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How to Treat Wooden Garden Furniture

Updated February 21, 2019

Outdoor garden furniture is often made of durable teak, cedar or redwood. Despite their durability, outdoor furniture woods do require treatment prior to use. Left untreated, garden furniture is subject to natural decay and pest infestations. Some high-end garden furniture contains chemical preservatives that make the wood less attractive to pests and tolerable to the outside elements. If the manufacturer's label does not state that the garden furniture is factory treated, you will need to apply a protector yourself. Teak oil in combination with cleaning and a light sanding will bring out the brilliance of your wooden garden furniture and prolong its life.

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  1. Apply teak oil to the surface of the wood prior to use. Follow the label instructions for application. Most manufacturers suggest applying teak oil with a lint free cloth or paintbrush.

  2. Wash furniture with soapy water at the end of the season. Fill a bucket with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Apply the suds with a sponge, scrubbing gently to remove dirt accumulation.

  3. Spray the furniture with a garden hose. Allow to air dry overnight, then rub down with fine grit sandpaper to remove oxidation stains.

  4. Wipe the furniture with a dry, lint free cloth. Reapply teak oil as directed.

  5. Store wooden furniture in an area safe from the elements--especially if you live somewhere that has harsh winters. Bring it back out in the spring, rewashing and reapplying oil after the season has ended.

  6. Tip

    Sand in the same direction as the grain.


    Do not apply the teak oil when the furniture is wet. Teak oil cannot soak into wet wood and will remain on the surface, rubbing off on your clothes and providing no protection.

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Things You'll Need

  • Teak oil
  • Lint free cloths or paintbrushes
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Garden hose
  • Fine grit sandpaper

About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.

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