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When Should You Not Use Teak Oil for Your Furniture?

If you have teak wood furniture, you’ll want to protect and nourish it so it looks brand-new for as long as possible. Cleaning the cushions or upholstery is easy, but what is the best way to preserve the wood? The good news is teak wood only needs a little upkeep, but some owners may like oiling their wood furniture with teak oil. Teak oil is a wood-finishing oil that may be beneficial in some circumstances. Still, not every wood needs it, and it’s not ideal for every situation. Take a look at when you should and shouldn’t use teak oil.

What Is Teak Oil?

Teak is a hardwood tree native to South and Southeast Asia. It’s popular for furniture because of its golden-brown color and straight-grain pattern. Teak is also strong and will last long, even when you keep it outside. It won’t warp under extreme weather conditions because of its high natural oil content.

While some think that teak oil comes from teak trees, it doesn’t. Commercial teak oil is a mixture of linseed or tung oil, thinners, varnish, and other additives; its exact contents depend on the manufacturer.

Over time, teak wood will turn gray. This gray color is not an indication of the quality of the wood; it’s just a natural process. It’s even the desired look in some cases. Applying teak oil to your teak furniture can slow the graying process, but it won’t stop it. It will give the wood a warmer, richer brown look, but it’s important to note that if you want to keep it that color, you’ll have to keep applying the oil.

What Are the Benefits of Teak Oil?

Teak oil is a popular choice for wood finishes because it’s safe to use and non-toxic. Along with protecting the wood, it can penetrate down into the grain to help create a long-lasting finish. When you apply teak oil to a wood surface, it can feed the wood and accentuate the grain and color. As it does this, the golden-brown color will come back. There are also some other benefits to using teak oil. These include:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It will dry fast. Usually, in just four to six hours.
  • It dries to a natural matte finish, enhancing the wood grain.
  • It replaces the natural oils that wood can lose through weathering.
  • It helps prevent warping, drying, and splitting.
  • It will make the surface of the wood more water and dirt-resistant.
  • It provides extra protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can slow the greying process.

When Should I Use Teak Oil?

You can use teak oil on various woods, but it’s most beneficial when used on untreated hardwoods. Apply it to wood garden furniture to replace or revive the natural oils and improve its appearance. After an application, it will have a glossier finish.

If you purchase teak furniture and want to keep the original color for as long as possible, apply teak oil when you first get it. You can then refresh the color every season or every few seasons.

Teak oil is not just for furniture. You can use it on other hardwood surfaces, such as:

  • Windows and doors.
  • Fencing.
  • Indoor wood.
  • Outdoor wood.
  • Untreated wood.
  • Wooden toys.

As mentioned, teak oil has a natural matte finish when it dries. However, the overall look will depend on the type of wood you use the oil on. You can use it on both light and dark-colored woods, such as beech, walnut, and oak. It will darken the wood to some degree while enhancing the natural grain of the wood.

If you have wood furniture or a wood surface that you already treated with teak oil, it’s a good idea to continue using it instead of another option. Teak oil is particularly beneficial for outdoor wood furniture as it protects against weathering and preserves the warm brown color.

When Shouldn’t I Use Teak Oil?

If you don’t want the added maintenance of reapplying the teak oil every season or every few months and like the grey color, oiling is unnecessary. As the teak oil evaporates, it can take some of the wood’s natural oils with it over time. You’ll have to consistently apply the oil to keep the wood from rotting and decaying.

While teak oil can make outdoor wood furniture look better and prolong its natural brown appearance, it’s not ideal for every wood surface. You should not use teak oil for:

  • Kitchen worktops.
  • Butcher blocks.
  • Waterproofing.
  • Treated or painted wood.

Teak oil is not food-safe. Since it contains chemical ingredients such as varnish, you should never use it on surfaces where it will come into contact with food. Don’t use it on wood bowls, utensils, knife handles, or cutting boards. Even though teak oil contains tung or linseed oil, both of which are food-safe, it has added chemicals that aren’t. Also, if you’re creating a food-related woodworking project, make sure you don’t treat it with teak oil.

If you want to waterproof your wood furniture or surface, you don’t want to use teak oil because it has poor water resistance. This also means you should not use it for bathroom shelves where the air moisture is high because it can cause the wood to rot.

Get Your Teak Wood Looking Its Best

Teak oil can be beneficial if you like the warm brown look of teak and other hardwoods. If you decide to apply it, remember that you’ll need to reapply it regularly. It’s also important to note that teak oil isn’t a good choice for every wood and every circumstance. Please keep it away from surfaces where food is prepared and eaten. It’s also not waterproof. If you have teak furniture that needs refinishing or teak wood that needs cleaning in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, contact us, and our wood restoration and refinishing experts will be at your service.

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