How To Care For Teak Wood Patio Furniture

December 26, 2018 By

By Jesse Akre

Teak is a perennial favorite for outdoor furniture. It’s dense, has a close grained structure and is an extremely hard wood. It is virtually impregnable to invasion by insects, won’t dry out, even in the tepid heat of the Sahara, and it is naturally resistant to moisture. Because the wood contains silica, it doesn’t rot easily, nor will it warp, shrink or swell. Small wonder why shipwrights have used teak for centuries to cover the decks of their ships.

In fact, no other wood compares to teak when it comes to durability, longevity and low maintenance. And because a lot of teak wood comes from managed forests these days, you don’t have to worry about depleting the earth’s natural resources. While teak wood is a great choice for patio furniture, it still needs some love. It will naturally change colors over time and to return it to it’s original honey-caramel color, you’ll need to care of teak woof patio furniture using the time honored techniques of sailors all over the world. While many will so-called furniture experts will tell you to use teak oil available at local home improvement stores, many aficionados of teak will say that these commercial products aren’t of a high quality. Instead, they’ll recommend the same teak oil boat owners use.


Of course, you won’t find it at a hardware store. You have to get it from a marine supply store instead. Because teak is used on ships that must by their very nature weather elements far worse than your patio furniture will face, the marine grade of teak oil will outlast and outperform commercial teak oil. Another option is Danish oil. It is relatively fast drying and leaves a deeper luster to the wood without darkening it. Over time, teak oil can darken the wood as the oil builds up from multiple applications. Danish oil doesn’t have that problem. It is available in any home improvement store and can be used on a variety of woods. The oils are applied in the same way. You can use a paint brush or a clean cloth or rag to apply it. Make sure the wood is saturated and free of puddles. If there’s any oil left on the surface, wipe it off. Teak oil takes about 12 to 24 hours to dry completely. Danish oil slightly less, between 12 and 18 hours.

You need to use care with either product. Both are highly flammable and if you leave a cloth out in the open in a warm space, it can spontaneously combust. The fumes can be harmful, too, so it’s best to treat the wood outdoors. Most experts recommend three to four coats of oil so you’ll need to treat the furniture over a period of days. The good new is that you don’t have to do this every year, only when the wood begins to look too gray for your tastes. When you’re through applying the oil, dispose of the rags carefully. They should ideally be disposed of in a metal trash receptacle in the unlikely they combust. If you decide to forego the oil treatment and let your teak wood patio furniture age gracefully, that’s fine. Because it’s water resistant, it won’t crack over time, but simply age gracefully to a silver-gray patina. Even if it’s going au natural, you still should clean it once a year. With a soft scrub brush, apply a mix three parts laundry detergent and one part bleach in a gallon of water. If the surface becomes rough a little sand paper should be applied, followed by teak of Danish oil to recondition the surface once it has been sanded. Properly maintained and cared for, teak wood patio furniture should last for many years to come.

About the Author: Jesse Akre owns Edenvale Shoppes and hosts numerous furniture and furnishings for any home whether it be

teak tables


towel bars

styles and designs.


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