THE NATURAL AGING AND GRAYING OF TEAK OUTDOOR FURNITURE
New pieces of teak wood furniture will be in a honey/brown color, teak’s natural state. They can often appear to be polished. The polished appearance comes from oil occurring naturally in the wood. The oil on the surface will evaporate after a few days outdoors. It is the oil below the surface that gives the wood its durability. Left to age naturally outside, teak outdoor furniture will turn a handsome silver gray color. This process will take approximately 9 to 12 months, depending on the amount of ultraviolet light and the rain the teak is exposed to. This graying process in no way affects the integrity of the teak. Teak’s aged character suits any type of garden setting. It is popular among many because it is natural and virtually maintenance free.
Teak is a natural material. As such, it may see fine cracks appear in the end grain of components and then disappear when atmospheric conditions change. Such fine cracks are normal, especially in heavier components like arms and legs. They will not affect the life or durability of your teak outdoor furniture.
RETAINING THE ORIGINAL COLOR OF YOUR TEAK OUTDOOR FURNITURE
If you want to preserve the honey/brown color of your teak outdoor furniture, a sealer is recommended. Teak sealers are usually solvent-based and of water-like viscosity, containing protection against mold, ultraviolet light and moisture. A variety of shades are available if you want a color other than the natural one. Sealers are easy to apply and generally must be applied every 6 to 12 months. If you choose to use a sealer, we recommend you visit a marine store and purchase specialty teak sealers (normally used on boats).
CLEANING TEAK FURNITURE
Teak requires very little maintenance apart from the occasional scrub. A mild solution of soapy water or a diluted mixture of Marine SimpleGreen® and water will remove accumulated dirt. This should be followed by a rinse with clean water. To remove grease spots, a light scrub with a de-greasing agent is recommended. This, too, should be followed by a rinse with clean water.
Check out our blog post for video instructions and detailed steps to cleaning teak.
If you want to remove the silver-gray patina and restore the furniture to its original color use a teak cleaner which can be purchased from a marine store.
STORING YOUR FURNITURE FOR THE WINTER
Teak furniture can be left outdoors uncovered all 12 months of the year, no matter where you live. If you choose to cover your teak furniture during winter, use a material that allows the wood to breathe. If you put your furniture away for the winter, do not store it in a heated room. The heat can dry out the wood and cause cracks. It is normal for teak wood to expand and contract with time and changes in weather. Some of the joints are not glued, like the slats in the back of chairs. From time to time you may need to tighten the fasteners.
As the wood ages, small checks or cracks may appear on the surface. This is normal and doesn’t affect the durability of the furniture.
Teak ages gracefully. Any resulting imperfections give it the natural and durable quality you will love.