Why Does Teak Wood Change Colour?

Why Does Teak Wood Change Colour?

Teak is a durable wood known for its beautiful and unique golden brown colour, making it one of the most popular timbers in the world. It’s naturally resistant to insect attacks and has excellent moisture retention properties as well. These properties make teak wood perfect for outdoor use. From decks to boats, benches to cabinets, teak can be found everywhere. But did you know that the colour of teak wood can fade and change over time?.

What colour is teak?

There are many types of teak wood found all over the world. And so, the colour of all teak varies depending on many factors, including the climate and environmental conditions as well as the amount of sunlight it receives. As a result, the teak colour may look anything from dark walnut to light almond. But the most common colours found in teak are warm brown, honey gold and golden yellow, which fade to a weathered grey look over time when left untreated. 

The colour of teak furniture also varies depending on its grade, with each having its unique characteristics. Teak wood is typically classified into three grades: 

  1. Grade A teak is the highest grade and is the most sought-after due to its superior quality. It is made using the heart of the tree, also known as heartwood, and is the most durable and highly-resistant to rot, decay and insect attack. Grade A teak has a deep golden-brown colour with a tight, uniform grain.
  2. Grade B teak shares many of the same characteristics as grade A teak, but it often has an uneven grain and less shine due to its lower natural oil content. It is also slightly lighter in colour, usually a light brown with yellow undertones.   
  3. The lowest grade of teak is grade C, which is also cheaper and less durable of them all. It is made using the outer sections of a tree trunk and is more uneven than other grades. It has little to no natural extractives and can show white streaks on its surfaces. Grade C teak has the lightest colour of all grades, with a more open grain and some signs of decay. 

What causes teak to fade and change colour?

Although teak has a distinctive golden honey-brown colour, it can change over time. The most common cause of teak changing colour is exposure to different weather conditions. For example, teak wood that is frequently exposed to moisture will naturally lose its colour, while surfaces that are protected from rain and moisture will remain more consistent in colour. 

Teak wood can also gradually fade or darken when exposed to sunlight. Besides, the colour-changing process can be accelerated by dirt and impurities in the wood, as well as by applying certain finishes or sealants. The presence of wood-rotting insects such as termites and beetles in outdoor teak furniture may also lead to a change in colour, along with leaving it outside come rain or shine. 

What makes weathered grey teak great?

Teak is naturally resistant to weathering, which means it requires little maintenance. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture like tables, chairs and benches. Teak garden furniture will also naturally develop a weathered grey patina over time, adding a bit of character and authenticity to your outdoor space. 

Grey teak is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture because it is still both durable and resistant to water damage. It can also last for many more years as long as it is properly cared for and maintained from time to time. You can also apply a teak patinizer to give it a light silvery-grey charm.

Use a teak sealer to restore teak furniture to its original colour

If the silvery-grey weathered look isn't for you, a water-based teak sealer can be applied to restore the natural colour of the teak. This is a much better option than teak oil, as most commercial teak oils contain synthetic resins and varnishes to give your teak a glossier look, but they have little to no effect on the wood's strength or durability.

Teak also has a high natural oil content that may not be compatible with commercial teak oils. As a result, teak cleaners and protectors do a much better job of protecting and restoring teak garden furniture to its original colour since they are specifically designed for teak wood. Although ensure your outdoor furniture is thoroughly cleaned with soap and water before applying sealants. This way, your teak outdoor furniture will retain its natural beauty and charm for many more years to come.