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How to Darken Teak Wood: Decks, Furniture, and More

Teak wood has a natural beauty and lasting durability that’s well suited to both indoor and outdoor applications. Homeowners often use teak for decks, chairs, tables, and other items. It stands up well to the elements, making it a prime pick for porch furniture. The sophisticated allure of teak furniture can enhance your home indoors as well, adding appeal to your sunroom or dining area.

Teak has a natural honey-colored hue when it’s new, and unfinished teak will gently fade into a soft silvery shade. If these colors don’t quite suit your decor, you can also darken your teak wood. This is a popular approach for individuals who want their teak to gleam in a deeper color that better matches the aesthetic of the overall space.

Understanding Teak Wood

Teak furniture recently refinished by Teak Master

Teak gained popularity in America after World War II, when many soldiers brought decorative teak items home with them. This made it a common material in many mid-century modern home designs. Simple and sleek, this type of design is gaining renewed popularity with modern minimalist trends. Teak is an essential element in this type of decor, as are oak and rosewood.

Teak wood is typically dried for two years before it’s used in any type of furniture or construction project. This enhances the wood’s strength and durability. Teak is resistant to moisture and pests, which makes it a popular pick for fences, decks, door frames, window frames, and other exterior elements. Though you can leave teak untreated, a sealant will add to its longevity and preserve its color. If that color isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can alter the hue of teak with the proper stain.

Reasons for Darkening Teak Wood

There’s no functional reason to darken teak wood, as it’s a strong and beautiful product even when left untreated. However, you may choose to darken it for aesthetic purposes. The mid-century modern color palette leans toward darker hues such as sage, navy blue, burnt orange, mustard yellow, and dark rose. A darker shade of teak is often preferred for this type of design.

You may also want a darker teak to coordinate better with the surrounding ambiance. While a light teak looks stunning for a beachfront deck, a darker shade is better suited to enhancing the atmosphere in a wooded setting where you’re surrounded by deep greens and darker woods. Staining and sealing your teak will help it retain its color long into the future, so you can invest in decor that coordinates with the color of your teak wood. If you leave the teak untreated, it will silver over time, which may ruin the style you’re attempting to create with your decor.

If you’re interested in redecorating your home or outdoor space but don’t want to purchase all new furniture or install a new deck, darkening your teak wood is a far more affordable way to update the area. You can refinish old wood and add a deeper stain to it to make it feel like new.

Choosing the Right Products

Make sure every product you use on your teak is specially formulated for this type of wood. If the sealer, stain, and varnish don’t specify teak wood on the label, you shouldn’t use them for your project.

You can use either an oil-based or water-based product for your teak. Oil-based stains deliver better longevity and won’t raise the wood grain of your teak; however, they’ll have stronger fumes, so it’s especially important to work outside or in a well-ventilated area with this type of product.

A water-based stain is more environmentally friendly and doesn’t have the unpleasant fumes associated with oil-based products. You’ll need to reapply a water-based stain more often, and it can cause the wood grain to rise.

Staining Process

Follow these steps to stain your teak:

  1. Clean the teak thoroughly: Use a mild dish soap and a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grime from the surface of the wood. For older wood that needs a more thorough cleaning, you may use a specialized wood cleaner.
  2. Sand as needed: If your teak has a previous stain or sealer on it, you’ll need to sand this away. You should also sand your teak to remove any blemishes, splinters, uneven areas, or damage and then wipe down the wood to remove any excess dust when finished.
  3. Seal the wood: Apply sanding sealer to the teak. Let it soak in, then wipe it off with a rag to give the stain a more even finish.
  4. Apply the stain: You can use a brush, foam roller, or cloth to apply stain to your teak. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the chosen stain. Allow the stain to soak into the wood for a few minutes before wiping it away. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the color will get. Allow the stain to dry.
  5. Add additional coats: You can add more stain as needed to get an even finish and your desired color.
  6. Finish the stain: Use a wood varnish to seal the stain and give your teak a satin or gloss finish.

Maintenance of Darkened Teak

Applying a stain and sealer to your teak will minimize the maintenance of your wood. You should wash your teak decking or furniture with soap and water as needed to keep it clean. Plan to reapply your sealer once a year to get the best results. You may need to get your teak refinished every few years to keep the color dark, but you can extend the time between refinishing if you don’t mind seeing the stain lighten slightly over time.

Contact Teak Master Today for Professional Teak Care and Restoration

If your teak is worn or damaged, it may need a professional touch. Our experts at Teak Master in Los Angeles, California, can give new life to your teak furniture and decking with our refinishing and restoration services. We can also stain your teak to the desired shade using products specially formulated for this material. Contact us today if you need professional advice, services, or more information on teak wood maintenance. You can ensure optimal results when you put your teak in our expert hands.

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