Classic outdoor wooden furniture has always been a great way to add character to your backyard. Anyone with a little bit of knowledge about wooden furniture will tell you that teak is the best type of wood to use for outdoor furniture.
Not only does teak furniture look great with its elegant tawny-gold natural colour, but it also has a long life if cared for properly. Teak is a robust hardwood that is durable and hardy. Its high density prevents teak furniture from bending or warping with time and under strain.
What’s more, it is also resistant to rot.
It is more impermeable than other types of wood thanks to its natural oils, making it an excellent choice for garden furniture. Teak requires minimal care, but if maintained properly, it can last for years to come. In fact, over time, teak ages to produce a characteristic silvery colour that looks stunning and rustic in furniture.
However, like all wooden furniture, teak requires regular maintenance that increases the furniture’s longevity. After all, outdoor furniture has to bear all sorts of weather and insects, so owners need to know how to protect teak garden furniture.
Want to know what is the best way to protect teak garden furniture? Look no further because we’ve brought you all the best tips from the market!
Cleaning Your Teak Furniture
Cleaning your teak furniture from time to time will help maintain its colour and lustre. Generally, regular dusting and wiping should suffice for day-to-day cleaning. However, occasional thorough cleaning is advised as well.
Before applying any protective agents to your furniture, a thorough cleaning should be done, and the furniture must be dried completely.
The following are some common products and techniques you can use to clean your teak outdoor furniture:
1. MILD DISH SOAP AND WATER
Although teak furniture is generally impervious, cleaning up spills and external stains is still important. This can easily be done by scrubbing the furniture with mild soapy water and a soft brush.
It is always recommended to scrub with the grain and not against it when cleaning teak furniture.
2. TEAK CLEANER
Teak cleaners can also be used for removing stains. These are especially great at removing the silver patina teak wood tends to develop over time. Most stains will be removed by scrubbing with mild soap or with a teak cleaner.
3. DEGREASING AGENT
Grease stains can be tough to clear out. If scrubbing does not remove the grease stain, a degreasing agent can be used sparingly to remove it. These are easily available at hardware stores and supermarkets.
4. SANDING TEAK
Some individuals also prefer to occasionally sand their teak wood. This is especially great for aged teak that has discoloured and developed a silver patina. Light sanding with sandpaper of fine grit will help remove any silver discolourations and reveal a fresh, vibrant surface underneath.
Restoring the old furniture to its glory days. But remember to sand lightly as you could end up damaging the furniture and leaving the surface rough if you are too aggressive with the sandpaper, especially if it is coarse. If the furniture's surface is rough, it will easily attract more dirt and stain.
Products To Protect Teak Furniture
Since teak produces its own natural oils, it is resistant to water, most stains, and dry rot. If outdoor teakwood furniture is well-maintained, it can remain in great shape for numerous years.
That being said, a few protective measures will ensure longevity for your teak outdoor furniture. The best part is that protecting outdoor teak furniture is neither very time-consuming nor costly.
So, how do you protect teak outdoor furniture? There’s no rocket science behind this. All it takes is the occasional good cleaning and a few simple products.
Teak protector is a safe, water-based, non-flammable solution free of solvents, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and harmful ingredients that hasten the deterioration process of outdoor teak furniture.
Unlike most teak sealants, varnishes, and oils, teak protector is also environmentally safe. Thanks to its water-based formulation, the product is easy to apply and gives a non-greasy even finish. In addition, this solution helps protect outdoor teak furniture from harmful Ultraviolet rays so that the wood ages slower and maintains its original honey-brown shade for longer.
How to Apply Teak Protector
Follow the steps mentioned below to successfully apply teak protector to your outdoor teak furniture
- Ensure your furniture is completely dry. If you have washed your furniture, allow it to dry in the sun for two weeks.
- Apply an even layer of teak protector with a piece of lint-free cloth
- Allow the solution to penetrate the teak for 4 hours
- Apply a second coat of teak protector solution and leave the furniture for 24 hours before taking it outdoors again
A teak sealant is usually used to maintain the elegant tawny-gold colour of fresh teak. It also offers protection against Ultraviolet light, mould, and even moisture. All of which helps the teak wood maintain its integrity and robustness as it ages.
Sealants for teak have a thin water-like consistency and are solvent-based. They can be easily applied to furniture in coats that should be refreshed every 6 months or annually. It must be remembered, though, that at whatever colour you apply the sealant on, depending on how aged it is, that is the colour that will be maintained.
When applied to fresh teak wood, its honey-brown colour will last for an extended period. If you use it on the silver patina, that is the colour that will be preserved. If your outdoor teak furniture has developed a silver shade that you are not too fond of, you can gently sand it away to reveal the light brown coloured wood underneath.
This, however, must be done before the teak sealant is applied. You can buy teak sealants from hardware stores and marine stores where they are normally kept for boats.
How to Apply Teak Sealant
Teak sealants are generally easy to apply because of their water-like viscosity. The following steps detail how you can apply teak sealants to your furniture. You can also watch this video to get an idea of how to apply the sealant.
- Thoroughly wash the outdoor teak furniture with water and mild dish soap. Use a brush with soft bristles to gently scrub off the dirt, going in the direction of the grain with every stroke.
- Dry the furniture in the sun for about 2 weeks to ensure no moisture remains in the wood and open up its grain.
- Lightly sand off any stubborn discolourations that you want to get rid of from the furniture.
- Spray the furniture with the sealant all over and rub the liquid in with a lint-free cloth, or use a brush to spread it out evenly.
Clear Teak Coat
If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your outdoor teak furniture, we recommend using a clear coat on top as well. Not only will this give your furniture a lustrous appearance, but it will also add an extra layer of protection against the elements and prevent the teak outdoor furniture from deteriorating prematurely.
However, before applying the clear coat on top of the sealant, ensure that the sealant has had enough time to cure and set completely. Always apply the clear coat after teak sealant, never before.
How to Apply Clear Coat
The following steps can be used to apply a clear coat to your outdoor teak furniture:
- Sand the top surface of the furniture lightly
- Apply an even single layer of clear coat all over the furniture
- Wait for the first layer to dry
- Apply a second even coat of clear coat
Teak Oil or Teak Sealant?
You may hear many people recommending the use of teak oil to add sheen or prevent the wood from fading. However, teak oil does neither of those things. Instead, it may harm your outdoor teakwood furniture by promoting the growth of mildew.
It will also add a greasy surface texture and could potentially attract greasy stains as well. Since teak wood naturally produces specific oils, adding other oils to its surface is unnecessary.
On the other hand, sealants have protective properties that help slow down the deterioration of the wood and maintain its colour. If your objective is to improve your outdoor teak furniture’s colour and remove stains with teak oil, a better alternative is to clean the furniture thoroughly and lightly sand it instead.
This can be followed by the annual sealant and clear coat application to maintain the teal’s natural golden brown hue.
Maintenance Tips for Teak Outdoor Furniture
Now that you know more about the qualities of teak and how to protect outdoor teak furniture, here are a few maintenance tips that will go a long way in keeping your teak furniture in great shape.
1. KEEP FURNITURE INDOORS OR UNDERCOVERS IN WINTER
Teak has proven to be a material that can truly stand the test of time. No matter what season, teak furniture is known to fare well in all. However, a little bit of extra care doesn’t hurt and will only help improve the life of the furniture.
So, to prevent teak furniture from damp cold winter weather, you can either keep it inside or cover it with a furniture cover.
2. KEEP OUTDOOR TEAK FURNITURE AWAY FROM DAMP AREAS
Damp areas are generally bad for all kinds of wooden furniture. For this reason, it is best to keep outdoor teak furniture away from such sites as it can get mildew.
3. REMOVE BIRD DROPPING IMMEDIATELY
Bird droppings should be removed promptly as they tend to stain furniture quickly. Although there’s nothing some thorough cleaning and a little sanding will not take care of, removing the stain immediately will help keep the furniture’s colour vibrant.
4. DON’T USE VARNISHES ON OUTDOOR TEAK FURNITURE
Varnishes and paints should not be used on outdoor teak furniture. This is because they can cause the wood to chip. All-purpose wood cleaners should also be avoided. Instead, opt specifically for teak cleaners that are designed for this type of wood.
5. DO NOT SCRUB WITH METAL WOOL
Although light sanding is a great way to remove stubborn discolouration and stains, using metal wool can cause the surface to become rough and scratched. Use fine sandpaper to sand to ensure an even, smooth surface.
Outdoor teak furniture is generally more expensive than other types of wooden furniture because of its hardiness, low maintenance, and longevity. However, the first question on everyone’s mind once they purchase this luxurious wood type is the best way to protect teak garden furniture?
The key is simply due diligence. Ensure that the wood stays dry, and that it is regularly cleaned and maintained through various products. Go through our list of products and tips on how to protect teak garden furniture to ensure your outdoor furniture stays in its best shape.