Tips for Refinishing Teak Furniture

Teak furniture can add warmth to your patio or outdoor living space. Teak is a naturally sturdy and hard wood that is highly resistant to worm loving bugs and rot, thus making it a natural product to be used outdoors. Further it is an oily wood that helps protect it. As with all wood, teak does become weathered, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. There are three stages to a piece of teak furniture’s look: (1) new: has a honey gold brown that will add a refreshing look to your outside space; (2) Six months: the honey gold brown is still visible although now it is more of a deep blonde; and (3) the final stage called weathered: the teak has taken on a silvery patina that adds an air of elegance and sophistication to your area. It should be noted that the final silvery patina will occur quick in moister (more humid) climates than in drier climates.

There are many products on the market today that can help restore the new look and remove the silvery patina. Such brands can be found at your local home improvement store. It is important that you follow the manufacture instructions. However, if one prefers the silvery patina, only a commercial teak cleaner need be used.

If one does not wish to purchase a cleaner from a local home improvement store, a cleaner can be made from items that are within your home. The home cleaner is:

2/3 cup laundry detergent

1/4 cup bleach

1 gallon warm water

Combine all until dissolved and well-blended.

To clean your teak furniture: (1) hose down the piece that you are working on. Note: do not use a high pressure hose or nozzle as this will damage the wood grain; (2) wash piece with a soft bristle brush. This will help remove mold and mildew; (3) rinse thoroughly to make sure all residue has been removed and (4) allow to air dry naturally. This will not remove the silvery patina; only clean the teak furniture of dust and dirt.

If there are spots such as oil or grease that cannot be removed by the cleaning solution, then a little more work is involved. Once the wood has been cleansed and dried, use a fine grain sandpaper such as a 320 grit and sand lightly until the stain has been removed. Wash once again with the cleaning solution and allow to dry.

To bring back the teak’s nature golden hue, clean as before and with a fine grit sandpaper, sand with the grain until the hue that you wish once again comes through. Use a clean, dry cotton cloth to wipe any residual sanding dust from the furniture. From this point one can apply protection especially designed for teak or allow the silvery patina to once again appear.

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