Cleaning and Polishing Teak Furniture

July 15, 2019

Teak furniture has a wonderful way of giving a space a rustic feel while also keeping it modern and fresh. The practical, durable wood is a great option for side tables, other kinds of tables, chairs, and accessories, but the key to this kind of wood is to make sure it’s maintained properly so that it always has that perfect golden color.

If you’re looking for new teak outdoor furniture or want a one-of-a-kind accessory for inside your home, shop at J Turner & Co. in Jacksonville or Ponte Vedra, Florida. Our team has collected a unique collection of pieces that will create a beautiful aesthetic in your home or on the patio. And if you’re not sure where to start, our interior designers have the experience and skills to help you find the pieces you love and to put them together in any space in your home.

Natural Aging of Teak Wood

Teak wood has a natural oil that keeps it a golden honey color. However, for teak furniture that is kept outside, over time, the rain and UV light will wear it down and the oil will evaporate. This will cause the wood to slowly turn a silver, or gray color. This process can take between nine and 12 months and doesn’t affect the quality or durability of the wood, but many homeowners want to refinish the wood to keep it the original golden color.

Cleaning Teak Wood

For teak furniture or accessories inside the home, the piece will typically only need an occasional dusting. For outdoor teak furniture, can you use either tung or linseed oil, or you can mix up a solution made with vinegar, water, and a mild dish soap. Either product will help remove built up dirt. If there are any grease stains, you may need to use a degreaser. Whichever product you use, be sure to thoroughly rinse the item with water so that all of the cleaning solution has been removed. Also, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean away dirt. If you plan on polishing the item, make sure to clean it, and let it dry thoroughly prior to polishing it. It may take one to two days for the wood to dry completely.

Polishing Teak Furniture

In order to keep the wood a honey color, it requires polishing, or sealing. This is typically done with solvent-based sealers that will protect the wood from mold, UV light, and rain or humidity. Depending on the climate you live in, and what color you want to maintain the wood at, this can be done between six and 12 months. There are also a variety of shades to choose from, so you can choose one that closely matches the original shade or another color if you want something other than a natural look. Because teak furniture has such a beautiful color naturally, we highly recommend using a sealer that is as close as possible to the original.

Storing Teak

Teak wood can sit outside year round regardless of the climate. However, if you are concerned about the durability of the wood, just be sure to keep it in a space where the wood can breathe. If it’s kept in a heated space, the wood may dry out and develop small cracks. Remember that it’s natural for teak wood to expand and contract over time and any imperfections may only add to its beauty.

A Brief History of Teak Wood

A tropical wood, teak wood can be found in South and Southeast Asia, including countries like Malaysia, India, Burma, and Thailand. While we know and use the term “teak,” the name of the tree is called Tectona grandis. These trees can reach up to 200 feet tall.

The wood was originally used to build homes or even tools, but it was also known for its healing properties. Some tribes brewed the wood like tea and used it to heal stomach issues or headaches. Eventually, the wood became well known for being incredibly water resistant, so it was used for building ships as well. The woods natural oils prevent moisture from being absorbed, so it can also resist mold growth.

Teak Furniture Today

Today, teak wood is often used for outdoor furniture and to create unique accessories around the home. At J Turner & Co, our interior designers love to use teak throughout homes. The color provides a warm tone while also keeping everything modern.

If you’re looking to update your home or outdoor space, get in touch with our team today! We are passionate about design and can’t wait to help you turn any space in your home into your favorite.