Teak outdoor furniture certainly adds a touch of class to any outdoor space, but how can you preserve its looks and protect this beautiful hardwood from the elements? When it comes to treating teak, the two usual options are oil or sealer. So which is best? Read on to find out more.
Why treat teak outdoor furniture at all?
The mature teak that's used in the construction of garden furniture contains its own natural oil that offers protection from the elements and even discourages wood-eating insects like termites. It's the oil that teak contains that gives new furniture a warm, golden hue.
After a relatively short time, the oil contained in the teak begins to evaporate and oxidise. The honey colour will then start to fade until the wood eventually becomes a silvery-grey. Many people think that this colour adds character to their furniture, and opt to leave it as it is. However, if you would prefer to keep the lovely, golden shade of your new teak furniture, you'll need to treat it with oil or sealer.
Teak oil is not actually derived from the teak tree itself. These products are usually made from tung oil or linseed, although they are designed to be used specifically on teak furniture. When you apply teak oil to your new furniture, it will really help to bring out that golden colour. The look will last for a couple of months and then it will begin to fade. This is because the oil is evaporating, leaving the wood dry again. In order to renew the colour, you'll need to clean the furniture and then re-oil it. This can become a frequent task for the busy householder.
Using teak oil does not extend the life of your furniture; it merely helps to maintain the colour through regular application. One potential issue with using teak oil regularly is that it can actually cause the natural oil found in the wood to break down and disappear, removing the teak's built-in preservative and insect repellent qualities. Frequent use of teak oil products can even encourage the growth of some types of fungus, which can lead to the appearance of unsightly black spots on the furniture.
Teak sealer does much more than just helping to maintain the colour of your new furniture. The sealer forms a barrier that effectively prevents the oxidation of the wood and consequently stops it from turning grey.
In addition, sealer provides protection against UV damage that could cause the wood to lose its natural oils and therefore its colour. Most sealers also contain ingredients that can prevent the growth of mildew and mould.
One big advantage that sealer has over oil is that you will only need to apply it once every year or so. You can choose sealers that have a slight colour tint, or stick to a clear finish so that your furniture retains its natural colour.
If you want to keep the lovely, golden colour of your teak outdoor furniture, you could use oil or sealer. Learn more about your options by contacting teak furniture suppliers like The Teak Place.