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How To Protect Teak Outdoor Furniture

Teak wood is a long-lasting wood, durable, and resists rot and mold. So, it's popular for outdoor furniture. But do you wonder if it needs protection from the elements? Or, how to protect teak outdoor furniture? We asked the experts to give you the best answer.

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Teak is an incredibly low-maintenance wood, so it doesn't need too much attention and care. Teak outdoor furniture has an advantage because of its natural oils, which provide elasticity and protection against different elements.

You can protect teak outdoor furniture from damage by doing these things:

  1. Apply a sealer.
  2. Cover outdoor teak furniture in the winter or when not in use. 
  3. Clean once a year to remove dirt.
  4. Dry rainwater and clean spills immediately to avoid staining.

Your outdoor teak furniture wouldn't mind if you are busy for days or even months. But if extra protection ensures its charm and integrity, why waste the chance, right? Read our post to learn how to protect outdoor teak furniture and ways to keep it looking great.

A beautiful pool deck with a scenic view of a mountain landscape, How To Protect Teak Outdoor Furniture

How To Protect Teak Outdoor Furniture

Teak has many great properties, so it is used for outdoor furniture and boat decks. It is hard but moderately elastic. Its natural oils improve its resistance to insect infestations. 

Luxurious teak outdoor furniture for an entertainment area

The color of any teak wood changes as it ages because of weathering. Teak is initially honey brown or amber. However, as it ages, it turns a silver-gray color. You should know that this change in color does not affect its durability at all. 

While both colors have their distinct charm and appeal, some considerations are available if you want teak furniture to retain its honey brown color. We will go through this in a while.

Regardless of color, caring for teak outdoor furniture has always been easy. While teak lasts many years, you can still extend its useful life in grace with proper care. So, how do you take care of teak outdoor furniture?

1. Apply a sealer. 

You do not need to apply a sealer to any teak wood furniture for protection, thanks to its natural oils. However, you may still do so for additional protection. 

Applying a sealer covers the wood pores of any type of wood. Thus, it makes it more resistant to stains, moisture, and weathering. A clear sealer is usually available to make wood grains visible, but you can also find products that have pigment.

View this clear teak wood sealer on Amazon.

Young outdoor teak furniture will turn gray as it ages, especially when it sits under direct sunlight. If you want to preserve its honey brown color, you may still do so by applying a pigmented sealer.

This type of sealer provides extra protection from UV rays that cause wood to weather and change color. 

Applying sealer every 6 to 12 months on teak wood helps it keep its honey brown color.

2. Cover teak outdoor furniture in the winter or when not in use.

Again, you do not have to do this. Teak is strong and can withstand even the harshest weather. You can leave it outside in the winter and there would not be any problems.

But yes, you may cover outdoor teak furniture in the winter, during terrible weather, or when not in use. Doing this will protect your furniture from dirt and falling objects that could scratch the surface of your teak.

3. Clean it once a year to remove dirt.

Depending on how dirty your teak is, clean it at least once a year. To clean outdoor teak furniture is easy and does not require a long list of tools and products.

You only need a soft-bristle brush for scrubbing away dirt and insect droppings. For the cleaning agent, you can even use vinegar in place of a mild detergent or teak cleaner.

Cleaning teak furniture

To use vinegar to clean the teak, mix half a cup with 2 liters of water. If you are going to use a teak wood cleaner, remember to follow the instructions on the label.

When cleaning teak wood, it is best to take advantage of the breezy days to dry teak wood faster. Do not use a steel brush or other tools that could leave permanent marks on the wood. 

Scrub the teak furniture following the lines of the wood. This is also the ideal time to remove existing stains. You may use bleach to remove stains on your outdoor teak furniture. Simply leave the bleach for at least 15 minutes before scrubbing and then rinse. 

For stubborn stains on teak wood furniture, you can try other ways to remove them without causing damage. 

Check out this expert's video on different ways to remove stains on teak furniture.

4. Dry rainwater and clean spills immediately to avoid staining.

Water damages the surface of any type of wood with frequent exposure. While teak has natural oils, it would be best to clean up after rainwater and spills immediately. Prevention is always better than cure, so wipe water and spills as soon as possible.

How To Restore Teak Outdoor Furniture

While you may restore old teak outdoor furniture to bring back its original good looks, you may restore any teak furniture anytime, regardless of the present condition. You may also restore silver-gray furniture to a young-looking state should you wish.

Let us remind you that the natural oils in teak occur from within. You want to sand the outer surface of the wood if you want to regain the honey-brown hue.

Before working on this project, make sure you have the right tools and equipment, which should first include safety gear:

  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • N95 mask

For the tools, you will need the following:

  • Hose with spray attachment
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Teak cleaner
  • Teak sealer
  • Electric sander
  • Sanding disks with 150-grit and 80-grit sandpaper

When all your tools and equipment are ready, you may now begin the restoration process using the steps below.

1. Clean the furniture.

You would agree that working with dirt is disgusting. Therefore, make sure to clean your teak furniture before you begin the restoration. You don't have to remove the stains, but remove the dirt and insect droppings at least. 

2. Use the electric grinder to sand the teak furniture.

Begin sanding the outer surface of your teak furniture using the 80-grit pad. You should have several of these ready for bigger furniture. It would be impossible to sand some areas using the electric sander so manually sand tight spots.

Carpenter sanding a huge block of walnut

After sanding, clean the furniture with a hose using the spray attachment. Allow it to dry before the next sanding procedure.

Once dry, use the 150-grit to sand the furniture for a second time. This will smoothen out the surface of the furniture even more. Remove sanding dust on your furniture to prepare for the next step.

3. Apply the wood protector.

Using a sponge, apply the wood protector or wood sealer following the direction of the wood lines. You may use a natural color or pigmented sealer.

Do not apply oil to your teak wood furniture. The sealer is enough to protect the wood against UV rays and other elements.

Do not use your furniture until the sealer is completely dry. This normally takes 24 hours.

Should You Oil Teak Outdoor Furniture?

Gorgeous teak outdoor furniture for a dining area

There's no need to oil teak outdoor furniture. Experts have said over and over that teak has natural oils and these oils are enough to protect the teak from the harsh elements. These natural oils do not expire and don't need to be replaced.

Applying oil to teak outdoor furniture can make matters complicated. Once you start applying teak oil products there has to be ongoing maintenance. Also, teak oil products are not even made with natural teak oil, which can even do more damage than good.

For more insight about using oil on teak wood furniture, you may read our other posts:

Teak Sealer Vs. Oil: Which Is Best For Your Furniture?

Should You Oil Teak Furniture?

Final Thoughts

A beautiful pool deck with a scenic view of a mountain landscape

Teak wood is durable and naturally resistant to different elements, which is why it doesn't need a lot of maintenance. But for your peace of mind, you may use methods to protect it from damage.

Cleaning it at least once a year is all that it takes, but you may also apply a sealer and cover it for added protection.