How to apply teak oil

Written by cheryl torrie
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Teak is a premium hardwood highly desired by furniture makers and boat makers because of its thick fibres, natural resistance to insect damage and water-repellent characteristics. Applying teak oil, which is actually linseed or tung oil or a combination of the two, highlights teak's natural ash-grey colour and intricate grain. It's a do-it-yourself project that takes a smooth hand and some time, but the reward of beautiful furniture or decking is worth it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Teak oil
  • White spirit
  • Two wide-mouth containers
  • Paintbrush with synthetic fibres
  • Clean cotton cloth

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  1. 1

    Thin enough teak oil to cover your teak surface one time. Create an 80-20 mix of teak oil and white spirit. For example, if you will need 295ml to cover your teak surface, put 236ml of teak oil and 56.7gr of white spirit in a container with an opening large enough to easily accommodate a paintbrush.

  2. 2

    Apply the teak oil and mineral-spirit mix to the clean teak with your paintbrush. Wipe any drips or spills immediately with a clean cotton cloth. This coat will soak into the wood, and the surface will dry in approximately 15 minutes.

  3. 3

    Pour enough teak oil into a second wide-mouth container to cover your teak two times. Using a second container will prevent the teak oil from being diluted by any remaining white spirit.

  4. 4

    Apply two additional coats of teak oil with your brush, allowing 15 minutes between coats. The teak will have a clear matt finish after these two coats have dried.

Tips and warnings

  • If your teak oil is not absorbed within the 15-minute time frame, you can wipe any excess off with the cotton cloth.
  • Your teak must be clean and dry before applying teak oil.
  • Teak oil will stain fibreglass and painted surfaces.

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