TEAK CARE & PRESERVATION
Teak is a beautiful and unique wood used in the manufacture of furniture and boat building accents such as decks, handrails, ladders, trim, etc. Some of its most endearing features include an outstanding grain structure, its imperviousness to rot or decay, and being virtually insect free due to the internal oily nature of the wood. Although the surface feels dry, its oily content repels water, adding another reason teak is the first choice for outdoor use. When oiled properly, the wood takes on a golden glow with an accentuated grain structure that has an appeal to just about everyone
Some prefer to let the teak weather to a soft gray tone that blends with its surroundings while most people tend to keep it looking like new. Both approaches have merit and will not harm or degrade the wood as long as the oil is replaced periodically. Obviously, keeping the wood looking like new is a bit more work, but maintaining its natural golden beauty is the basic reason to admire this fine wood.
The UV rays in sunlight are what break down the oils in the wood, causing it to turn silver gray. Also, as the oil is depleted, the grain structure opens allowing in moisture that will eventually mildew and turn the wood much darker or even black.
There are a couple of ways to increase the longevity of teaks beautiful golden color. One is to apply at least 3 coats of a quality teak oil like Amazon's Golden Teak Oil following the instructions on the label. The second is the application of Amazon's TEAK LUSTER. This new product is a clear WATER BASED acrylic coating that actually allows the wood to breath. It has 94% UV blockers to keep the teak looking great for up to 3 YEARS. Also, being waterbased, it has no toxic fumes, no flash point, no odor and easily cleans up with water. Therefore, because of it's environmentally friendly nature it can safely be used in-
Long lasting professional results can easily be accomplished by simply following a few basic steps to cleaning and applying either the correct amount of teak oil or Amazon's TEAK LUSTER.
Depending on how dirty the teak may be determines whether to use Amazon's One-
Another questionable method used to clean teak is pressure washing, which will also very efficiently remove the soft grain leaving the dark harder grain. Some suggest using a stiff bristle brush for cleaning teak, but this too leaves the surface with the same raised grain condition with sanding being the only method of a smooth restoration. Another major reason for using "Non-
Following the cleaner's label instructions: wet the wood, apply the cleaner and agitate slightly with a flat scrubber pad. Let the cleaner do its work for approximately 15-
Should the teak have been coated with some other type of sealer, teak coating, or varnish, it must be removed before any cleaning and/or oiling can occur. MDR/Amazon's product Strip Away will safely remove just about any of these coatings, including paint. Most importantly, without Methylene Chloride, Strip Away has no odor or hazardous fumes; it can safely be used indoors or in tight quarters and will not harm fiberglass gel coat.
PREPARING THE WOOD FOR OIL
As previously mentioned, and cannot be stressed enough, the teak MUST BE TOTALLY DRY at least 24-
The most important issues with oiling are to first to use a top quality teak oil containing Tung oil and a variety of other wood oils. Next, it is imperative to have the oil penetrate as deeply as possible into the wood which will do a better job of sealing out moisture and will keep the wood looking great for a longer period of time. Note: multiple coats of oil will penetrate deeper into the wood. A single coat of even the best quality oil may look fine for a very short period of time but soon begins to oxidize and will finally turn the wood silver-
Before purchasing any teak oil it is very important to determine the preferred final color of teak. Amazon's has three color blends of oil: the lightest being Lite 'n Easy, otherwise known as LE, the standard golden color Golden Teak Oil or GTO, and the darkest, Blend 55 or B55. All are basically the same quality teak oil with color being the only difference.
As previously mentioned, it is important to get the oil as deep as possible into the wood. This can be accomplished by mixing some of the remaining "Teak Prep" used in the last step with the oil in a ration of 25% "Teak Prep" to 75% teak oil. This formulation should be used for the first two coats with the third and final coat being 100% oil.
The correct method to apply oil is by hand. wiping the wood with a rag saturated in oil with the grain, which helps 'squeegee' the oil into the wood. Let stand for approximately fifteen minutes. This allows the wood to absorb as much oil as possible. Then wipe off the excess oil with a clean DRY rag. If this step is not completed, the oil will begin to cure on the surface, becoming sticky, and may never dry properly. Wait approximately 30-
Three to four hours after the final coating of oil, the wood should be dry and a beautiful golden color that should last for three or more months depending on the amount of sunlight (UV rays) on the wood. Higher latitudes, such as Connecticut through Maine and Canada, allow the wood's color to last much longer than lower latitudes such as Florida or the Caribbean. Re-
Applying Teak Luster is quite simple after accomplishing the necessary cleaning steps previously mentioned. Although Teak Luster will add some color to teak, a deeper golden color may be preferred where by oiling prior to applying Teak Luster would be suggested. Testing for color in a small out of the way area would be recommended. Once the oil is dry an additional cleaning step will be necessary to eliminate any remaining surface oil. This should not remove the golden color created by the oil that has penetrated into the pores of the wood.
Teak Luster can be applied by brush (bristled or foam) or roller following the instructions on the label. The required 3 coats can easily be accomplished in one day as the drying time between coats is approximately 45 min. depending on ambient temperature and humidity.
This process may sound like a lot of work, and it is, but properly cared for, the warm beauty and integrity of teak can be enjoyed for many years to come.