Teak treatments; should you paint, stain, varnish or oil teak? Everything you need to know about how to look after teak garden furniture.

Does teak garden furniture need to be treated? 

As opposed to most types of wood, teak requires no protective treatments in the form of paints, varnishes and oiling because it is naturally oily and therefore resistant to the outdoor extremes. However, you could use our Teak Sealer to add an extra layer of protection, or our Teak Protector to maintain teak’s honey-brown colour. If left untreated, your teak garden furniture will weather to a coveted silvery-grey patina.

Should I use teak oil on my teak outdoor furniture? 

We strongly recommend against using teak oil – and any other oils including linseed, Tung, and Danish oils! These oils destroy teak’s naturally occurring protective oils, making it dependant on continuous applications to stop it from drying out, so once you start oiling teak garden furniture you’ll need to continue to do so. Teak oil is also more likely to encourage mildew growth and black spots, and teak that has been oiled will colour unevenly as it ages.

we don't recommend oiling your teak furniture

Teak can be left outside, untreated, although there are a number of water-based treatments should you wish to treat your furniture, including teak sealers and protectors, depending on the colour you’d like your teak to be; either its original honey-gold colour, or a weathered silvery-grey. We can’t stress enough how strongly we recommend against the use of wood oils.

Can teak wood furniture be painted? 

We would recommend against painting your teak wood furniture. Not only does paint hide the natural beauty of teak, but water will eventually penetrate the coating, causing it to flake, peel or crack. Teak’s naturally high oil content also makes it difficult for paint and other finishes to adhere to the wood.

If you really want to paint your teak furniture, we would say to avoid painting new teak, leaving it to weather for 6-8 weeks to allow the natural oils to come to the surface, and ensure that you prepare the wood properly – we recommend priming it with aluminium oxide.

painted teak furniture

How to seal teak wood furniture? 

Our Teak Sealer Shield will help to make your teak wood furniture water and dirt repellent and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor furniture. The Teak Sealer Shield is a water-based, barely visible wood impregnator that makes it difficult for wine, olive oil, butter, or coffee to seep into teak. This ensures that after a meal your teak table can be simply wiped with a damp cloth without any unsightly stains remaining.

Teak Sealer will help make your teak furniture water and dirt repellent

How do you treat teak wood outdoor furniture? 

Teak wood is wonderfully durable and strong and does not need to be treated. Wonderfully low-maintenance, teak wood furniture can be left outside all year round without any treatments as its own natural oil content will help protect it from the elements. However, we do recommend a number of our Teak Care Products should you wish to apply some form of treatment to the teak wood, depending on the colour you would like your teak to be.

  • If you want to would like to preserve the honey-gold colour of new teak, you can apply our Teak Protector.
  • If you would like to restore teak to its natural colour, you should use our Teak Cleaner.
  • If you would like to help your furniture weather evenly without growth of algae, you can apply our Teak Sealer Shield.

After you have applied any of these treatments, you can apply our Teak Sealer to add an extra layer of protection, particularly for surfaces where food and drink will be eaten.

How to polish teak wood furniture? 

We recommend that you avoid coating your teak furniture with polishes, oils and varnishes. These polishes don’t look natural and detract from teak’s natural beauty. What’s more, because of teak’s high oil content, it is often difficult for polish, varnish and so on to adhere to the teak, so it will eventually flake or peel.

Polishing teak might work better if your teak furniture is for indoor use only, although we would still recommend either leaving beautiful teak furniture untreated or using our Teak Protector to bring out that stunning honey-gold colour of new teak.

Can you stain or varnish teak wood furniture?

We recommend that you avoid coating your teak wood furniture with any type of stain, varnish or paint. Not only do these hide the natural beauty of teak, but water eventually penetrates the coating, causing flaking, peeling or cracking.

Coatings must then be sanded to remove them, creating more work and bother for you. Also, teak garden furniture with shiny coatings does not look natural and detracts from teak’s natural beauty.

Stains and varnishes can work better if you’re using your teak furniture indoors only, although we still recommend leaving beautiful teak furniture untreated and just letting it do its thing!

stained teak furniture

Should teak furniture be sealed?

Teak furniture that is exposed to food and drink should be sealed with our water-based Teak Sealer Shield. Or Teak Sealer will create an invisible barrier that makes it difficult for wine, oil, butter, or coffee to seep into teak so that your teak table can be simply wiped with a damp cloth after each meal.

Does teak stain clothes or fabrics? 

To avoid staining your clothes and other fabrics, it is best to avoid direct contact with new teak until it has been made wet for a few times and/or seasoned for a few weeks. The surfaces of new teak furniture will be natural oily, and this can stain your clothes, cushions, etc.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you’d like to know more about our teak garden furniture, please see our other FAQ pages or contact us by phone or email and we’ll do our best to help.

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