How to Restore a Teak Table

Written by michelle donato
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Known to be one of the richest and most durable types of wood, teak is still subject to weather-related damage. Over time it can suffer from sun damage, extreme temperatures and other elements that turn its honey hue into a dull grey. Besides discolouration, hairline cracks typically appear in aged teak wood due to changes in temperature and the wood's natural process of releasing and absorbing water from the air. If you’re looking to give your teak furniture a facelift, it’s important to take the proper steps to clean and preserve it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mild detergent
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Teak oil

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  1. 1

    Wash off any dirt and mould build-up using mild detergent and water. Severely weathered teak with deep cracks in the wood will require some extra effort. Be sure to remove all dirt between the cracks, and allow the wood to dry overnight.

  2. 2

    Sand the dried table using fine-grain sandpaper. Make sure to sand lightly and follow the direction of the grain to avoid damage. This is the most difficult step of the process. Continue sanding until the natural honey-brown colour of the wood returns. Wipe away any residue from the wood with a dry cloth.

  3. 3

    Apply the first coat of teak oil using a soft cloth or brush. The wood will absorb the teak oil, and require 1 to 2 hours to dry between coats. A more aged piece may need as many as five coats. Once the teak’s original honey-brown hue returns, you have completed the application process. When the surface is dry to the touch, buff in the direction of the grain using another dry cloth.

  4. 4

    Preserve the look of your table by investing in a waterproof cover. Covering teak wood when not in use will protect it from weathering and help maintain the polished, golden look of new teak.

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