When it comes to using teak oil on outdoor furniture, there are differing views and standpoints. Some believe that teak oil will do more harm than good, while others say that it’s fine to use it on all types of wooden garden furniture. Regardless of different opinions, one thing we can all agree on is that regular maintenance of outdoor furniture is important to keep it in good condition. But how much attention should you pay to your furniture? And should you even use teak oil at all?
The answer will likely depend on the type, age and condition of the furniture as well as your preferences. In this blog, we will explain everything you need to know about using teak oil on outdoor furniture, from its benefits and drawbacks to teak oil alternatives.
Throughout its life, a teak tree can naturally produce oil within the heart of the trunk. So naturally, you would expect teak oil to be made from teak wood. Although this is not the case, commercial teak oil is made using tung or linseed oil, or a combination of both oils, along with artificial resins and varnishes for wood protection and a glossier finish similar to teak. As a result, the benefits of using teak oil will likely differ from one another depending on its composition and whether it is compatible with the natural oil contained within the wood of your outdoor furniture.
Teak is a hardwood that already contains natural oil and resin, which protects the furniture against different weather elements as well as water absorption and damage. It also makes the wood resistant to rotting, mould and mildew formation, insect damage and fungal infections. Therefore, it is generally not recommended to use teak oil—or any other type of oil or finish—on your outdoor teak furniture since the teak’s natural oil already offers significant protection that will last over a lifetime. There are other disadvantages to oiling teak furniture as well:
Teak furniture generally does not require as much care and attention as other types of furniture, and it will only need cleaning time and again to keep it looking its best. Depending on the composition, commercial teak oils may not settle or stick properly to the surface of the furniture. Moreover, once you oil your outdoor teak furniture, you will have to repeat the process often because teak oil can take some of the natural oil with it as it evaporates over time. This can reduce the durability of teak and make the furniture more susceptible to drying out and other wood defects, such as decaying, rotting and so on.
Teak is known to change its colour from its original golden or deep brown to a weathered grey patina over time. This is a normal ageing process for any teak furniture that has been exposed to a lot of sunlight and other weather elements. It will not affect the teak’s inherent properties since the natural oil still remains intact, protecting the inner core and the outer surface of the furniture. So it is not necessary to apply teak oil since it has little to no impact on the durability or strength of the teak. Besides, it may even have unintended side effects.
You can apply teak oil to all types of wooden garden furniture, although it is most suitable for protecting untreated hardwoods that have reached the point of wear and tear. Commercial teak oils work by seeping through the porous inner layer of the timber and reviving or even replacing its natural oils. This ensures that the wooden furniture is adequately protected against UV and water damage, splintering, cracking and peeling wood. Teak oil also changes the appearance of the furniture to a glossier finish, giving it a complete makeover. This can be useful for restoring the colour of outdoor wooden furniture that has faded or turned grey.
When purchasing teak oil, make sure it does not contain any artificial resins or varnishes that do not mix well with the natural oil of wood, as they may permanently block the wood pores, preventing oil movement and eventually causing drying out and other wood defects.