How to refinish weathered teak wood with linseed oil

Written by wade shaddy
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How to refinish weathered teak wood with linseed oil
Teak wood has a natural dark brown tint when refinished properly. (wood texture background image by Ljiljana Atanasovic from Fotolia.com)

Linseed oil is a natural choice for a great teak wood finish. Teak will naturally darken, but with weather exposure, teak will turn a light grey colour. The grey colour hides the dark grain pattern that characterises natural teak wood. To refinish weathered teak wood properly, the weathered grain has to be sanded off. Once the weathered grain is removed, teak wood responds well to natural finishes like linseed oil. The application of linseed oil can be done periodically to maintain the finish once it has been achieved.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 pint acetone
  • Sanding block
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • Bronze wool pad
  • 1 quart linseed oil
  • Empty coffee can
  • Soft cotton cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Clean the surface area of the teak wood by rubbing the area with acetone and a soft cloth. Rub the area until the cloth comes away clean.

  2. 2

    Sand the surface of the teak using 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. Use short strokes, overlapping each one as you move forward with the grain. When the grey colour disappears and begins to darken, put the 180 grit sandpaper on the block and re-sand.

  3. 3

    Sand again, this time with the bronze wool pad. When the wood begins to get a dull sheen, stop sanding. Blow the dust off the wood.

  4. 4

    Wipe the sanded area again with an acetone-dampened cloth.

  5. 5

    Pour approximately 1 cup of linseed oil into an empty coffee can. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of acetone into the can, and mix the two together.

  6. 6

    Smear the mixture around on the wood with the cloth, letting the wood soak up as much of the oil mixture as possible. When the wood is shiny, wet-looking, and coated with a layer of oil, stop applying the oil. Let it dry overnight.

  7. 7

    Wipe off any excess oil. Apply another coat of full-strength, unmixed linseed oil. Rub it in until the teak is wet-looking. Let it dry overnight.

  8. 8

    Continue applying and wiping for three consecutive days. Wait one week, and apply another coat of full strength oil, and wipe it off immediately. Wait two weeks and apply one more time, then wipe off immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply linseed oil every few months to retain a permanent finish. If desired, you can rub the surface with the palm of your hand to get a satin polish look.
  • You can also use boiled linseed oil the same way as natural linseed oil.
  • Never use steel wool on teak. It will leave dark grey pieces of steel and streaks on the wood.

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