I looked online and found a bunch of different products for teak furniture.
Which one is best?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are hundreds of products that claim to be appropriate for use on teak outdoor furniture. Some are, many are not.
Anything that leaves a film on top of the wood should be avoided.
If it leaves a film on top of the wood, like a varnish, it will probably look really nice at first but down the road, trouble awaits. The film usually loses its ability to protect the wood from discoloration long before the film actually goes away. At some point, usually within a year of application, the wood will begin to discolor underneath the film. To make the wood look good again, the film must be removed. This can be extremely difficult and, in extreme cases, can drive the cost of restoration beyond the price of new furniture.
What is teak oil?
Most teak oil is made of boiled linseed oil with some proprietary ingredients added to help fight off mildew and provide some protection from the sun. There are some teak oils that may be mineral oil based but the manufacturers do not list the ingredients so it is difficult to be sure.
Back in the day, a lot of people used teak oil or just boiled linseed oil on their teak. Oils do not do a very good job of protecting the teak from discoloration and I do not recommend using them.
Ok, let's get to the good stuff.
Let's get the first two out of the way.
Does my teak furniture need to be sealed or oiled or stained or something to protect it?
The short answer is NO, it does not. Teak is perfectly capable of protecting itself from just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it.
Well built teak furniture will not warp, rot, splinter, or crack. A few minor cracks might appear in certain places but anything more than a hairline crack is usually due to construction flaws.
As long as the furniture is well built it will not fall apart because it was left outside unprotected. The elements will effect the look of the furniture but will not effect its structural integrity.
Teak that is left outdoors will turn gray and then eventually turn black because of the mold and mildew that tends to grow on the surface of the wood, but this takes place on the surface and not within the wood.
Various things can be applied to the teak but for the most part, this is done for cosmetic purposes.
What is the easiest way to take care of my teak furniture?
The easiest way to take care of your teak furniture is to call me while the furniture is still new and I will apply a finish that will preserve the color of the furniture and keep it from turning gray.
If you like the look of gray, weathered teak, and some people do, you'll want to keep it clean so it does not get moldy. The best way to keep it clean is with a scotch-brite pad, some water, and some elbow grease. If this is done with diligence the furniture will take on a soft, silver tone and will last a very long time.
Is it okay to use a pressure washer to clean my teak outdoor furniture?
Yes and no.
It's ok for me to use a pressure washer on your furniture but it is probably not ok for you. I'm sure you are very good at what you do but I have never met a homeowner who pressure washed his/her furniture and did not damage it.
Pressure washing does an excellent job of removing the softer, discolored material at the surface. It leaves behind the harder material and creates peaks and valleys. The peaks are the hard part of the grain and the valleys are where the soft part of the grain has been removed.
Pressure washing should be done carefully, methodically, gently, and should ALWAYS be followed with sanding.
Sanding the furniture will keep the peaks from getting too much higher than the valleys so the wood will remain relatively smooth to the touch.
Pressure washing without sanding will cause the furniture to become very rough. You might be able to get away with it once but with repeated pressure washing the peaks get higher and the valleys get lower.
Exactly how much sanding is required depends on whether or not you plan on applying a finishing material and what material is being applied.
Most people who do this on their own will never get around to the sanding. It takes a long time and it's not a fun way to spend your weekends.
I don't want my furniture to turn gray.
How can I keep my teak furniture looking just like it did when I bought it?
Your best bet is to call me and let me take care of it for you. It's relatively inexpensive when the furniture is still new but remember, it is only new once and only for a short time.
My furniture has already turned gray.
Can it be saved?
How much will it cost to have my teak furniture restored?
I don't know until I see your furniture. If you send me a few good pictures of your furniture I can often give you a price based on those pictures. Sometimes, I do need to see the furniture in person.
How long will it take to restore my furniture?
That depends on how many pieces you have and what we will be doing to it. Most jobs usually take about a week. I might not be able to get to it right away but if you have an upcoming event, let me know and I can probably find a way to squeeze you in so your furniture will look its best for your event.