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Restoring G Plan Teak Furniture

Known as the ‘Jewel of the Forest,’ Teak wood is the preferred choice by many when it comes to outdoor furniture. Due to the decline in the number of trees being cut down and the length of time it takes to grow a Teak tree, it is no surprise that Teak is an expensive and much coveted quality wood. Teak is a naturally dense hardwood that has its own protective oil built in. When the wood is fresh, the oil content gives Teak its vintage golden colour. However, as it weathers over time it becomes dry and oxidises, turning a silvery-grey. Whilst some consider this rustic look attractive, others prefer the more honey-due hue of restored Teak wood.



Advantages of Teak Garden Furniture

A popular choice for use in outdoor garden furniture, the composition of Teak wood gives it many advantages. Teak is rot-resistant and can withstand damage easily. The wood requires very little maintenance which means less time and money spent on maintaining its natural finish. In addition to its strength and durability, Teak wood is aesthetically pleasing and therefore desirable for elegant garden pieces and indeed classic indoor furniture. Many homeowners purposely allow their teak garden furniture to weather naturally, adding a timeless appeal to their outdoor setting. 


How to Restore Teak Garden Furniture 


~A little love goes a long way~

With proper care, Teak wood can keep its attractive golden glow. To maintain the distinguishable vintage Teak look, it is best to work with the wood's natural oils. The best way to do this is to encourage its natural oils to emerge from within. 

Weathered Teak can be restored by gently sanding the outermost layer, revealing a fresh finish below the surface. Sanding can be a bit more difficult on furniture that has hard to reach areas so you may have to work around these spots by hand. 

If the discoloration of weathered Teak goes deep or if there is a surface layer of mould, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned also. Generally, there is no need for expensive sprays or polishes, just a mild soap and warm water or for more stubborn grime - a soft scrub brush and clean damp cloth. Adding a sealant will help with preserving the revived colour of the wood and protect it from weathering conditions. When using a sealant, it is best to apply using a soft cloth rather than a brush. 


Materials needed to restore Teak Garden Furniture:

  • Water
  • Washing liquid/soap
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Sealant or Wood Oil
  • Lint free cloth/s
  • Mask
  • Gloves


How to Restore Teak Garden Furniture using three simple steps:


Soap  - Sand  - Seal


Step 1 - Soap

First, ensure the furniture item is thoroughly cleaned. You can buy specialised Teak furniture cleaner and apply via bottled instructions. However, simply washing Teak furniture with a mild soap (e.g. fairy liquid), warm water and soft scrub brush will do the job. You can use a standard garden hose to initially wet the furniture and rinse at the end, just ensure it does not have a high pressure spray as this can strip away the natural oils within the wood. Allow to dry accordingly. This may take a few days if working with a larger piece of garden furniture and depending on weathering conditions. Always scrub in the direction of the grain to ensure you don’t scrape the surface of the wood. 

Step 2 - Sand 

Next, sand down the Teak wood surface until the raw wood is exposed. Sanding garden tables will be quicker and easier than chairs which may be a little more cumbersome because of the curves and the quantity. Start out by sanding with 80-grit paper to remove the weathered, grey coloured surface layer of wood and then use a 120-grit sandpaper to bring the wood to a smooth finish. You can purchase a sandblock to wrap the sandpaper around which gives a better grip and more control over larger areas. Make sure to wear a mask to avoid inhaling dust and gloves to keep hands protected. 


Step 3 - Seal

Choose a stain-protecting product otherwise known as a sealant. Teak sealant does not affect the wood's natural oils. There are many colour and finish options available on the market such as water-based protectors like Teak Water & Stain Guard. A useful tip is to test your chosen product on a small, hidden portion of your furniture. Shake the container well to mix. Apply two thin coats with a soft cloth or foam brush and wipe up any drips as you go. Allow a few hours in between coats. It is important to remember that any sealer will wear away with time, especially in harsh outdoor environments. To preserve your newly restored teak furniture will require repeating this process once or twice a year. 

~To oil or not to oil~ 


Whilst not the recommended option in restoring Teak furniture, some restoration enthusiasts opt for the application of wood oil and despite most experts advising against its use, wood oil remains a popular way to restore the look of worn garden furniture. Wood oil helps to protect and preserve interior and exterior wood by feeding the timber to keep it nourished and supple. Whilst the protection delivered by oil isn’t quite as robust as contemporary wood finishing products like varnishes, oils can bring out the character of the wood better as they’re made from natural products and quite easy to maintain. 

Wood oils penetrate into the surface fibres of the wood, where they oxidise with the air and harden. The result is a finish that is dry and non-greasy. If a wood oil does remain sticky or greasy, it has been over applied. Over-application of wood oil can be easily remedied by dampening a clean, lint free cloth in white spirit and wiping off the excess oil. Take care not to use too much white spirit and wipe in the direction of the wood grain. This will break down and remove the surplus oil from the surface of the wood.

There are a range of wood oils that are specifically formulated to be used on both indoor and outdoor furniture. However, not every oil is manufactured with the same quality and there are a wide variety of oils available, each offering a blend of constituents with different effects. Teak, Tung, Danish and Oak furniture oil are specifically designed for specific types of wood. 

Generally, most interior wood oils are safe for use on wooden surfaces that are close or come into direct contact with food. Danish Oils are a good example of an oil that can be used on kitchen worktops, chopping boards and wooden food or fruit bowls. For maintenance of new or used items, simply re-oiling once a year is sufficient for all year-round protection. Further coats can be applied to high-use areas, if required.


Teak Furniture Oil

Teak furniture oil is a blend of linseed, rapeseed and vegetable oil and helps in maintaining the natural colour of the wood by replacing the distinct natural oils which can reduce from poor maintenance or weathering conditions such as sun exposure and rain. Teak furniture oil also prevents UV rays from penetrating the wood, increasing its longevity. Oiling furniture helps avoid discoloration from such wear and tear. Teak oil can be used on both indoor and outdoor furniture but works best for indoor use as the environment is more stable. However, if you choose to oil furniture that will be outside you will need to be more regular with the maintenance.

Teak oil can be applied easily with the help of different soft ended brushes and cloths. Apply your choice of wood oil liberally, using a soft brush or cloth and rub it in well, following the direction of the grain. Be careful not to use too much oil during each application or it won’t absorb properly. Leave the Teak oil to soak in thoroughly and allow to dry for around 6-8 hours. 

Sand the wood in between coats with a fine sandpaper. Untreated wood tends to take 2-3 coats, but if you’re unsure just stop when the wood stops absorbing the oil. You will probably find 3 coats of oil is your optimum and best to leave a day in between to  deliver the best results. Once you’re happy with the finish, buff to a lovely sheen with a soft lint free cloth. 

Teak Restoration - Hard wood to resist!

Sourced from the Tectona grandis tree in south and southeast Asia, it is clear, few woods compare to Teak when it comes to outdoor garden furniture. The King of woods, its strength, durability and aesthetically pleasing nature make this fabulous hardwood - hard to resist!

View All G Plan Teak Furniture

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