Indonesian teak furniture is more expensive than furniture made of wood from other trees like oak, cedar or rosewood. This is because teak wood has certain special properties that make it exceptionally durable and resistant to attack by termites and decay. The presence of natural oils and silica in the wood are responsible for the special properties of teak wood. Though teak is highly durable and hardy, it is important to keep it in good condition so that it continues to maintain it’s grandeur and finesse for a long time. Here are a few tips:
1) Fresh teak wood is usually the color of honey, which over time changes to a silvery-gray. The distinct colors of teak wood enables us to guess it’s age quite accurately. The silvery-gray color of aged teak wood can deteriorate, and turn into an ugly shade of green if left untreated. Teak wood must be coated with a layer of varnish to ensure that it retains it’s lustre, sheen and finesse.
2) Sanding teak furniture is also essential. If you want the wood to retain it’s golden sheen, you can scrub off the uppermost layer using sand-paper. Take care not to rub too deep, as you might permanently alter the shape of your furniture or deform it.
3) Application of teak oil every few months is yet another option. In order to replace the natural oils lost by the wood over time, or due to regular sanding, teak oil can be applied. Teak oil enhances the look and feel of furniture, and helps the wood retain it’s color. However, it does not do much to increase the life and quality of the wood.
4) If you want to stain your teak furniture, remember that the staining process is almost permanent, and the applied color cannot be removed unless the furniture undergoes intensive sanding. Before every staining process, the wood must be thoroughly sanded to ensure that the coloring agent gets absorbed into the top layers of the wood. Sanding is not a recommended practice, as the oils in the wood prevent proper adhesion of paint or staining material to the wood. It is quite likely that the paint might peel off in some time.
5) Do not leave teak furniture in damp places or in puddles of water. Using teak-protector is recommended if you keep your furniture outside. The protector will keep your furniture safe from the effects of the elements for about 4-5 months, after which a fresh coat will have to be applied.