Maintaining Teak Wood
- April 29, 2016
- Category: Boats, Detailing, Hard Surface Maintenance
When looking for durable furniture for outside your home, teak wood is a very popular option. When comparing pricing for different kinds of outdoor furniture, teak tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum and for good reason. Along with its natural beauty, teak wood has a compact granular structure which allows it to last for decades. It also has a high oil content and low shrinkage ratio which make the wood perfect for withstanding the elements. While teak is very durable, if untreated it can weather to a gray color instead of most teak furniture’s typical honey-colored shine. Even if your teak becomes weathered, it is possible to refinish it to bring back the wood’s natural beauty.
Teak originates from the Tectona grandis which is native to tropical climates. In the 7th century, teak was used to create decorative molding for the homes of the wealthy. Due to its popularity, the Dutch (who colonized Indonesia at the time) learned of the durability of the wood and used it in several of their ships. Soon the word of teak spread all throughout the rest of the world and it became a popular export. Teak is commonly found in countries like Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia. Since the wood is harvested from mature trees which can take up to 80 years to fully grow, the price of the wood is very high. Indonesia in particular, has very strict policies in place to preserve teak and replace the trees that are cut down.
While unfinished teak is still very durable, regular maintenance of your teak can help prolong the longevity of its life and preserve its beauty. Regular washing of your teak furniture can help prevent mildew buildup and discoloration. A simple mixture of soap and water with some bleach or vinegar sometimes mixed in is all you normally need to clean your furniture. Be sure to use a soft plastic brush as metal brushes can scratch up the wood’s finish. For especially difficult stains, you can buy cleaner made specifically to clean teak.
If you are looking to prolong the life of your teak, it is a good idea to get it refinished. When looking into teak refinishing, there are a couple different options. The two most common are teak oil and varnish. Applying teak oil to your furniture is a three-step process. You first must apply a cleaner, followed by a brightener and then a teak oil once the teak has dried from cleaning. This finish for teak must be re-done every 1-2 years, depending on where it’s located.
While varnish takes a little more work to apply, it also lasts for a longer period of time. You must first completely sand down your teak before applying varnish to remove any previous finish. Applying the varnish can be a drawn out process, since most varnishes made for teak require 5-7 coats. While applying varnish to teak is more work than teak oil, this finish typically lasts 3-5 years or longer.
Whether it is on a boat, around your house or anywhere else, GK’s Custom Polishing, Inc. is your Cleveland headquarters for teak refinishing. We offer full teak restoration and refinishing services to help your furniture, deck or boat look brand new. We also offer cleaning and polishing for natural stone, concrete and tile/grout as well as comprehensive boat detailing. Give us a call at (440) 937-4457 or send us a quick email for a free estimate.