Teak wood has a reputation for its quaint appearance. It looks gorgeous on a garden patio, its graying color contrasting with the surrounding flora. It’s also a solid option for an expansive front porch. No matter where you put your teak pieces, you can count on them to be stunning as they age.
If you’re new to owning teak furniture, you may have heard that this wood can patina, change into a gorgeous silver-gray color, with age. For many people who own teak furniture, this is the ultimate goal. For others, patina is a process they’d like to stop. If you have questions about the patina process or timeline, this guide will help you understand your outdoor furniture.
What Is Gray Teak Furniture?
Teak furniture turns gray or silver with time. This process is natural, and it results in an elegant silver patina. You might notice the first signs of patina within just a few months. If you were initially alarmed to see your teak wood changing color, you need not be. This is completely normal and is actually safe for your furniture.
Your furniture patinas without breaking down, thanks to the high content of natural oils in the wood. So, even if you see that your furniture is changing color, it’s not as dry as it might look. Your furniture is still producing protective oils.
How Does Teak Wood Patina?
Many people like this furniture option because it takes on a more rustic look. If you’ve been striving to achieve this look for your furniture, you don’t have to do much. In most cases, teak wood naturally appears weathered after exposure to sun and wind. The wood surface begins to dry, and the furniture takes on a gray color. You don’t need any type of finish or stain to achieve this look.
In some cases, retailers sell pretreated teak furniture that’s already gray. In these cases, the patina process isn’t natural. They may use chemicals or acid washes to achieve this look, but it may ultimately damage the wood. This process can also make the wood less resistant to moisture, leading to more damage. You may want to be wary about buying weathered teak furniture unless you know the process used to age it.
If you’ve purchased teak furniture and you’re waiting for it to patina, you should know that it can take time for this to happen. Furniture weathers based on the amount of sun and wind it comes into contact with. If you want to speed up the process, you’ll need to keep your furniture out of the shade and directly in the sunlight. In about a year, the furniture should be completely gray.
You can slow the process by keeping your furniture in the shade or inside. For instance, teak furniture kept on a covered porch isn’t going to experience the quick patina that other furniture will.
Does Patina Mean Your Furniture Is Deteriorating?
Simply because your furniture is turning gray doesn’t mean your furniture is deteriorating or decaying. In fact, many people see the patina starting and worry that they’ve done something wrong.
Teak furniture with patina turns grey on the surface, but underneath the exterior, the wood is still oily. The wood underneath the surface is dense, so long as your furniture is made from high-quality teak wood.
You can also take a look at the pieces that hold your furniture together. Although your wood will appear weathered, you’ll notice that the hardware is still tight. The wood can still handle your weight. Your furniture isn’t disintegrating, and the patina isn’t a sign of declining quality in the slightest.
How Can You Protect Teak Wood?
If your teak wood furniture has achieved a lovely patina and you want to preserve its appearance and quality, you can take several steps. Your teak wood doesn’t need sealant or staining. The main item you really need to protect your furniture is teak oil, which your furniture naturally produces. Teak oil can help your furniture last decades, even with the patina exterior. In fact, teak oil prevents common outdoor furniture pitfalls, such as rot, mildew, and water damage.
You don’t need to apply much else to protect against the common pitfalls associated with outdoor furniture. However, a professional can advise on sealers, oils, and other materials you may wish to use to achieve a specific look.
Can You Prevent Patina on Teak Wood?
You can take some steps to prevent teak wood from taking on that patina layer. You can also limit patina, which can darken significantly if left unchecked. You may want your furniture to maintain a specific kind of look.
First, don’t try to paint your teak wood. The fact that teak wood produces its own oil means that painting your furniture won’t work. The paint will peel off. Instead, you can use a special sealer to treat the wood. This will slow down the patina significantly.
Before you apply any sort of oil or sealant, consider giving your furniture a cleaning first. You can use a stiff brush with teak cleanser to thoroughly clean your furniture. Then, you can simply use a rag to rub in the oil or sealer of your choice. Keep in mind that you may need to repeat this process every few months.
If your teak wood has already turned gray, there are some things you can do to bring back its old color if you’d like. For example, you may be able to have the exterior sanded off to reveal the fresh teak wood color underneath. A professional can also strip off the exterior.
If you’d like to get some more assistance with your teak wood furniture, Teak Master is here for you in the Los Angeles area. We can offer tips for building that gorgeous patina, cleaning your furniture properly, and maintaining your teak furniture so it lasts for years to come. You invest a lot in your furniture, and we can help your pieces last.