Staining Teak Wood

Updated May 01, 2018

Teak wood, a popular choice for outdoor furniture, has a natural tendency to turn from a rich golden-brown to a pale, ashy colour with time and weather. While some like the look of aged and weathered teak, others prefer the dark, original look, which can be restored by regularly sanding and oiling it. Staining your teak wood, however, eliminates the need for this time-consuming maintenance while also allowing you to choose your own wood colour. The techniques and materials involved are fairly simple, but you need to take your time and work carefully to get a professional looking finish.

Fill a sink or bucket with hot water and add a generous squirt of dish soap. Soak a dish scouring pad in the hot soapy water and scrub the teak wood all over to remove any surface dirt, dust and grime. Rinse off the soap with cold water and allow the wood to dry naturally.

Thoroughly sand all the surfaces of the teak wood, following the grain of the wood. Brush all the dust off the teak with a rag.

Put on rubber gloves. Dip your paintbrush into the wood stain and paint your teak wood item following the grain. Apply a thick coat all over the surface and let it sit on the wood for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Take an old rag and wipe off the excess stain, again following the grain of the wood. You may need to use multiple rags. Leave the remaining stain to dry for about 20 to 30 minutes. Quick-drying stains may not take that long to dry thoroughly, so check the instructions on the label.

Lightly buff the wood again with fine-grit sandpaper, then dust it off with another clean rag.

Repeat the staining, wiping, drying and sanding process once more. Add a final coat of stain, allow it to soak in for about 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a rag. Don't sand the final coat.


For a deeper colour, you can add more than three coats of stain. If the colour turns out a little darker than you desire, after wiping off the excess stain with a rag, scrub the wood with water or white spirit before continuing.


When working with wood stain, work in a well-ventilated area and cover your work surfaces with newspapers or dust sheets.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Dish scouring pads
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.