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Restore Your Teak Outdoor Furniture in 5 Easy Steps

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

Teak furniture is a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its durability and natural resistance to weathering. However, even with regular cleaning and maintenance, teak furniture can still become dull and fade over time.

The Rio Teak Dining Table and Dining Chairs. Picture credits: @houseofhanes

If you have teak furniture that needs a little TLC, follow these steps to restore it to its former glory.

Step 1: Clean the teak furniture thoroughly

The first step to restoring teak furniture is to clean it thoroughly. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth and a mild detergent to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated on the surface. Do not use a pressure washer on your teak outdoor furniture as it can damage and strip its natural oils.

Rinse the furniture with clean water and let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Sand the furniture

After the furniture is dry, use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. Sanding will remove any remaining dirt and also help to smooth out any rough spots.

It also helps to bring out the natural colour and beauty of the wood. Over time, teak furniture can become grey and dull due to exposure to the elements. Sanding can help to remove this weathered layer and reveal the rich, golden colour of the teak underneath.

Do take note to sand in the direction of the grain of the wood to avoid damaging the surface. Clean up the fine dust by using a vacuum or damp cloth.

Step 3: Apply teak oil

Once your teak outdoor furniture has dried, apply a thin layer of teak oil with a clean cloth using long, even strokes. Let the oil soak in for about 15 minutes, then wipe away any excess with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the wood is well-saturated with oil.

Step 4: Let the oil soak in

After applying the teak oil, let it soak in for at least 24 hours before using the furniture. This will allow the oil to penetrate deep into the wood and provide protection against weathering.

Step 5: Protect the furniture

To keep your teak furniture looking its best, it's important to protect it from the elements.

When not in use, we recommend getting furniture covers or storing it indoors during the off-season. You can also apply a teak sealer to provide extra protection against weathering.

Our furniture covers are made of polyester to remain durable and fade-resistant.

Step 6: Refinish the furniture (Optional)

This is an optional step, but if your teak furniture is severely weathered or damaged, you may need to refinish it. This involves sanding the furniture down to bare wood and applying a new finish. There are many different types of finishes available, including varnish, lacquer, and oil-based finishes.

Tips for restoring teak furniture

Use a wood cleaner

In addition to using a mild detergent, you can also use a wood cleaner specifically designed for teak furniture to remove dirt and grime. These cleaners are formulated to be gentle on the wood while still removing dirt.

Avoid using harsh chemicals

Even though teak is a durable material used for outdoor furniture, harsh chemicals such as bleach can damage the wood and strip it of its natural oils. Even if your teak outdoor furniture has a large amount of build up, stick to mild cleaners. Simply scrub gently with a brush a couple of times to remove the dirt.

Remove stains promptly

If you spill something on your teak furniture, be sure to clean it up promptly to avoid staining. For stubborn stains, you can use a homemade solution of water and white vinegar or lemon juice.

Sand lightly between coats

If you're refinishing your teak furniture, be sure to sand lightly between coats of finish. This will help to remove any bumps or imperfections and create a smooth surface.

Apply finish in a well-ventilated area

When applying a new finish to your teak furniture, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area. Many finishes contain fumes that can be harmful if inhaled, so it's important to work in a space with good airflow.

By following these steps, you can restore your teak outdoor furniture to its former beauty and enjoy it for many years to come. Whether you're simply cleaning and oiling the furniture, or refinishing it entirely, the end result will be a piece that looks like new.

Castlery acknowledges Australia's First Nations as the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
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