July 10, 2021
You may be scratching your head a bit as you read that you need to follow several steps when applying teak oil. You may also be asking why you need to use teak oil when, in fact, teak oil is never extracted from teak wood. Hence, the teak oil products peddled around by some unscrupulous manufacturers got nothing to do with oil derived from teak wood. Moreover, teak trees are never drained of oil for commercial sale of teak oil. So, what are these teak oil products that you usually see on the market today?
The truth is that teak oil products sold around are not true finishing oil. They are wiping varnishes. They contain linseed and tung oil combined with a resin. Moreover, the best teak oil products are different from other oil finishes and Danish oil because of the different resin amounts. Teak oil also contains less resin than Danish oil.
Manufacturers, on the other hand, never disclose the natural ingredients they use in their products. For this reason, you will seldom know precisely the chemical composition of their products unless you are a certified chemist.
Steps on Applying Teak Oil
Any experienced woodworker would ensure that the wood surface is clean before applying any finishing or refinishing, for prepping the wood is the first step. Below are the simple steps you can follow if ever you would apply teak oil onto any wood surface:
Step 1: Strip the Wood Surface Using Chemical Strippers
The primary thing to do to prep the wood for teak oil application is to strip its previous stain. Using chemical strippers, you can do away with the previous stain. After cleaning the chemical stripper, you can sand the surface using 100-grit sandpaper to do away with the stripper residue. Afterward, you can use 150-grip sandpaper to prep the wood surface to apply the teak oil.
It will be best to hand-sand the wood surface for the final sanding along the wood grain. Sanding the wood surface allows you to remove any damage to the wood surface. If you notice that a board has already had enough damage, you can replace it with a new one.
The ideal level of sanding is down to the bare wood. When done with sanding, you can remove the dust from the surface by wiping the surface using a cloth damped in white spirit.
Step 2: Apply the Teak Oil Using Strokes Parallel to the Wood’s Grain
Once done with the prepping of the wood surface, you are now ready to apply the teak oil. You can use a paintbrush or rag to apply teak oil onto the wood’s surface. You can apply the oil onto the wood utilizing parallel strokes to the grain. Then, let it permeates the surface of the wood.
It will be best to apply more oil on areas that tend to soak up oil more. You can cover the wood’s surface using even strokes. Moreover, you can use a wide brush to accomplish this task.
Your goal is to achieve a matte appearance for the wood surface. Once the wood can no longer absorb oil, then you can move on to the other parts of the wood.
Step 3: Apply the Second Coat after 20 to 30 Minutes
Once done with the first coating, let the first coating seep well onto the wood for twenty to thirty minutes. If you notice that there is grain raising after the wood had dried, you can get (150-grit) sandpaper and sand the grain parallel to the grain direction.
The wood will become less absorbent of oil after the first coat. Hence, you need to apply thin coats afterward to give it a thicker finish. Then, let the oil dry overnight. Ideally, you should allow for overnight drying between two coatings.
Another tip is to wipe off after 20 minutes the excess oil on the wood’s surface to prevent the tacky oil buildup. It will also be best to ensure that the areas exposed or near the ground should get thorough protection.
Step 4: Let the Oil Dry for 8 to 10 Hours Once Done with the Second Coat
Once done with the second coat, you need to step back and let the oil dry for eight to ten hours. But right before finishing the last second coat, you should wipe the wood surface after 15 minutes to dry it and let the oil dry out for up to ten hours.
Step 5: To get the Smoothest Finish, You Can Apply the Third Coat.
If you are aching to achieve the best finish, you can go for a third coat. The third coat will give the wood surface the smoothest finish possible. But before you apply the third coat, you can once again sand the surface using 220-grit sandpaper. This will allow you to smoothen the grain.
Afterward, you can wipe off the dust using a damp rag. Then, you can apply the oil liberally. Allow fifteen minutes to elapse before you wipe off any excess oil. Allow the oil to dry for up to ten hours.
Maintenance & Aftercare Tips for Teak Oil Wood
If you followed the abovementioned steps well, you would get an excellent finish that lasts longer and exhibits consistent weathering. If you see inconsistent or uneven weathering of your furniture after several months or days, it will be best to clean it again and reapply teak oil. It is also advisable to reapply teak oil once every six months, depending on the weather and climate of your place. In this way, you can prevent any damage to the furniture.
Remember that maintenance of outdoor furniture and wood should be done regularly. So, it would help if you never reneged in your responsibility of keeping your furniture well maintained. If you fail to maintain your outdoor furniture or wood, you will end up with pieces of furniture fraught with mildew and moss. You may also compromise the integrity of your furniture, leaving your furniture susceptible to fading and intense weathering.
Additional Useful Tips for Perfect Teak Oil Application
Once you’ve decided to apply oil on your wood, it will be best to be cognizant of the following succinct tips when applying teak oil:
- Choose a teak oil that does not have pigment. Remember that you don’t want to alter the color of your teak furniture. You want to keep its natural beauty. But if you use teak oil fraught with pigment, you will likely change the natural appearance of your furniture.
- It will be best to clean the surface thoroughly before applying teak oil.
- Test the oil before applying it to the whole furniture. You can test it by applying it to the underside of the furniture.
- It will be best to use a brush or rag when applying teak oil.
- You should ensure that the application of the oil is consistent and evenly. Don’t be impatient when applying the oil to the wood surface. Impatience may lead to uneven applications. Follow the abovementioned tips to ensure a consistent and evenly application.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teak Oil Applications
Aside from knowing the tips on how to apply teak oil, it will also help to know the FAQs about the teak oil application, for they may also be the questions lingering in your mind:
How Will the Teak Oil Protect the Wood?
The teak oil can indeed protect the wood surface from stains and spillages. It will also offer resistance against water and other liquids. So, it is best used for garden furniture.
Can I Apply Teak Oil on Pine Wood?
Yes, you can apply teak oil even on pine wood. You can also use it for softwood. Nevertheless, you can use it for other hardwood other than teak wood.
When selecting teak wood, it will be best to select well, for many manufacturers have misleading labels. As mentioned above, you will never know the real ingredients of most teak oil products in the market today unless you are a chemist who knows how to analyze the chemical components of teak oils. So, you don’t need to be gullible enough to believe what you read on the labels quickly.
Be cautious and learn from the experts or those who have experienced in using oil for wooden furniture. Ask any experienced woodworker about the best teak oil they are using to provide their outdoor furniture with a remarkable sheen. Their expert pieces of advice will surely prove invaluable when you decide to apply teak oil on your furniture.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.