Teak wood - maintenance tips for your garden furniture

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Article from the 2015-08-05, by Anja Beckmann

Wood engineer Philip about teak woodWood belongs to the most popular materials for garden furniture. Benches and tables out of the natural material look natural and rustic and they harmonically fit in the nature image of gardens. Very popular for outdoor furniture: teak wood. The noble wood from South East Asia is weather resistance and known for its longevity. Philip Rabanus, our student assistant, knows wood since he is a wood-engineer-to-be. He knows how to maintain teak wood correctly.

Teak wood is the wood of the teak tree, which is a mainly South East Asian endemic wood and also native from the pacific islands. “The rubber component is huge and the reason for the oily character of the wood and the robust surface. That’s the reason why teak wood usually isn’t lacquered or sealed”, explains Philip. “The tropical wood is resistant against fungal infestation and wood bacteria contrasting most of the other regional woods – that’s another reason for why it is predestined to be used for the production of garden furniture”.

Most of our teak wood furniture is FSC certified, like the products by Skagerak. It means the manufacturer is obliged to save the ecological functions of the forest. The wood therefore comes from so-called teak wood plantations and not from natural resources.

Teak wood maintenance: This is how your garden furniture remains as if it was new for a long time

Teak wood furniture have an intensive red-brown to golden colour when they’re bought. The wood develops a protective cover with time, the patina. The furniture becomes silverfish, which many furniture owners consider to look sad. “There are special protective oils for teak wood to keep the red-brown colour,” knows Philip, “spread it on the furniture with a towel or cloth out of linen. The wood must be clean, since the dirt will be included in the protective oil otherwise”. Teak wood oils are available in every construction market.

Skagerak - Adria Armchair, teakIf the patina emerged, there are many different possibilities to remove it. The wood is very weather-resistant, which is why the furniture can be treated with water without any problems. The easiest way to remove the patina is with a common scrubbing brush and a bit of soapy water in the direction of the fibre. You can also use a high-pressure cleaner, but be careful: “It is very important to minimize the pressure and to keep a distance to the wood. If the pressure is too high, it might rough the surface. You should cautiously approach.”, explains Philip. A third possibility of removing the patina would be to grind it. “Chairs with many lamellae are hard to be grinded”, says Philip. A clean result is achieved if you grind meticulously in all of the gaps. That requires time and patience.

Overview of the frequently asked questions about teak wood and its maintenance:

How do I recognize teak wood?
You can distinguish the tropical wood from others because of the intense red-brown to golden colour.

What tree does teak wood come from? Where is it harvested?
Teak wood comes from the teak wood, which is indigenous from South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Is teak wood weatherproof?
Yes, the high rubber amount of teak trees is the reason why the wood is very oily and the surface robust. The tropical wood is resistant against fungal infestation and wood bacteria. It gets a greyish patina along in the course of time, which can easily be removed with a brush or sandpaper.

Why does teak wood become greyish?
The wood might change its colour after a few weeks already depending on the surrounding and the weather. With dry climate it might take a few months. The fewer humidity there is, the slower the colour of the furniture changes.

Should I treat teak wood with oil?
Those of you who want to keep the red-brown tone of the garden furniture, should treat the wood with special teak wood oils regularly – every few months. Simply use a linen cloth for it. Teak wood oils are available in every construction market. But you aren’t obliged to oil the furniture: Teak wood lives without being treated with oil for decades, without losing any of its stability.

How do I clean teak wood garden furniture?
The weather resistance is the reason why the tropical wood is easily cleaned with a brush or cloth with a bit of soapy water.

How do I maintain teak wood garden furniture?
If the greyish patina – the natural protective film of teak wood – doesn’t trouble you, you won’t have to maintain or clean the furniture. Teak wood resists all types of weathers after years and years without losing any of its stability. But those of you who would prefer to keep the red-brown tone of the wood, you should spread special teak wood twice a year on it. If the patina comes, it is easily removable with a scrubbing brush and a bit of soapy water. This is how the intense red-brown comes back again.

Tags: Wooden Garden Furniture, Wooden Furniture

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