Restoring and Refinishing Teak Furniture

Teak furniture pieces are some of the most valued members of the outdoor furniture world. Teak’s natural consistency and oils allow teak furniture to undergo hardly any damage or changes due to extreme moisture or sunlight. Teak is a wood, so it is prone to changes in color over time.

The good news for teak furniture owners and prospective owners is that it can be restored and has the potential to look like brand new furniture no matter how old it is. Vintage furniture buyers can also breathe a sigh of relief because it is possible to turn an old piece of furniture into nearly brand new. Because of the Danish Modern style made popular in the 50s and 60s, teak furniture has become an icon in vintage furniture.

The grayish color of weathered teak is beautiful to some while others prefer the original bright honey color of new teak. It is easy to restore and refinish teak furniture back to its original color without leaving any damage to the piece.

The first thing you will need to do is wash the teak furniture gently with teak-specific soap. These soaps can be found at a local hardware or home improvement store. Washing is done before sanding because removing all of the dust and dirt first will prevent problems during sanding. Before any of the next steps are executed, the teak furniture should be completely dried.

The next step, sanding the teak furniture, is the most difficult step of the entire process. Sand the dried piece of furniture lightly until the natural honey-color of the wood begins to shine through. Never sand too hard and you should always be sanding in the same direction of the grain on the wood. Tools you will need for this process are fine grain sand paper, an orbital sander, gloves, and goggles. A cloth underneath the furniture can also be put down to reduce the cleanup time after sanding is complete. All sections of the furniture should be sanded evenly and no gray should be showing before continuing on to the next step.

Now you will need to wipe down the furniture with a cloth very carefully to remove all dust particles present from the sanding step. Extra care is needed right after it has been sanded if you do not plan on applying oil right away and stains are very likely during this stage if the furniture is not oiled right away.

The teak furniture should be completely clean and dry before applying oil. Teak oil will need to be purchased to restore the natural oils already found in the teak. The teak oil should be applied with a soft cloth or brush and done one coat at a time with drying time in between. The teak oil will take very easily and be absorbed into the furniture when applied. The natural honey color will quickly begin to shine. The furniture should be left to dry and soak up all of the oils before re-applying more coats.

The teak furniture will eventually stop absorbing the teak oil, which is your sign to stop applying the oil. After all of the oil is absorbed and everything is dry, you should apply teak-specific sealant to protect the oil from disappearing due to the elements. These sealants will be easy to find in your local hardware or home improvement store.