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How to improve the appearance of your teak garden furniture

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Teak garden furniture is both a practical and beautiful addition to any outdoor space. However, over time, exposure to rain, UV rays and humidity can leave it looking a little bit worse for wear. Here are two things that you can do to improve the appearance of this type of furniture.

Give it a thorough cleaning

When left outside for long period of time, dirt, mildew and grime will accumulate on the surface of your teak furniture. This can give it a rather neglected and shabby appearance. Giving it a deep clean will go a long way towards improving the way it looks.

For this task, you'll need a solution of mild dishwashing detergent in a bucket of lukewarm clean water, a soft-bristled cleaning brush (hard bristled brushes could scratch the wood) and either a pressure washer or a hose. Additionally, if there is a substantial amount of mildew on the furniture, you'll also need a diluted mixture of household vinegar and water to remove this substance.

Dip the cleaning brush into the detergent solution and gently scrub every last inch of your furniture. If the brush is too large to access the cracks and crevices of the chairs, you can use a clean toothbrush to remove dirt from these hard-to-reach areas. When you're finished, hose down each piece of furniture thoroughly, to get rid of any soapy residue. Then, if there is mildew that needs to be removed, apply the vinegar solution to these areas. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or so, before rinsing it off.

Restore its true colour

Teak furniture that is exposed to rain and UV rays will eventually change colour, from a honey-brown hue to a silvery patina. These greyish tones can make the furniture look a bit drab. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to restore the original teak colouring. To tackle this task, you will need some fine-grit sandpaper, an acid-based teak cleaner (this will remove the patina), some teak oil, a sealant and a paintbrush.

Begin by lightly sanding the surface of the furniture. Then, apply the teak cleaner, making sure to closely follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer. When the patina has been taken off, use a paintbrush to apply the teak oil; this will restore the furniture's original colouring. Allow it to dry fully (this may take several hours) before adding a coat or two of sealant. The sealant will slow down the rate at which the colour fades and help to stave off the development of mould and mildew.