Teak Outdoor Furniture

Teak is naturally a very durable category of wood, which makes it perfect for outdoor patio furniture. Refinishing teak furniture is often not necessary because it usually requires such little maintenance. However, many people buy antique teak patio furniture because of its ability to maintain quality for such a long time. If you are one of these people you may want to consider buying some teak furniture cleaner to see if refinishing your teak patio furniture is really necessary.

There are specific cleaners that need to be used when refinishing teak patio furniture. Some people try to use household bleach or a pressure washer to clean their teak furniture but often end up damaging the wood. A good teak furniture cleaner, like the one from Golden Care®, has excellent reviews around the net. It also comes with a specialized brush to apply it, which is required for this type of wood. Using a specialized cleaner will require a little more elbow grease, but you will get a more beautiful and satisfactory result in the end. Once the cleaner has been applied you should be prepared to rinse it per the manufactures directions. If working indoors, a wet cloth can be used. A hose will work fine for any outdoor projects.

Once the teak furniture cleaner has been applied and rinsed, a good polish will help make it stand out.  Old English Furniture Polish works pretty well and you can find it at most stores.

Refinishing Teak Furniture if Cleaning and Polishing Doesn’t Work

Teak patio furniture sometimes turns grey as it ages. This may be appealing to some, but many just want that beautiful golden color back. Teak is naturally very oily so it doesn’t necessarily require refinishing, but it can be done.

Refinishing teak patio furniture is a bit different than how I described in this post. Due to its natural durability and oiliness, it’s going to require a bit more aggression. An orbital sander l can really help with this project. If you’re using an orbital sander,  start with an 80 grit sand paper and gently sand in circular motions. And work your way up from 80 and to an 180 grit until all previous swirls are removed. Finish up the sanding by hand, going back and forth in the direction of the grain. You may want to wrap the 180 grit sandpaper up in an old kitchen sponge to make it easier on your hands.  Once the golden hue has become visible again, you are ready to begin the refinishing.

Make sure to wipe down the sanded piece of teak furniture with a soft cloth before you begin. You will need some lacquer thinner to do this step properly. You must do this step perfectly because any sawdust or debris that is left on the wood will cause serious problems later.

Finally you are ready to begin the refinishing teak furniture process. The most professional way to refinish teak patio furniture is with a good catalyzed lacquer. This will provide the most durable and long-lasting protection for your outdoor furniture. It can be hazardous to your lungs and extremely flammable, you must use it with extreme caution.

An easier and safer finish to apply is polyurethane. Stay away from gloss finishes and go with a satin or dull color. Gloss will make the furniture look like cheap plastic. A good brand to go with is the Varathane Outdoor Diamond Wood Finish. This will be a very rewarding experience because you can usually see the glow of the wood as you’re working. Make sure to apply it in thin but even coats. You must allow the finish to dry for at least 8 hours in between each coat!

A teak sealer like the Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish can help prevent the finish from evaporating in the sun. It will come in handy later in the year when you want to do a quick touch up as well. Simply use the teak furniture cleaner first and then apply about one layer of the sealer to keep it shining beautifully all year long.

Refinishing teak furniture may seem intimidating but it’s really not all that hard. Even a beginner can complete the project in a day’s time. It’s great if you plan to buy antique teak patio furniture and will have it looking brand new in no time.


Until next time – Dan @ Wood Menders