Restoring and Refinishing Teak Deep Seating
- Author Tonya Kirneva
- Published July 30, 2009
- Word count 707
Teak deep seating is beautiful, but even beauty fades. If you’ve let your outdoor furniture fall into disrepair, or if you’ve recently acquired an old teak patio set and wish to restore it to its former glory, you don’t need a lot of money. A little perseverance and elbow grease go a long way.
The restoration of weathered teak deep seating is a process that involves cleaning and sanding wood down to its former natural shade and condition. You will need to make sure there is no solid varnish coating or sealant on the wood. A sander will work to remove any. Use a two part teak cleaner that contains a base, like a caustic soda and an acid, such as phosphoric acid. When using cleaners, take your teak deep seating outside or away from any other wood or material which might be affected or stained. The lawn will not be damaged, nor will fiberglass, but patios and decks are at risk. Also, remove the cushions and set them aside until you’re finished and the wood is completely clean and dry. To begin, always use rubber gloves and goggles when handling caustic substances. While they may not overtly feel like they are burning, there is always the chance of some getting on your hands and then later rubbing your eyes. Once prepared, wet down teak deep seating with a hose. Working in small areas, first apply the basic cleaner to wood, but do not allow the cleaner to dry onto furniture. Using a bristled brush or Scotch Brite pad, scrub the wood surface. Never use steel wool, because it can produce rust spots. Still working in small areas, rinse the wood and then apply the acidic cleaner in the same way. The first cleaner should turn the wood a dark shade of brown, while the acid will lighten it. When you’re finished using the acid cleaner, proceed to again thoroughly rinse the wood. Your teak deep seating should look visibly lighter and cleaner (i.e. rid of stains, sealers and residue) by this point.
Refinishing old pieces of teak deep seating is a fun project for the handyman. New teak furniture requires virtually zero maintenance because of its natural, protecting oils, but older pieces do need a little more work to make them look good again. For starters, teak that has become weathered and lost its sealant coat will turn a gray sheen, which is a result of the sun’s patina effect. Many people can appreciate this mature, elegant look (which by the way, does not harm the wood) but others yet prefer the sandy blonde hue of new teak. When you begin to refinish, move furniture outside, or lay down a drop cloth to protect your floors and other furniture from becoming stained. A well-ventilated area works best because of the noxious fumes some sealants can give off. Once again, use goggles and gloves for maximum safety. You may even opt for a dust mask if you so choose. If you’ve already restored or cleaned the wood, then you’ve already sanded it down to a smooth surface. If you’re skipping straight to the refinishing, you will need to smooth your teak deep seating with fine grained sandpaper. If you sand down enough (but be careful not to press too hard) you should reach the golden shade beneath all that gray. Next, wipe down each piece carefully with a damp cloth to remove any loose particles. You’re now ready to oil. Make sure for newer furniture that you don’t over-oil, as this could have counteractive effects on the wood. Using a dry, soft rag, apply small amounts of oil to the wood, working once again in small areas and using a circular motion. You should immediately notice the teak looking shinier. After each coat, let the wood dry. Typically, two coats is enough. Allow furniture to dry fully, then buff lightly to highlight the new, rich amber sheen. Depending on what kind of climate you live in, and how exposed to the elements your teak deep seating is, you should apply oil about once to twice a year (less, if furniture stays indoors year-round.)
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