among the specialties of teak wood is the fact that it changes colour naturally, from being golden brown when it’s new and then fading into a steel grey colour when it is exposed to normal weather conditions.

The thing that a home-owner has to decide then is; what colour they want their teak wood furniture to be? because restoring both the colours involves a different process for each.

Let’s look at both these restoration processes separately, shall we?

Restoring the Natural Golden Brown Colour

To keep the natural colour of the teak it is a good idea to either seal or stain your teak wood, the process is really simple all you need is a sealer or stain along with sandpaper and a paint brush.

The stained teak look varies from the sealed look, and both have different properties. Stained teak furniture is better protected and is hence more durable than sealed wood. However, when you seal the teak it gives off a more natural look.

If you ever think of oiling your teak furniture to maintain its colour – Don’t!

Oiling teak furniture is only a good idea if you are planning to keep the furniture indoors, because if you oil furniture and then keep it outside the oil can seep into the wood causing it to become black because of mildew.

What to do with your Silver Grey Teak

If you leave your teak wood furniture outside and don’t put any sealant on it, then you’ll see that in a span of around 6 – 8 months it will naturally weather to a grey colour. How long the graying process takes depends on the amount of sun and rain that your furniture is exposed to.

Image of old teak bench

Weathered Teak Bench

During the weathering process, you’ll notice that the wood grain will start to roughen and crack, however, this is not a structural problem but in fact is a completely natural process- the wood naturally expands and contracts in response to the climatic conditions that it’s exposed to. The discolouration spots eventually even out into a silver grey colour.

If you don’t like the silver grey colour, don’t fret it because you can easily restore it back to its golden brown colour all you need for this is mild soapy water and a soft bristle brush, if you can grab a teak cleaner do so because with that by your side you don’t have to do any heavy scrubbing or cleaning.

After you’ve used a teak cleaner, you can then apply teak sealer on your furniture to help maintain the original colour. You then need to apply teak sealer after regular intervals of time to maintain your furniture, once a year is usually enough.

Cleaning Teak Wood

You can easily clean your teak wood furniture by using a damp cloth and a soft bristle brush. To clean the crevasses and corners of your furniture you can use a garden hose with a pressure hose, be careful while pressure cleaning though- make sure you’re not causing any harm to your outdoor furnishings.

If you find the furniture has stubborn stains on it, it is a good idea to either use a soft bristle brush or for the most persistent stains you can use sandpaper lightly. Ensure that you use the sandpaper with the wood grain and not against it. After you’ve sanded the wood, you can apply a bit of oil or sealer on it to restore the glossy look.

Oily foods, drinks and ketchup can easily stain your teak wood furniture; you can apply a clear coating on your furniture to protect it from such stains. Even though, teak wood has natural water resistance, still you should make sure that there are no water deposits where you are keeping your furniture.

If you want to remove rings or water marks from your teak furniture all you’ll need to do is rub non-gel toothpaste into the wood grain with the help of a soft cloth, then just wipe it dry. If you have tough stains that just won’t go away it’s a good idea to use teak cleaning products.

Some home-owners choose to cover their teak furniture with a cloth during rainy weather, if you decide to do this make sure that the cover that you’re using is breathable because a plastic cover will simply trap the moisture in and will cause mould growth.

Isn’t taking care of teak wood furniture an easy task!