Teak is an expensive tropical hardwood with a tight grain and plenty of natural resin. It is often used to build outdoor furniture, ships, and luxury yachts because of its extreme durability and weather-resistant qualities. Teak resists moisture, mold and mildew, and repels insects. Teak oil is not made from the teak tree, but from linseed oil and tung oil.
Teak wood has a golden-brown or honey-brown color when it is new. If left outdoors, teak naturally weathers to a silvery-gray patina as it is exposed to the elements. If untreated, the silvery-gray will deteriorate to a dark gray or even a greenish color over time. Teak oil is used to restore the wood to its original color and protect it from further graying.
Teak oil should be applied about every three months to be most effective. It is easy to use. Teak oil is applied like a wood stain, using a brush or lint-free cloth. Teak oil should be applied to clean, dry furniture. Additional applications of teak oil will add more luster to the wood. It takes about a day for each coat to dry. The oil penetrates deeply into the wood and brings out its grain.
Teak oil replenishes the natural oils of teak wood that diminish with exposure to the sun. Teak oil can also be used on other hardwoods, such as mahogany and rosewood. Many teak oils contain protection against ultraviolet rays. Teak oil can also be used on marine surfaces, as long as they are above the water line.
Teak is a naturally long-lived wood. Using teak oil on teak wood does not prolong teak furniture's life, it simply restores the wood to its original color and brings out the grain. For best results, some manufacturers recommend that the gray patina at the surface of the teak wood be sanded off before applying teak oil.