How to Revive Teak Furniture

Is your teak furniture in need of a re-haul? Despite being one of the finest and most durable types of wood that exists, teak is still subject to weathering over time.
Years of exposure to the elements will dull its golden hue to an ashy gray. Besides discoloration, hairline cracks typically appear in aged teak wood as a result of its natural oxidation process. If your teak furniture has been a victim of weather-related damage, fortunately there are ways to restore its original luster. Rather than waste your money on a new set of furniture, you can easily reverse the aging process with some TLC and teak oil.

Step 1

Add mild detergent to warm water to create a warm, dilute soap solution. Apply the solution to your teak using a cloth, removing any dirt and mold buildup on the surface. Severely weathered teak may require extra attention to dirt lodged between cracks. Once the piece is completely clean, allow the wood to dry overnight.

Step 2

Sand the wood using a piece of fine-grain sandpaper. This step requires some elbow grease and patience. Following the direction of the grain, continue sanding the entire surface of wood until you see the original honey-brown color return. Wipe away any residue from the wood with a dry cloth.

Step 3

Apply a coat of teak oil using a soft bristle brush. Allow several hours to pass between coats while the wood absorbs the teak oil. Continue the application process until the wood is saturated. You will notice the original honey-brown hue begin to return. A more weathered piece may require as many as five coats to regain its original color. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil with a dry cloth, then allow the furniture to dry undisturbed overnight.

Step 4

Invest in outdoor furniture covers to protect your teak once it’s been restored. Vinyl or canvas covers can be purchased at your local garden center. They will help protect your teak from weather damage when not in use, and ultimately preserve its natural beauty.

Things You Will Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Teak oil
  • Waterproof covers

About the Author

Since obtaining her bachelor's degree from Penn State in 2005, Michelle Donato's professional experience has included editorial roles with "TV Guide," as well as research roles in the Internet Optimization and Media Research Industries. Her writing has been featured online and in international publications.