How to Sand My Outdoor Teak Furniture


A semi-tropical hardwood from Asia, teak features a warm honey/brown hue right after the milling process. Because teak is nearly impervious to water damage and temperature fluctuations, it is a natural choice in the manufacture of quality outdoor furniture. However, after a few months of exposure to the elements, teak weathers to a gentle silvery gray. While many enjoy that look, sanding will remove the gray discoloration and reveal the same fresh honey tone your furniture had when it was new.

Things You'll Need

  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Sponge
  • Water hose
  • Plastic bucket
  • 320-grit foam sanding pad
  • Wash the teak furniture to remove all traces of dirt and body oils. Mix trisodium phosphate (TSP) with plain water in a clean plastic bucket, as directed on the TSP container.

  • Sponge the TSP solution over the teak wood, rubbing lightly with a sponge before rinsing the furniture off with a water hose. Let the furniture dry completely.

  • Sand off the top layer of gray teak wood with a fine, 320-grit, foam sanding pad.

  • Use short, back-and-forth sanding motions in the same direction as the wood grain. As you sand you will begin to see the natural teak color appear.

  • Continue sanding until the entire piece of furniture looks fresh and new and no gray weathering remains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply teak oil, if desired, to the surface of your furniture with a paintbrush. Apply one or more coats, brushing the oil on in the direction of the wood grain and letting the oil absorb before applying another coat.
  • Cover teak furniture during cold weather or move it to a garage or storage shed. Teak resists extreme temperature changes but you can prolong the life of your furniture by protecting it when not in use.
  • Don't sand in a circular motion or across the direction of the wood grain to prevent cross grain marks.
  • Don't stain teak wood if you want to enjoy its natural grain beauty. Wood stain penetrates deeply and requires heavy sanding to remove.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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