How to Restore Teak Furniture

If you have the luxury of owning teak furniture, you know it's one of the finest and most durable types of wood around. However, you also know it's not completely immune to weather damage. Over time it can lose its lustre to UV rays and extreme temperatures, dulling its honey-brown hue to an ashy grey. You also might have noticed hairline cracks appearing in the wood grain. If you're looking to reverse the ageing process of your teak wood, there are steps you can take to restore its original appeal.

Rinse the teak piece using warm water and mild detergent. This will rid the wood of any dirt and mould build-up on the surface. With severely weathered teak, be attentive to dirt lodged between cracks. Leaving any dirt behind can cause staining or discolouration. Once the cleaning process is complete, allow the wood to dry overnight.

Sand the wood with fine-grain sandpaper. This is the most labour-intensive step of the process. Gently sand the entire surface of the wood, following the direction of the grain to avoid damage. The return of the original honey-brown hue will signify the completion of the sanding process. Wipe away any residue from the wood with a dry cloth.

Apply a coat of high-quality teak oil using a soft cloth or brush. This will restore the natural oils existing in your teak wood. Allow 1-2 hours to pass between coats so the oil can be fully absorbed. Continue the application process until the wood is saturated. Then, wipe off any excess with a dry cloth. At this point you will notice the teak has reassumed its rich amber glow. A more aged piece might require as many as five coats of teak oil to achieve its original hue. Once all coats have been applied, allow the teak oil to dry completely.

Invest in waterproof outdoor furniture covers to protect your restored teak furniture when not in use. This will help shield it from damaging UV rays and other outdoor elements that would otherwise diminish the lustre of your teak.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Teak oil
  • Waterproof covers (optional)
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About the Author

Since obtaining her bachelor's degree from Penn State in 2005, Michelle Donato's professional experience has included editorial roles with "TV Guide," as well as research roles in the Internet Optimization and Media Research Industries. Her writing has been featured online and in international publications.