How to Finish Teak Wood

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Teak is a popular wood for outdoor furniture because it is attractive, very resistant to rot and it will last a long time. Untreated teak will weather to a soft gray appearance that may make it appear old or worn when really only a thin layer at the surface is weathered. Most people prefer for the teak to retain most or all of its raw or oiled color.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Safety gloves and glasses
  • Bristle brush
  • Teak cleanser (non-acid type)
  • Distilled water
  • Medium-grit sandpaper and block (optional)
  • Cloth
  • Teak brightener
  • 3 two-inch disposable brushes
  • Teak oil (optional)
  • Teak finisher
  • Teak sealer
  • Position the furniture on plastic sheeting out of direct sunlight.

  • Apply a good teak cleanser (non-acid type) with a bristle brush. Wear gloves to protect your skin as this type of cleanser is a skin irritant. Rinse with distilled water. (Distilled water prevents mineral discoloration.) Allow the furniture to dry overnight.

  • Sand the teak lightly if it is mildly weathered. Reduce any lifted wood areas, and sand with the grain. Wipe away any residual sawdust with a cloth.

  • Apply teak brightener using a 2-inch disposable brush. Some brighteners require rinsing. Check the manufacturer's directions. Allow the furniture to dry completely.

  • Apply teak oil using a disposable brush. Paint in the direction of the wood grain, being careful to reach all areas of the surface. Allow each coat to dry completely, and apply a total of 3 coats. Allow at least 1 hour between coats. Teak may need to be re-oiled 2 to 3 times a year to retain its honey appearance.

  • Apply teak finish and sealer as an alternative to teak oil. Teak finishes and sealers often last considerably longer than teak oil. Some manufacturers combine finish and sealer as a single product. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for the number of coats based on the environment in your area.

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