How to Clean & Seal Outdoor Teak Furniture

Teak is considered one of the most sought after hardwoods in the world. Its dense grain and high natural oil content give it both strength and beauty. Fresh teak is best described as a warm, golden color. Over time the wood slowly matures into a silvery gray patina. 

Cleaning and sealing teak every 1-2 years is a great way to preserve the beauty and structural integrity of your teak furniture.

  freshly sealed teak (top) vs. weathered teak (bottom)

1. Clean. Start by using warm water, dish soap and a scrub brush to clean the surface of your furniture. This will remove any dirt or mildew that has accumulated over time. 

2. Sand. Once the wood is clean & dry, gently sand your furniture. This is a great time to remove any scratches or stubborn stains. We recommend starting with a low grit sandpaper (120-180) and finishing with a high grit sandpaper (220-320). Make sure to always follow the direction of the wood grain.

When you are finished sanding, brush or rinse off the wood to remove any leftover dust. You can use your hand as a simple way to check for too much dust. 
before dusting after dusting

3. Seal.
Using a foam or bristle brush, apply sealer to the teak. Brush on a generous amount and let the wood absorb as much as it can. Teak sealers are designed to seal the trees natural oils & resins inside the wood, therefore preserving the wood's durability. We like to use Semco teak sealers and chose the "Honeytone" shade for this project. 
After a few minutes wipe off any excess sealer with a rag. Use this as a chance to really work the sealer into the wood, following the direction of the grain. 
4. Re-apply. Add a second coat immediately after or within 24 hours of the first. Two coats of sealer is sufficient for most applications. 

5. Maintain. After sealing, occasionally clean your teak with a simple soap & water solution. This will keep your furniture looking fresh throughout the season and prevent any mold from forming. Most people re-apply sealer every 1-2 years. Sealers come in multiple shades so be sure to test out the color on the underside of your furniture before starting. Keep in mind that the color will naturally lighten overtime. 
       weathered sealed teak (left) vs. weathered unsealed teak (right)


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