To survive rain, wind and sun outdoor furniture has to be tough–and no material is as prized for its rugged beauty and legendary durability as teak.
Made to last for decades with absolutely no maintenance, upkeep is more a matter of personal preference than a requirement. While some people prefer the golden color of new teak, others prefer the distinguished silver-grey that teak becomes as it weathers.
Regardless of your preference, just a few steps will make sure your teak furniture stays in tip-top shape for decades. Here are a few tips from Jeremy Smith, president of Wood Classics, a U.S.-based teak furniture manufacturer:
• Make sure you have a top quality product to begin with. Pay attention to the wood quality and construction techniques used in the furniture, as this can affect furniture’s longevity.
• When looking at teak products, make sure they are really teak, not “teak-like” or “as good as teak.”
• Consider the grade of teak being used. First European Quality (FEQ) is the top grade without knots, cracks or pits.
• If you prefer the natural look of weathered teak, you can look forward to virtually no maintenance. If your furniture is left outside, you will want to clean off mildew, sap and pollen annually with Olympic Deck Wash.
• If you prefer the original rich honey color of teak, there are several steps you can take to preserve this golden color. After thoroughly washing the teak you can treat it with specialized teak cleaners and restoration products. However, using these products is time-intensive. We usually recommend that our customers either allow the teak to age naturally, clean it with a deck wash or hire a professional teak maintenance service to apply the more specialized products.
• If you’re using the furniture indoors, consider finishing it to protect it from stains by sealing or varnishing it. Don’t use teak oil, varnishes or sealers on furniture if you’re using it outside, since this may cause it to turn black with mildew.