Furniture made from teak wood is highly desirable for chairs, tables, and cabinets used indoors or outdoors. But have you ever wondered about when or if you should oil teak furniture? We researched teak furniture, its unique qualities, and helpful ways to restore, condition, and extend this durable, luxury wood. Learn more here about oils, sealers, and what elements impact this sought-after wood for furnishings.
Many people love teak furniture because it is hardy, resistant to termites, rot, and moisture. You should routinely clean or treat your outdoor teak furniture, but it doesn’t necessarily need oiling. You can oil indoor teak furniture every 3 to 4 months if you wish. Teak furniture has a lifespan of up to a century because of its high silica content and natural protective oils. Applying a sealer and regular cleaning as needed is the best option to preserve teak wood.
Continue reading to learn how to treat your teak wood so its beauty and qualities can be enjoyed and sustained for generations.
Caring For Teak Furniture
Teak wood is highly desirable for furniture both indoors and outdoors for recreation and everyday use. You can even have teak furniture in a moist bathroom because it resists mildew, mold, and rot from water. Some owners of teak furniture swear by only cleaning their teak furniture and eschewing applying oils. However, you may want to oil teak furniture to add UV protection, enrichen the staining, and enhance the wood grain. It is essential to remove any excess oil or solution used on any teak furniture to prevent problems.
If you want to apply a sealer to your teak chair, cabinet, or dining table, you should be mindful of your furniture’s age. Applying a sealant to young teak furniture will lock in its more golden hues. If you love the look of older teak furniture with a gray patina, you should hold off on using sealer annually and allow the teak to show a change of color.
Keeping Teak Clean
How you approach cleaning your teak furniture will depend if it is built for the outdoors or indoors. If you have outdoor chaise lounges, tables, or benches in your yard, review the following steps to maintain your furniture.
- Use soap for wood, lukewarm water, and a soft-bristle brush to clean the surface of your teak furniture.
- Wipe off excess moisture and allow your furniture to dry thoroughly.
- Apply a coat of brightener to bring out the color of your furnishings and give it a rinse with water.
- If you wish, apply a sealant with UV-protective qualities that lasts up to a year and allow it to dry.
If you don’t want to use a cleaner made for wood, you can apply a solution of 1 teaspoon of mild dish detergent, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of water.
Applying a cleaner with a bristle brush at least once a year is useful for removing grime, dirt, stains, and rings from wood. Outdoor furniture left uncovered for a full year or longer will need more effort to restore, so covering it with a breathable cover or housing it in a shed may help reduce maintenance. Exposure to high humidity can cause cracking or bowing.
Indoor furniture can be treated in the same fashion as outdoor furniture, but you do not necessarily have to apply a sealer.
How Often Should You Oil Teak Furniture?
Teak doesn’t need to be oiled, but it is suggested to treat it with oil to preserve the wood’s color. If you apply teak oil to furniture that will not be exposed to the sun and bleaching, adding oil may actually promote problems. Furniture that is in an enclosed or shaded area might develop mold or mildew, so be careful. Most oils can be applied to teak once or twice a year for the best results. But, some people choose to oil indoor furniture every 3 to 4 months.
When applying any oil to teak furniture, you should use a lint-free cloth for best results and avoid scratching the furniture with a rough paper towel. If you need to remove any stains before applying oil, use a piece of steel wool in the same direction as the wood grain. Make sure to remove excess oil and rub the oil into the furniture with an absorbent cloth. Over time you may notice that oiled furniture will change from a golden yellow to a deeper orange.
Should You Use Teak Oil Or Teak Sealer?
If you enjoy the natural process of teak furniture aging and being exposed to the elements to develop a gray patina, avoid using a teak sealer. Teak oil is designed to condition teak furniture and bring out its wood grain’s natural beauty, but it is not waterproof.
Remember, teak is naturally resistant to moisture and is hardy enough to stand up to inclement weather. So, neither teak oil nor sealer is necessary. However, if you want to lock in the current color of teak furniture and add a waterproof and UV protection layer, you should regularly apply oil and use a sealer.
Does Teak Oil Waterproof Wood?
Tung oil is one of the most recommended natural oils used to condition and treat teak furniture, and it is naturally waterproof. Boats and other wood furniture used outdoors have been traditionally treated with Tung oil for years for its moisture-resistant qualities. However, applying a sealant to teak furniture is the best way to seal off moisture from impacting the wood. Overall, most oils for teak do not waterproof wood.
How Long Does It Take Teak To Turn Gray?
After investing in your teak furniture, you may be curious about how long it will take for it to develop a gray patina. Please be aware that teak usually comes in either an unfinished natural state, pre-weathered, or sealed. If you leave unsealed, unfinished teak furniture outdoors and avoid applying a sealer, it will quickly turn a beautiful gray in as little as a few months. Note that finished teak usually has a lighter, golden finish, and finished teak has a darker golden color.
Don’t want to wait long for your teak to turn silvery-gray? Opt for a pre-weathered chair, table, or stool that already displays a delightful gray sheen. Indoor furniture or outdoor furniture that is annually treated with sealant will take years to turn gray.
Does Teak Oil Come In Different Colors?
Teak oil does come in different colors, so you should be careful before applying it to your furniture. If the brand of oil used is colored, it may change the look of the wood. A highly recommended oil is Danish oil, made from linseed, tung oil, rosewood, and other quality ingredients to nurture wood.
We hope that you have gained a more profound knowledge of teak and its natural qualities. Know that applying a teak oil like Tung oil or a sealant can enrichen your wood’s beauty and lifespan. Teak furniture has been cherished and sought-after for centuries for indoor and outdoor use. It is possible to lock in the colors displayed in unfinished or pretreated teak furniture by regularly applying oil and a sealer.
Applying a layer of oil is not necessary but encouraged whether you have indoor or outdoor furniture. If you wish, you can allow teak to age naturally and rarely treat it with oil or sealant so it can develop a prized, gray patina. However, it is ideal to clean your teak at least once a year with a commercial or homemade cleaner.
Before you leave, check out the following articles about teak and other wood furniture.