1. Should I treat my teak garden furniture with teak oil?
If the furniture is made from real Grade A teak then the answer to that is a clear NO. Please note that there are very few manufacturers out there selling real Grade A teak even though most retailers claim to do so. Before you take the below advice, please confirm the grade of the teak by using our guides on our website. Teak oil is normally solvent based and is meant to penetrate the timber and replace the lost natural oils. Grade A teak will not lose its natural oils and therefore does not need replacing. Applying teak oil on good quality teak will eventually have the opposite effect. Once the teak oil has penetrated, the solvents within it literally destroy the natural oils and will render the teak dry and brittle if the maintenance is not continued on regular intervals. Once you start using Teak oil, you will need to continue using it.
Teak oil also encourages mildew and generally turns teak into an oily orangey greasy mess. (You can tell how much I dislike the stuff)
2. ok, so I won't use teak oil, how else can I keep the 'as new' colour?
As a 'teak purist nerd' (as my wife calls me), I would argue against using ANY treatments on teak. It is just not needed and unnecessary work. Why buy teak if you are planning on spending hours upon hours maintaining it? The whole idea of teak is that it is virtually maintenance free compared to other timbers. But, as I have to recognise that not everyone is the same, and that some will insist on keeping the teak looking 'as new', the only other treatment I would recommend is a silicone based teak sealant. This product is not solvent based but rather contains silicon which, when dried, seals the pores of the wood and prevents (with the help of UV inhibitors) the bleaching (weathering) of the wood.
This teak sealant is our favourite. It does not leave the teak a horrible orange colour and it also dries properly without leaving the teak oily. It can also be brushed on with a paint brush rather then rubbed with a cloth. As it does not harm the Teak in any way, you are also safe to stop using it whenever you choose and the teak will begin weathering natrually.
Please note, this advice is directed at people who own real grade A teak (not just claimed) which has been dried to the correct moisture content as per our teak buying advice page. If you own grade B or lower, it might be wise to keep oiling your teak at least 3 times a year to help the teak resist moisture and rot. Lower grade teak will not have the natural protection and therefore will need the oil as protection from the environment. Also, Teak, whatever the grade, should not be sealed if the moisture content is unknown or higher than 14%. Sealing such teak will seal the water within the teak and can cause more stress when exposed to the sun and in turn warp or crack the timber.
3. I have some checking on my table or chairs. What is the best way of getting rid of them?
Checking is a completely natural behaviour of any wood even teak. Some people like some checking on their teak and others prefer it to be without. Whatever you prefer, we would first let the teak settle down in its new residence for at least 3 months prior to undertaking any sealing of the checking. Once our teak garden furniture has been left for the first three months it is then considered 'settled' and no further checking should occur. It is now the ideal time to go over the furniture and seal any checking if that is what you prefer to do.
Tools you will need: Exterior grade PVA glue, grade 180 sandpaper (or a piece of used grade 120 sandpaper)>
1: Apply a few drops of PVA glue directly on your finger
2: Apply the PVA glue directly onto the effected areas
3: Wipe off as much of the excess glue trying to just leave some glue in the checking itself
4: Wait about 15 seconds for the PVA to start getting very slightly tacky
5: Start sanding the effected area in the direction of the teak grain until the sanding powder completely penetrates the checking and seals the check.
6: If your chair, as in my pictures, has already weathered, by sanding it, you will notice the wood starting to return to its natural colour. This will be eventually bleached and evened out by the sun making the repair completely invisible.
4. I have left my garden furniture out over the winter and now it is covered in moss. What is the best way of removing it?
There are many products you can buy to remove moss and dirt from your garden furniture. We sell some on our site. But, if I am honest, I have to admit that they are all based on the same solution and I will show you how to make it using everyday household items. Please note that it involves using bleach so the normal precautions should be taken such as wearing gloves and protecting your eyes. Also making sure children are not around is always a good idea and make sure there is nothing that can be discoloured by the bleach around the furniture.
Ingredients: half a bucket of warm water; a cup of any household bleach; 1 cup of any washing powder. Mix all ingredients well in the bucket.
1. Make sure you move the furniture to a safe spot prior to treatment. The solution can be very harmful to plants or wildlife/pets.
2. Liberally soak the furniture using a cloth or towel with the solution making sure it is completely covered.
3. Leave the solution on for about 5 minutes making sure it does not dry. If it begins to dry, reapply in the drying area.
4. Hose down the furniture with clean water making sure every last bit of the solution is removed.
5. After drying inspect the furniture. If more moss is still visible, reapply to that area only.
The solution is meant to penetrate the pores of the wood where the moss has taken hold and completely kill the moss. If your furniture has gone silver prior to the treatment, it might leave the furniture in a slightly uneven colour but leaving it in the sun will even it out within a few days of exposure.
Do not let the solution soak in for more then 5 minutes at a time.
5. Any other maintenance tips you can offer?
Sure. Cover your teak garden furniture with a good quality breathable garden furniture cover in the winter as it saves you a lot of work removing moss, dirt and bird droppings in the spring and use simple 3 in 1 oil for any hinges or other moving mechanisms.
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