Teak Week: Teak Care

March 7th, 2009

naturoil

So you found a great set of teak dining chairs for a good deal the other day, the only thing is that they’re in pretty rough shape.

What now?

Well you’re in luck! Teak is one of the most durable woods out there. It’s a dense close-grained hardwood that actually contains it’s own natural oils that make it resilient to water and termites. I spoke with Carol Gray from Machine Age Modern on Queen St. East about some tips when restoring old teak furniture.

“I see a lot of older teak furniture, and the wood condition falls into two categories — some dry as a bone (never conditioned or oiled in its 40 year life) — and some that has layers of teak oil built up over the years.”

If a piece simply looks dry, Carol recommends ”Howard’s Feed-N-Wax Wood Preserver.” Apply a heavy layer with a cloth and let it soak in. More may be needed the next day if you see dry patches, or you may have to wipe off excess if it’s still sticky.

If a piece looks dirty (dark, cloudy and feels tacky), glass cleaner does a surprisingly effective job cutting through the layers of old oil and dirt. “I work with 4-zero (extra extra fine) steel wool.  Spray the Windex, rub lightly in the direction of the wood grain with the steel wool.” Use paper towel to remove the grime, let dry and apply “Howard’s Feed N Wax” (be careful the glass cleaner doesn’t run and drip).

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How do I get rid of these scratches?

We rarely recommend inviting chemicals into the home, yet I really can’t help using Teak Oil, it leaves such a beautiful finish and I do love the smell (I know that’s horrible). The one I use is the Home Hardware brand Teak Oil available for $4.46 from your local neighbourhood Home Hardware. Apply the teak oil to a fine/medium grade steel wool and rub in the direction of the wood grain, this should easily remove any light scratches and leave your piece with a beautiful finish.

What should I use on my Teak Bowls? and Cutting Boards?

You should never use Teak Oil on anything that will be close to foods. Mineral Oil is your best bet! It leaves a great finish and nourishes the wood to keep it from cracking. I use Terra Nova’s Naturoil, it’s a blend of pure oils that doesn’t contain any perfumes, dyes, or any other additives so it’s completely non toxic and can be used as much as need be. Available at Home Hardware for $5.99.

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