Maintaining Wood Furniture Should be Easy and Affordable

With prices of everything rising daily, there are ways to cut back on expenses by reverting to trusted methods, like this one for using Teak oil to protect your indoor and outdoor furniture.






Anyone who has purchased wood furniture, whether for indoors or outdoors, knows that it is an expensive investment, but more than that, it can also be an expensive exercise to keep wood furniture in tip-top condition. Because wood continues to expand and contract during its lifespan as a result of its ambient environment, wood is a flexible material that needs to be treated accordingly and, while there are plenty of protective finishes that need to be applied to wood furniture, most of these are expensive.




Sealers and varnishes are suggested as protective finishes for wood furniture; sealer is used for both interior and exterior furniture and fittings while varnish is suggested for indoor furniture. And yes, both protective finishes do offer a level of protection but both also have their shortfalls.



Varnish is the perfect finish for indoor furniture and fittings, but only those that are not exposed to the elements, water, or any moisture. When varnish fails it develops hairline cracks that let in moisture, sometimes cracks that can't even be seen, and this can lead to damage such as wood rot and mould. When varnish fails, there is no solution other than to sand away the varnish coat and reapply a protective finish.



Sealer is great for a wide variety of indoor and outdoor wood furniture and fittings, but it can be costly, and it most definitely isn't permanent. Sealer needs to be applied regularly to ensure maximum protection and many sealers require a lot of work in applying, removing, and then re-applying the finish.







5 Litre Teak Oil retails at R369 at Builders' stores around the country.






Teak oil is a protective solution for exterior wood. It can be used on furniture, fittings and fixtures and is an affordable solution when compared to the above products and it requires far less effort in the application and maintenance required to protect wood.



Applying Teak Oil to Wood Furniture, Fixtures, and Fittings



What is Teak Oil?

There is a lot of misconception about teak oil, mainly because what is sold as teak oil isn't actual that. If you read through the technical data sheets of the many brands of teak oil available at hardware stores or other, you will immediately notice that they do not contain Tung Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil and that they are, in fact, solvent distillates and mostly paraffin.





Another confusing fact is that teak oil is not recommended for use on teak furniture. Teak wood is naturally oily and using commercial-grade teak oil will damage teak furniture. Teak furniture should be allowed to age naturally rather than apply chemical substitutes. If you are not happy with the aged-look of your teak furniture, then you can consider the application of teak oil to restore.







Teak oil purchased at hardware or online stores is a blend of paraffin distillates that are absorbed into the wood to nourish and protect from the elements. Because of its viscosity - liquid - it easily soaks into the wood.




After shopping online for teak oil and wading through the numerous brands that claim to be teak oil, the only genuine teak oil that I came across was the one from Liberon that is sold at in Randburg. The technical data sheet for this product states that it is a combination of tung oil and boiled linseed oil, commonly known as teak oil. But quality comes at a price and that can be as much as just under R200 for a 250ml bottle.



What does Teak Oil do?

Commercial-grade teak oil nourishes and protects all types of hardwoods from drying out and thereby extends the lifespan of outdoor wood furniture. It can also be applied to wooden fittings and fixtures for the same reason. Due to its oily nature, teak oil is only recommended for outdoor wood furniture.





Teak oil needs to be re-applied to wood furniture every 6 to 12 months, or sooner if you notice that the wood is starting to dry out, particularly during the hotter months of the year.




Is Teak Oil a Cheaper Solution?

When you consider that a 5 litre bottle of teak oil retails at around R369 and 1 litre of exterior sealer retails at approximately R295, there is a substantial difference in price. While you will need to apply teak oil more frequently every 6 to 12 months, sealer also needs to be applied regularly but requires some hard work before application and at least 2 to 3 coats of sealer must be applied, depending on the brand.





How to Apply Teak Oil


  • Teak oil can be applied to wooden furniture, fixtures and fittings, as well as wood countertops. 
  • Use a soft scrubbing brush to remove any loose or flaking material.
  • Apply teak oil with a paintbrush.
  • Two coats of teak oil should be applied, allowing 30 minutes between each application.
  • Wipe away any excess oil that remains after 30 minutes with a soft cloth or rag.
  • Teak oil should only be applied onto dry wood.







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