Teak is the ideal choice for outdoor furniture due to its natural properties that make it highly resistant to the outside elements. Also, the natural beauty of this wood has made it very popular, or should we say, a status symbol these days! Teak contains natural oils that help it survive in the rainforest where it grows. Hence, it is almost immune to outdoor elements including rain, sun, insects, and decay. Even though teakwood furniture is more expensive when compared to oak, redwood, or cedar, its natural durability and strength makes it well worth the price.
Teak furniture has a rich honey hue when it is new. But, with the exposure to external elements, as it ages, it gets a silver-gray patina. Even though the change in color does not make a difference to the durability and strength of the furniture, it does make a difference to its looks. Therefore, it becomes essential for those who own this furniture to decide whether they want the article to become silver gray as it weathers, or maintain its original honey-brown color. The following are some tips to help take care of the gorgeous teakwood.
Use a Cleaning Solution
A solution of bleach and mild-detergent water in the ratio of 25:75, is ideal for cleaning purpose. Ensure that the cleaning is done using a brush with soft bristles. Once the furniture is cleaned, the entire piece should be rinsed thoroughly to get rid of all the cleaning solution and dirt residue. Ensure that the water pressure isn’t very high. This cleaning approach works fine for both the weathered as well as relatively new teak furniture.
The process of graying, when the furniture is left outdoors, takes about nine months, depending on the degree of exposure to the outside elements such as the sun and rain. If you like this naturally-weathered look, then the primary care required for your prized furniture is just regular cleaning. These days you can easily get ‘teak cleaners’ in the market, which have more or less become a necessity for teak maintenance. If you love the silver-gray look of your furniture, a thorough-yet-gentle cleaning once in a while is all that it takes to treasure this vintage possession; well, this and the next point.
Use Teak Protector
Experts recommend applying a ‘teak protector’ if you want to prevent stains from becoming a part of your furniture. Stains of edible items such as tea, coffee, red wine, oil, etc., generally seep into the wood and spoil the beauty of it. A coating of teak protector not only helps against staining but also protects the wood against UV rays and mildew growth.
It is crucial to apply this solution only after thorough cleaning and dusting of the furniture. This treatment should be done at least once in a year. However, in case you have a tabletop made of teakwood, application of a protector is suggested more frequently.
Use Teak Sealer
Many people prefer the original golden-brown color of teakwood over the weathered silver gray. A ‘teak sealer’ comes in very handy for this purpose. The coating(s) of this solution needs to be applied once every year, so that the furniture looks as good as new in terms of the color.
There are teak oils also available for the same purpose; however, note that it is not recommended to use teak oil on the outdoor furniture due to the high maintenance that is involved in the process. It will have to be reapplied every three months so that the brown finish remains intact. Experts also state that regular oiling can cause irregular coloring and development of mildew.
Avoid Painting Or Staining Your Furniture
Some people opt for painting or staining their furniture. However, experts frown on this practice, as the natural oils that occur in the wood will prevent the stain or paint adhering to it. But, if you do want to stain or paint your outdoor teak anyway, it is best to get an expert advice about how you should go about it.
While teak furniture is left outside all year round by some people, others think it is better to bring it indoors during extreme weather conditions. Because it is hardwood we are dealing with, it is resistant to swelling, shrinkage, and warping. Plus, its natural oils preserve the furniture remarkably, giving it a wonderfully beautiful look for many years. By following proper care and guidelines, your outdoor teak furniture will last for a lifetime indeed.