Tips for Maintaining Teak Outdoor Furniture

24th September 2020 By Fabian

Teak Outdoor Furniture is a popular choice of wooden outdoor furniture in both domestic gardens and commercial venues. This is down to the fact that teak furniture is a great investment and if looked after correctly, doesn’t require much maintenance.  Here are a few tips for maintaining outdoor teak furniture.

Teak is a tropical hardwood with a beautiful golden-brown colour when it is new. Over time, as natural teak is exposed to the elements, it gradually changes colour from the honey colour of new teak to a silver-grey which distinguishes finely aged, outdoor teak.  It is more durable than almost every other type of hardwood available.

Teak wood is very heavy and dense, great properties for making it resistant to insects and moisture. This is mainly because of the natural oils that are found in the heartwood of mature teak trees, and also why outdoor furniture made from quality teak wood will last for years and years. Cheaper grade  teak is made from the outer section of the tree and lacks the natural oils, making it weak and susceptible to warping and splitting. As you would expect, out teak outdoor furniture is made from quality teak wood suitable for contract use.

Teak Oil on Teak Outdoor Furniture – yes or no?

We do not recommend the use of teak oil on our Outdoor Teak Furniture. In fact, teak outdoor furniture doesn’t need any additional oil to last for decades. Treating your furniture with teak oil will not help extend the life of the furniture but can make the teak wood dependent on continuous reapplications of oil to prevent the wood from drying out. Teak oil is predominantly a mix of mostly linseed oil and solvents. When you apply it, the wood can have a nice colour for a short time, but the solvents actually act to degrade the wood’s natural oil faster. So it dries out and fades, and you’ll just have to reapply more oil in an endless cycle.

Teak furniture that gets oiled is also more likely to have mildew growth and may have problems of uneven colouring when it ages. The natural oil that exists below the surface of the wood is already sufficient to protect it from the elements, but there are some things you can do to help preserve the appearance of your furniture.

teak outdoor furniture

The changing colours of Teak Wood

Depending on the environment, natural greying may become noticeable after a few weeks.  This is completely natural! In drier climates teak will take several months to weather but in moist climates, where furniture is subjected to regular dew and sunshine, teak furniture will weather more quickly. It is caused by the evaporation and oxidisation of the natural oil from the wood on the exposed surface.

During this weathering, some uneven colouring and slight cracks in the wood may show up. This is a natural process that will even out over time, and is simply a result of expansion and contraction of the wood due to changes in the weather and environment.

Staining Teak furniture

As the process of teak turning grey is natural and merely cosmetic, it does not affect the longevity of teak outdoor furniture. But to keep the golden honey colour of new teak, it is possible to restore the colour by scrubbing the surface of the wood using a teak cleaner. If the colour has faded greatly, or the wood has deep stains, then a light sanding will expose a fresh layer of golden wood just below the surface. Sanding brings out the colour of teak wood because it exposes a fresh layer of wood that is still saturated with natural oils.  After cleaning, you can apply a teak sealer to prevent the colour from fading any further.

General Teak Furniture Care

As with all outdoor furniture, it’s good to clean your teak furniture occasionally to prevent any build-up of dust or dirt. A low pressure hose is sufficient to wash the dirt off, and then using a soft bristled brush, the surface can be gently cleaned with a solution of warm water and mild detergent, or a specialised teak cleaner. It’s always best to wipe the surface dry with a towel afterwards.

If the furniture is going to be protected with a cover in the winter its good to use a furniture cover made from a breathable material. A plastic cover will trap moisture and this increases the chance of mildew growing on the surface of the wood.

To shop the range of quality Teak Chairs and Dining Tables for Commercial Use, take a look at the Outdoor Furniture section of our website.  We include a range that combines aluminium and solid teak for a modern look to your venue.

Want to find out more handy tips and tricks of the trade for your restaurant space?

Want more inspiration on how to design your space? Want to see what JB Commercial can do for your interiors? Contact us here, or give us a call on 01933 411 876. Business to business clients only.

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