One of the most common questions regarding outdoor teak furniture is the best ways to keep it looking great. Fortunately, the answer is much simpler than most people expect.
Of course, the first step is to make sure you purchase quality teak furniture. The country of origin, the age of the trees and the manufacturing process are all important factors.
One of the best attributes of quality teak furniture is that it requires very little maintenance. This is because teak wood is very dense and contains very high natural oil content. It is this natural oil that protects the wood and makes it extremely moisture resistant. This is why it should not be necessary to use teak oils on premium teak furniture.
All outdoor teak furniture will acquire a beautiful, silver patina after a few seasons in the elements. Many customers prefer this color and can’t wait for their teak to turn. With premium teak furniture, this is a normal process and does not indicate a lack of quality. The wood will be gray/silver, but it will still be smooth. If you prefer to return your items to a look closer to the original honey brown, the steps are easy.
Maintaining Your Outdoor Teak Furniture with Light Brown Color
First, hose off your furniture with a normal garden hose in order to remove normal dirt, dust and pollen. Do not pressure wash your teak furniture. Too much pressure can damage the surface of the product. Next, take some dish soap (any brand will do) and make a sudsy solution by mixing with water. Use a soft scrub brush with this solution and lightly scrub your furniture. This will remove most of the dirt and in most cases bring back some light brown color. For most people, this simple step brings back a pleasing brown color and the work is done.
Maintaining Your Teak Outdoor Furniture with a Darker Brown Color
If you prefer a darker brown, the next step is to use sandpaper. Many people are surprised by this step, because they are used to furniture that is finished with varnish, lacquer or similar substance. But the oil that protects your quality teak furniture is throughout the wood, there is no coating. Therefore, you are not stripping off any coating. For a light sanding, us 150 or 220 grit sandpaper and go evenly across the surface very lightly. The sunbleached cells will fall away revealing original brown wood. If you need a little deeper clean, use 60 or 100 grit sandpaper, and then go over again with 150 or 220 grit sandpaper for a smoother finish. Using a inexpensive power sheet sander will speed things up on larger surfaces such as table tops.
In most cases, that should do it. If you still prefer to use oils and cleaners, there are many on the market. Most of these products will tell you to clean and sand your furniture first anyway, so you may as well start with the simplest methods first. You are likely to be satisfied. If you decide to apply teak oil, make sure you apply the coats evenly. You will need to repeat this process every 1-2 years.
Lastly, for removing spots, simple try the same methods as above. Start with soap and water and a soft scrub brush. If needed, use sandpaper. Really – it’s okay.
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