Clean, Brighten and Oil Teak Wood

Teak wood convinces with a pleasant feel and can also spend years outdoors due to its hardness, texture and natural oil content. Over time, however, it turns gray, the surface weathers and a patina forms. Fortunately, with a little care, you can give teak garden furniture back its original look.


The first step is to roughly clean the surface with a teak brush and soft soap. For teak patio furniture, the easiest way is to hose it down and then apply soft soap diluted with water using a spray bottle or pressure sprayer. Then, if possible, brush the entire surface in the direction of the fiber with a brush suitable for teak. Finally, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
A commercially available high-pressure cleaner is usually not suitable for cleaning teak and will damage the wood due to the excessively strong jet.


Return the original tone to the grayed, darkened wood. To do this, we make ourselves a teak wood degrayer. It is possible to buy such products ready-made, but for many pieces of furniture or large areas of teak to be treated, it is worth making your own.
We dissolve 30 g of starch in one liter of water and boil the solution. As soon as the solution is only warm to the touch, 98 g of oxalic acid are dissolved. The starch gives the product a gel-like viscosity, which prevents rapid dripping from the teak.

Apply the finished agent to the wood surface with a tassel and keep it moist for about 20 minutes or repeat the agent application within this time. Then rework with brushes suitable for teak and rinse thoroughly. It is essential to wear suitable personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, mask) while working with oxalic acid. Allow to dry for at least 3 days before further processing.


Optional step. If surfaces that are subject to constant contact feel very rough or even splintery, sanding should be performed before the next step. This is useful, for example, for tabletops or armrests that have been weathered for a long time without being cared for.
Good results are achieved by sanding with grit 80, 120 and finally 240 along the fiber direction of the wood.

Touch up and gluing

Parts that have become loose or adhesive joints damaged by weathering can be repaired. For this purpose, the parts to be bonded are thoroughly pretreated with acetone. Then allow to flash off for at least 2 hours, depending on the temperature. Then mix epoxy resin and thicken with thixotropic agent to a glue-like consistency. Apply to surfaces to be bonded and fix in place. After complete curing, resin residues can be sanded off.


Applying oil protects the wood, makes it more supple and enhances the natural color. The cleanest way to apply is with a sponge or cloth rag. Use brushes only for hard-to-reach surfaces because of their tendency to drip. Oil-soaked rags should be spread out and stored with care; spontaneous combustion due to the linseed oil they contain is possible.

Teak oil hardens over time under the influence of oxygen. Therefore, depending on the weather, the patio furniture should then be given at least a week until the next use to avoid risking oil stains on clothing.

The fully maintained teak wood after cleaning, de-greying and oiling.
Final result

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