When making an investment in outdoor teak furniture you can be assured that you have acquired beautiful furniture to enjoy for many for years to come. However, there are some misunderstandings about the best ways to care for teak. This guide will explain your choices in teak care and offer some handy tips for keeping your outdoor teak furniture looking just the way you want it.
The Qualities Of Teak
First it is important to understand some of the finer points about teak wood and why it is so unique. Teak is a tropical hardwood and one of the most durable in the world. As a mature wood, it is full of natural oil that protects the tree from damage from water, fungus rot, insects and temperature change. New teak furniture will have a smooth, rich and polished appearance which results from the presence of this high content of inherent oil. It is this natural oil that provides the strength and durability to allow quality teak furniture to remain outdoors all year round.
The Natural Aging Of Teak
Over time, the oil on the surface of the wood slowly evaporates and begins to oxidize as a result of exposure to the air and sunlight. The wood develops a silvery grey patina, an attractive soft shade which blends well in outdoor environments. There is no need for any special treatment or maintenance at all, if you choose to leave your furniture in its natural state. The oil which remains below the surface supplies the necessary stamina and durability to sustain the furniture for years to come. A thorough cleaning once a year will remove dirt build-up and assist in turning the wood an even shade of grey. Simply hosing down and using a mild solution of detergent and water will be all that is necessary.
Many people prefer the silvery grey look of aging teak and are happy to enjoy it in its natural glory. However, there are many who would like to maintain the golden colour and sheen of new teak.
Choosing To Hold On To The Golden Look
There are two main ways to maintain the golden colour. You can use a teak oil product or a teak sealant.
Teak Oil Products – Although the name implies that they are derived from the oil of the teak tree, the products are actually made from linseed oil with added solvents. After application they leave the furniture with a most attractive glow and sheen. However, the product will eventually evaporate and the colour fades. This means that a frequent maintenance schedule is necessary in order to preserve the desired appearance. This may discourage many from choosing this route.
Teak Sealers – This may provide better option for long term maintenance and appearance if you are not keen to put in frequent effort. The sealer will provide a layer of UV protection and a barrier against oxidation to the wood's outer layers. This maintains the original honey colour. Sealers also come in a range of tints to suit your preference and style. They require a re-application only a once a year to maintain perfect appearance.
Ultimately, it comes down to three choices when caring for your outdoor teak furniture. The simplest and easiest by far is allowing it to age naturally and take on its silvery patina. In choosing the next-to-no maintenance route you are still assured that your furniture will last to be enjoyed for many years. If you opt to keep a golden colour, teak oil products will give your furniture a fantastic appearance and glow when first applied, but you may put off by the work needed to maintain the effect. Using a teak sealer is possibly the easiest way to achieve long lasting protection and golden appearance with little effort. Now that you have all the necessary information you can decide which way is best for you.