Five Essential Tips for Restoring Teak Furniture on a Tiny Budget

If you have found, bought or inherited some old teak furniture, you likely want to restore it. However, most restoration tips involve buying special cleaners, teak oil and even power sanders. If your budget doesn't allow that, don't worry.

With the right tips, you can restore your teak furniture practically for free:

1. Clean the teak furniture

As teak ages, it develops a silvery patina. This results due to a combination of oxidation and built up dirt, but the look is praised by many teak furniture lovers. If you want to keep the silvery patina intact, just lightly clean your furniture with a soft rag and some soapy water. Then, skip to the third step.

If the furniture has scratches or too much embedded dirt to be removed easily, you should plan to restore it with a thorough cleaning. Make a solution of two parts liquid laundry detergent, one part bleach and one part hot water. Using a scrub brush or steel wool, scrub your teak furniture.

2. Sand the teak furniture by hand

Although many restoration articles advise using power sanders, that can be a risky choice. Especially if you are inexperienced, you may virtually sand through the wood. Instead, buy several sheets of sandpaper -- they are available for just a few dollars at most hardware stores.

Use a large grain sandpaper to remove the finish and sand the furniture until you have removed stains, scratches, water and oil marks. Use a fine grain piece of sandpaper to smooth the wood.

3. Oil the wood

The aging process dries out teak furniture, and you need to add oil to the wood. Teak oil is the most common option, but you can use linseed oil or tung oil instead. In most cases, these choices are less expensive. Linseed results in a slightly darker colour right away, but tung oil has more long term resistance to losing moisture.

If you don't want to spend any money, head to your kitchen. If you have olive oil, that can work. Like linseed, it results in a slightly darker colour than using teak oil but still makes your wood look better.

4. Decide if you want to seal it

When it comes to restoring old teak furniture, sealing it is optional. If you seal it, it resists the elements and lasts longer. However, if you don't seal it, you can get the silvery patina faster.

You can invest in teak furniture sealant, or for a cheaper alternative, you can use a clear enamel spray. If you don't mind hiding the grain and natural colour of the teak, you can use paint, which seals it well.

5. Use weather resistant storage

Another possibly free thing that can help you as you restore your teak furniture is great storage. Don't let your furniture sit out in the elements before you restore it -- that can make it worse. Instead, put it in a weather resistant garage or basement.

For more tips on caring for your teak furniture, you may want to talk to a local teak retailer, like The Teak Place