Teak has extensively been used in the construction of furniture, houses and ships for centuries. It is a robust hardwood with a dense grain pattern, that is ideally suited for outdoor furniture as it is resistant to environmental degradation. The timber contains both hard and soft fibres that eliminates the risk of warping, and makes it termite resistant.
Teak is an oily timber, the natural oils protect the timber and make it resistant to many chemicals and fluids. Over time the timber can dry out, if it is exposed to continual ultra-violet radiation and rain. Though it is far more resistant to environmental exposure than inferior products such as plastics, which quickly decay. The constant exposure in outdoor settings can cause the normally bright ruddy timber to dull to a bland silvery white hue. This process is not structural, but merely cosmetic and is referred to as patina. Patina is an environmental buildup of acids and oxides, which causes the colour of the timber to change hues, but will not effect the strength.
If you want to maintain the colour of your teak furniture, then there are two main goals in caring for your teak furniture. First, you want to prevent the buildup of dirt, and reduce the amount of environmental exposure. Secondly, you need to ensure that the natural oils in the timber do not dry out. This can be achieved by routinely applying teak sealer to your teak furniture.
How to clean your teak furniture
To clean your teak furniture, simply use warm soapy water and scrub the piece with a soft abrasive, cloth. Routinely cleaning with a mild soap will prevent the buildup of oils, that can oxidise and cause unsightly spotting on the furniture. Your main goal is to remove the build up of accumulated dirt. By protecting your teak furniture from direct exposure to UV rays, you can obviate the need for additional regular maintenance.
How to choose your teak furniture sealer
Modern teak sealers contain complex technological advances to provide optimum protection to your furniture. Choose a sealer that contains UV protection, to prevent the whitening of the timber. Some sealers also contain complex enzymes and chemicals to prevent the growth of mould and fungi on the furniture. This may be valuable if you live in warm humid environments, where fungus spores may build up on your furniture.
Ideally you are looking for a sealer that will highlight the natural deep honey and ruddy tones in your teak furniture, and prevent UV degradation.
How to seal your teak furniture
It is advisable to not seal your teak furniture in the first month after you purchase your item, this will allow the waxy build-up on the furniture, that comes from the factory, to become slightly weathered, therefore providing a more attractive appearance. Whenever you paint it is vital that you clean the surface diligently. Any imperfections, environmental buildup, or foreign objects can cause the coat of paint to not adhere. This will therefore result in reduced protection, and will require you to seal your teak furniture more regularly. After cleaning the furniture with soapy water, let it to dry thoroughly overnight.
Apply the sealer over the furniture using a soft brush, be liberal on your first coat, but ensure even coverage. Depending on the brand, the sealer should be dry after a few hours, and be ready for the second coat. On the second coat of sealer, you will have to be more careful with your application, but you need not be pedantic, as any imperfections will just add to the personality of the piece.
The ideal timber for eco-friendly furniture
Once you have sealed your teak furniture, you will have an extremely durable and aesthetically pleasing item to liven up your outdoor setting. As teak is such a long-lasting and durable timber, it is increasingly being used as an eco-friendly furniture, as it can be forested in sustainable ways. By applying these few simple methods, your eco-friendly furniture will continue to be resistant to the environmental elements, and a practical addition to your house.
The author enjoys penning articles outside on his teak furniture, as it allows him to enjoy the outdoors and unleashes his creativity. The author uses eco friendly furniture, as it is produced from sustainable sources. Therefore providing comfortable furniture, that has a decreased impact on the environment.