Teak furniture can look absolutely stunning, but you need to maintain it properly so it will keep that rich look and last you longer. One of the key things to maintaining your teak wood in mint condition is applying teak oil and cleaning it properly.
I’ve seen many beautiful teak pieces ruined by bad maintenance, so I want to help you make the most out of your teak furniture. I’ll show you some of the best practices for applying teak oil, just follow these steps and your teak wood will stay beautiful for a long time.
Some people actually like the aged patina look of teak, but if left untreated the wood can become damaged over the years. There are many articles on why you should treat your teak, but not many of them show how to do it properly.
- 1 Benefits of Applying Teak Oil to Teak Wood Furniture
- 2 Applying Teak Oil Step By Step
- 3 Caring About Teak Furniture
Benefits of Applying Teak Oil to Teak Wood Furniture
Applying teak oil to teak wood furniture is essential if you want to prolong the lifespan of your teak. Not only that it protects the wood, but it also makes it look way better.
When it comes to looks, good teak oil will really bring out that rich color and make it shine. It will also prevent the teak from turning grey.
Even though teak is naturally oily, which prevents it from getting moldy, applying teak oil will also protect the outer layer from visible scratches. It’s worth noting that you will probably need to reapply oil from time to time to keep it in good condition.
However, teak manufacturers advice against using oil on outside furniture or furniture that is kept in wet conditions. If it’s already been oiled, you should keep oiling it regularly or it will lose its look and quality.
Applying Teak Oil Step By Step
I want to lead you through the process and show you how to apply teak oil on wood step by step. Just follow these steps carefully and you can’t go wrong.
1. Get everything ready
Before you start applying the oil, make sure that you have all that you need near you so the whole process goes neatly. Here are some basic steps that you need to check:
- Place a piece of cloth or paper under the furniture in case some of the oil drips. It’s much easier to do this than to have to clean the carpets after.
- Wear protective gloves while applying teak oil to the wood so your hands don’t get irritated.
- Make sure that the area is well ventilated if you are working indoors or wear a face mask.
- Don’t get teak oil near flames or heat sources.
- Prepare a couple of clean old rags for spreading the oil on the furniture.
2. Clean the teak furniture
If you’ve been cleaning your teak piece regularly, then all you have to do is dust it properly. In case it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you will need to take some extra steps to make it ready for oil.
To remove grime or dirt buildup, you will need to clean it with a mild soap and water solution. You can also get special teak cleaner products to do this.
Before you apply the oil, leave it to dry for 24h hours or more. Make sure that there is no moisture left in your teak before you start applying the oil.
3. Select the right teak oil
When it comes to protecting your teak, you can choose either a teak oil or teak sealer. The biggest difference is that teak sealers require a less frequent application, but they are similar to teak oils otherwise.
Some oils or sealers come with coloring, so you need to check what oil are you buying in case you don’t want any color. Teak oil is actually not oil made from the teak tree, but a special composition made to protect the teak.
Most of the teak oils on the market are made from either tung oil or linseed oil.
4. Apply teak oil with a brush
Even though I prefer applying teak oil with a rag or a cloth, you can also use a brush to do it.
Take a wide soft bristle brush and coat the teak in even strokes. Be careful that you don’t leave drips or hairs from the brush on the coating.
Apply the oil until the surface starts looking like it can’t absorb any more.
5. Wait for oil to absorb
Before you start wiping down the oil residue, you need to wait for the oil to penetrate the wood.
Fifteen minutes is usually long enough for the wood to absorb the oil. You will see how the surface layer starts changing consistency when it’s absorbed.
6. Wipe up the drops and spills
It’s not unusual to get a bit of drop and spills while applying teak oil to your furniture. Even the people with a lot of experience make mistakes like this.
However, you don’t have to stress about it a bit of mineral oil and a clean cloth will help you remove them easily. Just dab the cloth a bit in mineral oil and pick up the drips from other furniture or floors.
It’s simple, but you need to do it as soon as possible so that teak oil doesn’t leave any stains. Spread out the newspaper as much as you can to prevent this from happening.
7. Reapply the oil regularly
You’ve applied a new coat of oil and your teak piece looks stunning. Still, you will need to reapply the oil from time to time to leave it that way.
You can apply it either every few weeks or every few months, depending on how faded does the color look.
To make the oil color last longer you can apply a double coat of teak oil to your teak. Just make sure that you dry out the surface completely before you start applying the second coat.
Caring About Teak Furniture
Teak doesn’t usually require too much attention or care and that’s one of the reasons why people like it so much. Whether you like the weathered silver tone or rich golden honey color, you should take some simple measures to make your teak live longer.
Cover the Teak When Not in Use
Even though teak tends to be extremely durable, you can take some extra measures to protect it from fading.
The easiest way to prolong the lifespan of your teak furniture is to cover it when not in use. You can prevent dust accumulation or too much sun exposure if it’s left outside.
Try to use breathable materials, plastic or vinyl can trap moisture and damage the furniture.
Prevent Damage by Applying Protection
In case you have teak patio furniture or some other teak pieces that are used regularly, you should take some extra precaution. Coat it with clear protective sealant to form a layer that will protect it from bumps and scratches.
You can look for teak protectors in your local woodworking supply stores or online. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and only apply the sealant when the teak is dry.
Dust the Teak Furniture Regularly
If you have a piece of teak in its natural color and want it to stay that way, just dust it from time to time so it doesn’t get dirty.
Faded teak turns into silverish gray color and if you like how it looks, you won’t have too much work around it.
You should know that your teak furniture will start to fade unevenly but it will even out eventually.
Remove Stains by Sanding
Some hard stains, like coffee or wine, are extremely hard to clean with regular cleaners. In this case, you will need to do some sanding.
Take a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and remove the stain layer with the stain. This spot will probably look brighter than the rest, but it will even out. Alternatively, you can apply a layer of oil to even it out.
Consider Special Teak Cleaners for Dirt
When you have some dirt that can’t be removed by soap and water, you will have to use specialized teak cleaners. There are two of them available, one part cleaner and two part teak cleaner.
Teak cleaners are applied with a soft bristle brush and left for around 15 minutes. After that, you just need to rinse it while scrubbing with an abrasive pad or bronze wool.
Two-part teak cleaners are harder on your teak but work much better and faster with grime residue. First, apply the acid part and wait (the time is instructed on the package) and then scrub in the second part.
Wash Teak to Bring Out its Color
If you like the natural teak color, but don’t want it to fade too much, you can wash it occasionally with warm water and soap.
Soak a soft bristle brush in this solution and scrub your teak furniture to restore its brighter color. If your teak is untreated, avoid high-pressure washers and hard bristles as you can damage your teak furniture this way.
Save this short guide for later and visit it whenever you need to check the proper ways of cleaning your teak or applying teak oil. You can avoid some unnecessary mistakes and prolong the life of your teak by just following a couple of simple steps.