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Care and Maintenance of Teak Furniture

Teak is a naturally beautiful wood with rich grain and color ranging from a honey gold to a chocolate brown. The grain and color come from the growth rings, and no two pieces will be alike in grain or color.

It is best to receive your teak furniture in its “natural” finish (not oiled or waxed). This way you can tell the quality of the teak, and have a choice of finishes. Some manufacturers oil or polyurethane their teak furniture. This may be done to hide blemishes, and make the furniture look more attractive.

Natural Finish (Weathering)

If Teak is left unfinished, then it will weather to a handsome silvery gray. This process is gradual and usually takes between three to twelve months, depending on sunlight exposure. Rain or water will not affect the process. However, you may get some water spots when the teak is first exposed to the elements. You may choose to clean them out with mild soap and water, or leave them be. Either way, in a few months time, the furniture will be uniformly gray.

If teak furniture is exposed to rain, its grain will lift slightly. This is a natural process as wood slightly expands and contracts with the wet ad dry cycles. It will not affect the strength or durability of the wood. Teak will return to its smooth feel after the initial weathering process.

Teak Oil Finish

Teak Oil may be applied to Teak outdoor furniture to extend the aesthetic appearance of the new teak furniture. Teak oil, or other finishes that protect from Ultraviolet Light bleaching, delay the bleaching of the wood as long as they are effective. These finishes in no way extend the life of the furniture. Teak furniture requires no treatment to protect the wood.

Teak Oil eventually evaporates in six to twelve months (based on area conditions and sun exposure). You will notice that the oil finish starts showing a few streaks of unoiled wood. At this time, you must reapply teak oil to preserve the color.

If teak oil treatment is not repeated, the furniture will eventually bleach to a silvery gray.

Polyurethane Finish

Poly Urethane is used to finish teak wood panels on boats. This is only to maintain its aesthetic color, and give it a smooth shine. Teak wood does not require any finish to preserve its strength.

The Polyurethane will eventually flake and peel. Boatyards usually apply three coats of polyurethane onto teak trim used in boats annually.