Caring For Teak

The maintenance-free nature of Teak outdoor furniture makes it truly one-of-a-kind. Teak is a unique wood that, when left in its natural state, requires virtually no maintenance or protection. You can leave Teak furniture outside year-round, and trust that it will endure even the most extreme weather conditions. No other wood possesses quite the same set of properties as Teak, making it the gold standard for outdoor furniture, whether on land or on sailboats at sea.

Over time, untreated Teak furniture that is exposed to sunlight will develop a patina and turn into a gorgeous silvery gray color. This process is purely cosmetic and does not harm the strength or quality of the wood in any way. Many people prefer to leave their Teak furniture bare and let it age gracefully. There is nothing wrong with this; if you decide to go this route, know that it is not a permanent decision. You can always decide later to refinish your Teak outdoor furniture by removing the gray with a power washer and sanding the Teak back to its original natural finish.

However, if you want to preserve the natural honey color of your Teak outdoor furniture or darken the wood’s color, we recommend using Messmer’s Hardwood Teak Sealer. This sealer contains UV protection that inhibits the sun from graying the furniture and a mildewcide that prevents the growth of mold and mildew on the surface of your furniture.

Applying the preservative is easy. For the first application, allow the wood to stand in the sun for a week or two so the wood grain can open. Then, wipe on a coat of Teak sealer with a stain sponge and rub it in using a rag. Apply one coat in this manner, making sure to cover every surface, bottom, top, and sides of any slats. Be sure to protect the area underneath the furniture with a drop cloth or cardboard. After the first application, reapply the Teak sealer once a year by cleaning the wood with mild detergent and water and applying a coat only on surfaces that receive direct sunlight.

Once you seal your furniture, you’ll find that minimal care is required to preserve the finish. Occasionally washing it with water and soap is sufficient to remove normal soil. However, oils from coffee, wine, food, and some condiments may penetrate the sealer and leave behind stains. If you encounter this issue with your furniture, you may wish to apply SEMCO Clear Coat to the tabletop to improve stain resistance.

Blue Sky Outdoor does not recommend using varnish or water sealer on any Teak furniture. Products like polyurethane and varnish tend to chip and peel and are challenging to remove without vigorous sanding. Teak is naturally protected by its own oils, which migrate to the surface and make the wood almost resistant to water.

Blue Sky Outdoor also does not recommend oiling Teak furniture. Firstly, Teak wood already has all the natural oil it needs. Secondly, oiling your Teak will not prevent the wood from graying, unless you continue to sand and reapply the oil every season, which creates unnecessary maintenance and hassle. Additionally, adding oil to Teak often results in mold and mildew growth on your furniture, which manifests as black spots and requires washing the furniture with bleach and soap, followed by rigorous sanding to remove.

Common Questions About Caring For Teak Furniture

How do I clean my Teak Furniture?

Occasional washing with water and soap is sufficient to remove soil. However, oils from coffee, wine, food, and some condiments that penetrate the wood and the sealer could leave stains that require the use of SEMCO Teak Cleaners. If you encounter this issue with your furniture, consider applying SEMCO Clear Coat to the tabletops to improve stain resistance.

Cleaning General Stains

  1. Use a mild detergent such as a sponge, dish soap, or soft scrub brush to wash the furniture as needed.
  2. Avoid using steel wool or a pressure washer on Teak furniture as these can discolor or damage the wood’s surface.
  3. For food stains or other soil or stains that are not removed by the aforementioned process, use SEMCO Teak Cleaner as outlined in the Restoring section.
How do you apply Messmer's Teak Sealers?

Applying a sealer to Teak furniture is not difficult, but it can be time-consuming, especially if it’s your first time doing it. For new furniture, we recommend leaving it outdoors for two weeks to allow the grain to open and the sawdust to blow away before applying the sealer.

For the first application of sealer, we suggest using two coats and covering every area, including the spaces between the slats. This process may take some time, but annual or semi-annual maintenance will be much quicker since you only need to apply the sealer to the areas directly exposed to the sun. Furthermore, you can apply it right on top of the old sealer. Before sealing, make sure to thoroughly clean the furniture.

To reapply a sealer to your Teak furniture, clean it with soap and water, let it dry, and apply the sealer directly onto the old preservative. You can even spray it on and wipe it smooth with a cloth.

If your furniture is already weathered and gray, you’ll need to power wash and sand the Teak to get back to its natural wood color. Enjoy your furniture, knowing that it is protected by the finest Teak protection available..

If I choose to use a Messmer's Teak Sealer, what do I need to do to maintain it?

Teak furniture that has been previously sealed requires occasional resealing to compensate for wear and tear from use and the environment. The longevity of the finish is more a function of wear and tear than of time. Typically, once or twice a year is sufficient for residential applications away from salt air. When water beads up on the surface and the color fades, it’s time to recoat. Here’s how:

  1. Clean the Teak furniture with mild detergent to remove any soil.
  2. Wet the wood with a hose.
  3. Gently clean the surface of the wood with a soft scrub brush or Scotch Brite pad and a mild detergent like dish soap.