With Easter eggs already appearing in the shops, we’re reminded that with just 40 days to go until Easter, it’s an ideal time to start thinking about preparing our gardens for more sunshine days! So we thought a Teak Unique garden furniture care reminder would be useful, to ensure you continue to enjoy your garden tables, garden chairs, garden benches, and loungers for many years to come.
Teak Unique outdoor furniture is created from slow kiln dried mature heartwood teak rich in protective oils. Our long-lasting teak products require very little maintenance. However, despite the excellent craftsmanship, stylish design and natural strength that defines Teak Unique garden furniture, it can still deteriorate over a long time and become susceptible to mould and mildew growth without a little TLC.
TEAK FURNITURE – THE WEATHERING PROCESS
New top-grade teak furniture exposed to the elements, will naturally weather fairly quickly from the honey colour of new teak to a silvery grey patina which distinguishes finely aged, outdoor teak. This is the protective oil evaporating from the surface layer, and there may be some uneven colouring during this transition period.
At this time, a process called checking may occur as your outdoor furniture adjusts, very slightly, to its surroundings. Although slowly kiln drying teak furniture helps to significantly limit checking, teak is a natural product and will expand and contract (breathe!) in our varying weather conditions and absorb moisture in the air which makes it swell a little. This can result in small hairline cracks developing, usually on the end grain sections. The cracks come and go, and will eventually settle. Most importantly, they do not affect the strength and performance of the teak furniture in the longterm. Most customers don’t mind some natural grain movement. However, if it is something you’d like to address, wait at least three months for the furniture to completely settle, then apply exterior grade PVA glue to the checked area, wipe off any excess glue, and sand over the checked area in the direction of the grain with 150-180 grit sandpaper.
TEAK FURNITURE – ANNUAL CLEANING STEPS
We recommend keeping teak tables, teak chairs, teak benches, and loungers in good condition with a spring clean each year:
★ RINSE: Use a hose on a standard setting to release any engrained debris or dirt. However tempting it is, never use high pressure settings which will damage the wood.
★ CLEAN: On wet garden furniture, use a soft bristled brush and mild detergent or a water-based teak cleaning product (we like Golden Care Teak Cleaner), and brush in smooth strokes along the grain. Rinse off.
★ SAND: Once the teak furniture is completely dry, use 150-180 grit sandpaper along the grain to smooth the surface, if necessary.
TEAK FURNITURE – OPTIONAL CARE TIPS
★ SHIELD: To help maintain the silvery-grey colour and protect your teak garden furniture from stains and inhibit mould and mildew growth, Golden Care Teak Shield can be applied once a year after cleaning (as outlined above)
★ REFRESH: To revive the ‘new’ honey coloured appearance or to remove damaged wood or stubborn stains, use 90-120 grit sandpaper on dry furniture to remove weathered surface layer of wood and expose fresh layer still saturated with naturally protective oils. Hand sanding along the grain is best, but if machine sanding, the final sanding step after cleaning is particularly important to soften the wood and remove any scratches. Clean (as outlined above). If you would then like to maintain the new ‘honey-coloured’ teak furniture look, remove any residue dust from sanding, and apply Golden Care Teak Protector at least twice a year.
★ OILS & SEALERS: If you’ve invested in good quality teak furniture, never use teak oils or sealers. The natural oils found in the heartwood of mature teak trees (used to create Teak Unique furniture) are sufficient to protect it from the elements. Teak oil products will not help extend the life of your outdoor teak furniture as they are made from solvents which deplete the wood of its natural oils faster, weakening the wood. It also encourages black spots and mildew growth, and makes the furniture dependent on continuous and unnecessary reapplicaitons.
★ STORAGE: To maintain the lifespan of your teak garden furniture, we advise storing in outbuildings during winter months. If left outside, position your garden furniture in a place with direct regular sunlight as this will naturally kill mould and mildew. Alternatively, use a cover made from breathable material such as tyvek that doesn’t trap moisture to prevent mould or fungus growth.
As always, please feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like any specific advice regarding the care of your Teak Unique furniture. In the meantime, happy spring cleaning!
Rachel and Victoria
– All teak garden furniture care tips above apply only to Teak Unique products. They do not apply to lower quality teakwood furniture or chemically treated teak furniture.
– If using any of the recommended Golden Care products, always follow their application instructions.