CARING FOR YOUR TEAK PATIO FURNITURE
ALL THINGS CEDAR...Bringing you Quality in Patio and Garden Furniture
What is Teak Wood?
- Teak wood is an extremely dense course grained hardwood used for thousands of years for ship building and furniture making.
Where Does Teak Come From?
- Natural Teak Wood is found primarily in India, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and Java. Tectona grandis is the Latin name for Teak, and Jati is the Indonesian name for Teak.
- Our Teak outdoor furniture including the Teak Steamer Chair, Teak Folding Chair and Teak Patio Table are all made from environmentally friendly Plantation Teak in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- The TeakWood used to make our products are from renewable plantation forests in Indonesia which are regulated by a government agency called Perum Perhutani. Guidelines are set as to the number and size of trees which can be harvested and the number of trees which are replanted to maintain the productivity of the teak forests for future generations.
Why Does Teak Wood Last So Long Outdoors
- A common fact about the characteristic of teak is its durability.
- The high level of resinous oil present in the timber helps to act as a natural insect repellent making the wood highly resistant to rot caused by fungal decay or attack by termites and other wood boring insects.
- This attribute allows the wood to last many years without any treatment or finishing.
- Teak has withstood the test of time as demonstrated by the boat building industry. Its common knowledge that many municipal parks and conservatories use teak wood to make their outdoor furniture last.
Do I Need To Finish Teak Outdoor Furniture?
- Teak wood contains within its fibers natural oils which resist rot and decay due to insect attack. Therefore teak furniture requires no treatment to be used indoors or outdoors. Applying oil or wax will not increase the life of the timber - These products only serve to maintain the fresh appearance already apparent when you purchase your new teak furniture from All Things Cedar.
- When teak furniture is left outdoors, the effects of the sun's UV rays will 'bleach out/fade' the timbers natural colour.
- Therefore gradually over time the teak wood will turn a soft silver-grey colour.
- Many consider the distinctive fade to be naturally attractive and allows the furniture to blend in well with many outdoor environments.
- Teak Patio furniture left in this state is easily maintained, and needs no treatment whatsoever to give many years of service. **This is about as easy as a maintainence schedule as you can possibly get!
What Should I Use To Finish My Teak Furniture
- As mentioned above the use of teak oil, wax sealers or other products won't increase the life of the timber - that is already accomplished by the inherent nature of the wood itself.
- However the application of a teak finishing product teak oil or tung oil will keep your furniture looking new. It will prevent stains from seeping into the timber grain and will maintain the "baby-bottom smooth" factory finish found on all of our products.
- All our Teak products come factory finished with a special teak sealer that prevents the garden furniture from turning grey due to the effects of the sun.
- It is suggested that a teak finishing product such as teak oil or tung oil is re-applied once or twice a year, or more in extreme exposure areas (hot sun) to maintain its fresh and new appearance.
- To apply teak oil - simply add a small amount to a soft faced cloth and wipe your teak furniture down.
- We discourage the use of varnish or any type of polyurethane finish or stains, or sealers as teak is an oily wood and the urethane sealers donít adhear properly resulting in blotchy finish and the need to refinish the wood in the future.
Other amazing facts about teak wood
Our Teak products including the Teak Steamer Chair below is made from environmentally friendly Plantation Teak in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The plantation is regulated by a government agency called Perum Perhutani who set guidelines as to the number and size of trees which can be harvested, as well as the numbers of trees which are replanted to maintain the productivity of the teak forests for future generations.
Teak wood is an extremely dense course grained hardwood found primarily in India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Java. Tectona grandis is the Latin name for Teak, and Jati is the Indonesian name for Teak.
A common fact about the characteristic of teak is its durability. The high level of resinous oil present in the timber helps to act as a natural insect repellent making the wood highly resistant to rot caused by fungal decay or attack by termites and other wood boring insects.
Our designs have properly spaced, generous back slats, raised seat heights, and well-proportioned components.
Our Teak furniture is crafted of kiln-dried teak, pegged mortise and tenon joinery, and are constructed for optimum strength and durability.
Our Teak products are finished with a single treatment of light teak oil before packaging.
Characteristics of the Teak tree and its location:
Tectona grandis is the Latin name for TEAK, a hardwood of the family Verbenaceae
Tectona Grandis is said to be indigenous to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Java. It has been extensively planted for timber or as an ornamental within its natural range and throughout the tropical regions of the world, including East and West Africa, as well as Cuba and the Caribbean, and South America from Panama to Brazil.
Tectona grandis, is not a timber from tropical rain forests, and indeed, teak cannot grow in rain forests - it is a deciduous tree which grows particularly well in the dry, hilly terrain typical of plantation forests in Southeast Asia.
Specifically in Java Indonesia, Perum Perhutani is the government agency which is responsible for managing Indonesia's extensive forests and plantations. Java has very large Teak plantations which were first planted by the Dutch in the early 1800's. These plantations are now well managed by Perum Perhutani.
Perum Perhutani operate a strict policy regulating the number and size of trees which can be felled, as well as with regard to the numbers of trees which are replanted to maintain the productivity of the teak forests for future generations. The teak plantations produce a high value crop that is a very valuable source of income in their local area. And the associated furniture and timber products industry provides regular local employment to many thousands of people.
When plantation grown the tree will attain a height of up to 45m [150ft] with a dia. 1 - 1.5m [3 - 5ft]. It will be ready for harvesting at around 50 - 60 years. If well maintained the tree can produce a clear stem of up to 30m in length giving a high timber yield. It produces a very large leaf similar to a tobacco leaf which is around 12" long and wide.
Characteristics of teak wood
Teak is an extremely dense [40lbs cu ft when dry] coarse grained hardwood.Teak wood is generally straight grained, but occasionally wavy. It has a coarse and uneven texture.
The wood contains a high level of silica which causes rapid blunting of cutting edges. When fresh cut the surface of the wood is dull in appearance, and the timber has a distinctive, pleasantly aromatic odour which has been likened to the smell of leather. Fresh sawn teak has a slightly 'oily' feel due to the high oil content.
One of the most commonly quoted facts about the characteristics of teak is its durability. It is resistant to rot caused by fungal decay, and the high level of resinous oil present in the timber helps to act as a natural insect repellent giving the timber very high resistance to attack by termites and other wood boring insects.
The timber is said to be resistant to water and many chemical reagents, including acids. It does not have a strong reaction when it comes in contact with metals.
All these statements regarding the durability of teak are born out by the fact that we can see many instances of the timber which have withstood the test of time when used as key components in the boat building industry, or more sedately when used for making municipal furniture for our parks.
All our Teak Furniture is manufactured from genuine Teak.
More Information About Caring For Teak Garden Furniture
We are often asked about the best ways to care for Teak Furniture.
Because of the hard and yet forgiving nature of the timber it will withstand a great deal of use and abuse.
Teak Outdoor Furniture will also repay a little tender loving care, so you may care to read through this page and pick up a few hints.
Generally, you can buy Teak Garden Furniture in one of two conditions:
Fine sanded or oiled with Teak Oil.
The Teak products manufactured for All Things Cedar come finly sanded and with 1 coat of teak oil.
Difference between finished and unfinished teak furniture
1. Teak Outdoor Furniture Fine Sanded
If you buy your furniture fine sanded it will have only the natural color of the wood coupled with the raw natural texture of the teak grain. The untreated timber is a very pleasant yellowy-brown olive color with various white accents thoughout the wood.
If your furniture is to be used under a shelter and away from a lot of natural sunlight, over a period of time -perhaps six months to a year - the wood will gradually become a darker shade of brown.
If on the other hand the furniture is left outdoors, the effects of the suns rays will 'bleach out' the timbers natural colour, gradually turning it a soft silvery grey colour called 'patina'.
This silvery grey patina which develops over time gives Teak Furniture a distinctive appearance.
The silver grey colour resulting from this natural ageing process is considered to be very attractive, and allows the furniture to blend in well with many outdoor environments.
Teak furniture left in this state is easily maintained, and needs no treatment whatsoever to give many years of service. And this is about as easy as a maintainence schedule as its possible to get!
2. Teak Patio Furniture Oiled
If you buy your furniture already oiled such as with the outdoor teak furniture available at All Things Cedar Patio and Garden Furniture, the teak oil will impart a deeper than normal mid brown colour and a soft sheen.
Teak Furniture Natural Aging
Teak wood is of itself naturally oily and requires no treatment to be used indoors or outdoors, and the use of teak oil won't increase the life of the timber.
It does change the colour somewhat and it can also help a little to prevent stains from seeping into the timber grain. It will also slow down the greying effect caused by ultra violet rays.
To maintain its appearance teak oiled furniture will need to be re-oiled periodically. The frequency of re-oiling will depend on your geographic area, climate conditions and type of exposure your furniture will be subject to.
eg. covered or partial covered area will require less re-staining over time.
A basic method for oiling is as follows:
The furniture will need to be cleaned first [see below] Afterwards ensure that it is nice and dry before starting to oil. Have a good look around the furniture first and attend to any areas requiring sanding before starting work.
You will need some teak oil, a clean 1" or 2" paint brush, some clean cotton rags, good light and plenty of space to work in.
It can be a little messy so be sure to wear some overalls, and wearing household gloves to keep the oil off your hands is a good idea as well.
The oil can be applied with a clean brush, starting from the top and working downwards. The surface should be left wet by the brush, but try to avoid leaving too much surplus oil behind as you work.
After a few minutes - maybe 5 - 15 depending on the ambient temperature, the oil will start to become 'tacky'. At this point the surface of the furniture should be wiped down with a clean cotton rag, carefully removing all surplus oil.
One coat is usually sufficient, but you can apply a second coat if required, after a minimum of one hour for the first coat to dry. Once you've completed the oiling and the surface is touch dry, a second clean rag can be used to buff up the surface.
Please be sure to dispose of any used rags and cleaning cloths carefully, and in accordance with the instructions from the oil manufacturer.
Cleaning Teak Furniture
If your Teak furniture requires cleaning this can be done with a normal household bristle brush [not too hard] and some warm mildly soapy water.
Wash down afterwards with clean water. There are also proprietary cleaners on the market which can also be used to clean off various deposits and accumulated dirt and stains.
We do not recommend the use of high pressure hoses, and steel wool or steel wire brushes should not be used at all as any residue eft in the grain will rust and discolor the wood.
If the furniture has some stubborn and heavily ingrained stains these can be removed by sanding with a fine grade of sandpaper, being sure to work only with the direction of the timber grain.
After sanding stains away like this, if the furniture was previously teak oiled you may wish to re-oil, or if it had previously been left natural, the fresh teak color exposed by sanding will soon mellow in with the existing silver grey patina.
Naturally occurring oils that saturate Teakwood are its blessing and, improperly cared for, its curse. The reason teak is used for outdoor products is because of these oils, which give it a pleasing appearance, and more importantly, inhibit the tendency to rot.
The sun brings the natural oil to the surface, where they dry to a discolored gray, ultimately becoming black, due to the mold and mildew that tend to feed off the oil.
Removing mold growth
Warm and humid weather is ideal conditions for mold growth on just about anything and that includes teak wood.
Mold can present itself as a black or white spots or film on the surface. Itís because dirt is lodged in the pores of the grain and mold is growing as it feeds on the oils.
So to start you must remove the growth (mold and mildew). One would probably begin by applying a household cleaner, good idea but not strong enough. Bleach works well on removing the surface growth but comes short of killing the growth lodged in the grain of the wood. For this you must use a product specifically designed for this purpose. There are numerous quality teak cleaners on the market. Follow the manufacturerís instructions on application and use something to protect any metal hardware.
Once the teak has been cleaned personal preference takes over for choosing the sealing product. We recommend an oil finish. There are numerous teak oils on the market.
We discourage the use of varnish or any type of polyurethane finish/sealers as teak is an oily wood and the urethane sealers donít stick well causing even more work for the future. Remember to mask off all surrounding areas not intended to be treated, as accidental contact with the paint or gelcoat could harm these surfaces.
An occasional surface cleaning and resealing with teak oil will reduce the need for future deep cleanings. As with all outdoor furniture maintenance, a little work now will save a lot of work in the future.
The Advantages of sealing the teak wood
By sealing the wood, mold and bacteria can't penetrate and get a foot hold like they can with just an oiled surface.
You'll use less teak oil for a small annual savings and the appearance of your sealed/oiled surface will be almost identical to a "just oiled" surface. You'll still have about the same periodic schedule for freshening up the teak oil, but as the oil washes away and burns off, raw wood is not exposed.
This technique will cut your deep cleaning cycle to near zero. When you think you can see the sealer getting thin, (places start looking lighter in color to surrounding areas), do a good wash down, lightly sand the surface, re-apply the sealer as before, and you're back to a new start. In the south you should have 6 months or so between sealer applications, in the north, up to a year!
This is How to do it
After your next deep cleaning of the boards, first apply two to three coats of sealer. Wipe with clean rags between each coat, allowing the coats no more than 15-20 min. to soak in. Let the final coat cure for 48 hrs. When fully cured, go over the entire surface with 000 bronze wool, working with the grain of the wood. This will take whatever "shine" is left away. Now, oil as usual. After the oil has cured to the point that it is just sticky, wipe off the excess and your done!