Teak garden furniture is highly valued for its outstanding durability and the ability to withstand the outdoor elements without any treatment whatsoever. Unlike other types of wood which need to be treated with water sealer and various protective coatings to repels termites, to prevent drying and cracking, etc., teak is protected by its own natural oils which keep it safe from both moisture and direct sunlight exposure as well as wood-eating insects. Teak garden furniture can be left outdoors all year round and it will not lose its strength, durability nor aesthetic appeal. But it will lose its color. As a result of the normal weathering process, teak changes from the distinct golden brown into silvery grey color.
Although aged teak looks highly appealing as well, many homeowners prefer its original color. The greying process cannot be prevented, however, it can be postponed by treating teak furniture with teak oil or teak sealer. The first option may sound tempting because it sounds more natural but teak oil is not what it sounds like. Despite the fact that its name implies that it contains the oil that is naturally found in a teak tree, it is actually made up from linseed or tung oil.
Teak oil helps preserve the distinct golden brown color of teak wood, however, treatment with teak oil must be repeated every few months otherwise the wood will begin to grey. But this is not the main reason why just about all leading teak furniture brands advise against the use of teak oil. The main problem with teak oil is the fact that it reduces the content of teak’s natural oils which makes the furniture dependent on regular teak oil treatment. If you would suddenly stop treating your garden furniture with teak oil, it would begin to dry and crack as well as lose its renowned durability.
The second option to preserve teak’s original color is to treat it with teak sealer. There are several types of sealers which are specially designed for teak wood but it is important to be very careful when selecting a sealer for your teak outdoor furniture because some can cause damage to the wood. Generally, the safest option is a silicone based sealer. It works by literally sealing in the teak’s natural oils, however, it also seals in the moisture which is why it is crucial to apply the sealer when the furniture is completely dry. In contrary to teak oil, teak sealer does not make the wood dependent on periodic treatments and does not affect its durability and strength. If the sealer is removed, teak will simply change into silvery grey color.
Since treatment of teak furniture significantly increases care required to keep your furniture looking good and because it may even cause damage to the wood, you are highly recommended to think twice before you treat your teak outdoor furniture with any kind of products. But if you would really want to enjoy its highly appealing original color for a longer period of time, you are recommended to use a teak sealer which does not cause damage to the wood and also offers some protection against mold and stains.