Tag Archives: Teak

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!

All About Teak

Seeing as everyone from your old aunt Gertrude to your nuisance of a nephew Denis now owns an android phone or a tablet, it’s no surprise that the market is filled with informed buyers- buyers that do their homework before they spend their hard earned cash.

Just like you’re doing right now!

So, you’re in the market for outdoor furniture and instead of going out to just any furniture store and buying whatever the store manager suggested. You asked around and found a kind of wood repeated again and again, “Teak Wood”. Intrigued by the repetition, you took out your very own gadget and Googled “What is Teak” which brought you here thirsty for some valuable information about Teak Wood Furniture.

Congratulations!

You’ve come to the right place, by the time you’ll reach the end of this article you yourself will be well versed on everything that’s teak and your outdoor furniture problems will vanish into thin air.

What Exactly Is Teak Wood?

Teak is the popular name for the tree species Tectona Grandis, a member of the mint family, the tree reaches heights of around 150 feet. This particular tree species is characterized by having small, fragrant white flowers along with papery leaves.

Teak timber is mostly known for its high durability and water resistance making it the best type of wood used in outdoor furniture, exterior construction and furniture carvings.

Habitat

The teak tree is native to India, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar- but it can grow in other tropical habitats as long as the soil is fertile, well drained and the plant gets access to plenty of sunshine.

Tectona Grandis depends on pollination by insects. Because of its high resistance qualities (to both decay, wood rot and shipworm) the demand of teak is surpassing the supply which is why various teak plantations have been set up in a lot of tropical areas.

Uses of Teak Wood Through Time

Being native to Southeast Asia, in 7th century Thailand (then Siam) the wood was used to construct and decorate the royal residences, trade ships and religious buildings. In the Middle Ages, other cultures also made use of the wood to build ships owing to the fact that teak timber is highly durable, water resistant and buoyant.

If you are looking for proof of just how long teak wood lasts, just look at the image below

Image Of Old Teak Wood

This is a teak wood plank from the 17th Century!

Teak timber is yellowish brown in color and has good grain and texture. The presence of high oil content, high tensile strength and the tight grain makes it a highly favorable material for outdoor furniture applications. With time teak wood can turn into a silver-grey finish.

In India teak wood is used extensively to make doors and window frames, furniture, beams and columns.

In places like the UK, outdoor teak wood furniture is a very good idea. Why? Because teak is the only wood that can withstand the unpredictable UK climate. Yes, many people go with other types of woods for their patio and outdoor furniture, however, when they have to spend boatloads on the maintenance and repair of the furniture that’s when they realize that they in fact made a huge error.

Because unlike other wood types, teak wood is the only wood that withstands all sorts of temperatures.

Teak Wood Weigh In; The Pros and Cons

Eventhough, it seems that you just can’t go wrong with teak- that’s not really the case. We don’t live in a perfect world, which is why teak wood is not without its faults. So, for a final weigh in it is necessary that the pros and cons of teak are discussed side by side to see whether ot not you should go forward with teak.

The Pros

  1. Durability

Teak wood is highly durable and can easily endure heat, rain, hail and various other weather conditions. No need to bring your furniture into the house if it’s raining, teak will take care of everything.

The natural oils and rubber found in teak enable it to resist parasites, fungi and wood rot. Teak wood is famously known to last at least more than a 100 years.

  1. Natural Color and Finish

Teak wood has a beautiful natural color that ranges from a warm honey brown to a light ash color (the color changes as the wood ages). Even if you leave the wood untreated, its natural oils give it an attractive finish, this of course is a cost effective step. The wood doesn’t splinter so you don’t have to fret over the fact that you skipped the finishing process.

  1. Resistance

Teak is water resistant, making it ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens even in saunas. Because the wood doesn’t absorb water one doesn’t have to worry about the wood rotting from water exposure.

The oils in the wood along with giving the wood a glossy look also act as a natural insect repellant, if you own outdoor teak furniture you don’t have to concern yourself over termites and other insects destroying your furniture by burrowing into it.

  1. Easy Maintenance

Teak wood furniture is very easy to maintain and clean, all you need to do is wipe the furniture with a damp piece of cloth. You don’t need to paint, varnish or oil your teak wood furniture each and every season.

The Cons

  1. Cost

Teak wood isn’t actually cheap, and because the demand is actually higher than the supply- most suppliers of teak wood do sell it at a higher rate. If you’re on a tight budget, maybe teak wood isn’t the choice for you.

  1. Excessive Weight

Teak wood furniture is extremely heavy. So, if you’re in the habit of changing your furniture arrangement from time to time, then teak may not be the wood choice for you.

It’s clear that the pros do outweigh the cons- and with this your introductory lesson on teak wood is now over; you are now a teak wood expert too.

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