How to Protect Teak Outdoor Furniture

At the end of July, our new outdoor dining table arrived and wow, it’s gorgeous! It’s really large – it can seat eight people – and it’s made out of teak. I’m still waiting on the eight teak chairs to arrive because delivery times are bonkers lately, but in the meantime, we are enjoying our new outdoor dining room table. Here’s a link to the set we got from Yardbird.

Our backyard projects to-do list

When I showed our new teak table on Instagram stories, many of you asked how we were going to protect and care for the teak. To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about it! With the chaos of the backyard renovation, doing something preventative, like learning how to protect teak furniture, wasn’t even on my mind. So, I immediately dove into research mode to figure out the best course of action.

Consult Your Manufacturer

How to protect teak furniture

I’d say the best thing you can do is consult your manufacturer. Most will give specific care instructions, especially when it comes to outdoor furniture. I headed to the Yardbird website and found this page chock full of great information. I think that should always be your first step when it comes to figuring out how to care for your furniture, indoor or out.

Learning About Teak Wood

Learning about how to care for teak furniture

I really wanted to go with a teak table because teak is a hard wood that is really strong and durable. That means it should last a very long time. We’ve had trouble with outdoor furniture only lasting a season or two, and my hope is we’ll have this table for years to come. (Some people have their teak furniture for decades!) Teak is pest-resistant, weather-resistant, and surprisingly low-maintenance. It also regulates its own temperature, so the wood doesn’t get too hot in the summer.

Teak starts with a warm golden color and eventually patinas to a silvery gray. But if you use a sealer, as I am in today’s post, you can maintain that golden color. The only downside is that teak comes with a higher price tag. We are all about quality over quantity because don’t want to have to buy a new table year after year, so it was worth it to us.

How to Protect Teak Outdoor Furniture

Use a teak sealer to protect teak

Following the table manufacturer’s instructions, I bought this Golden Care Teak Protector. This offers UV protection and prevents the graying of the exterior wood for about one year, which means I’ll be following these same steps every year!

If you do have teak furniture that has already aged to the gray color, you can use fine-grit sandpaper (320 grit) to lightly sand it and then apply the teak sealer. That golden color should come back! Or you can go ahead and keep that gorgeous gray color and just clean your wood with mild soap and water. The gray color doesn’t affect the integrity of the wood at all, and some people prefer it over the golden color.

Applying the Sealer

Wear gloves when applying a teak sealer

I went ahead and followed the directions on the back of the bottle. The good news is this sealer is water-based and solvent-free, so it doesn’t come with any nasty fumes. I wore gloves to prevent my hands from getting stained. I went with the color “honey brown”, because it looked most similar to the color of our table. But they have more colors to choose from.

Applying a sealer to protect teak

I simply applied some of the sealer to a lint-free cloth and started applying in the direction of the grain of the wood. You may want to test it on an inconspicuous area first – I applied it on one of the legs – just to make sure you like the color before you go ahead and apply it to the entire table!

It took me about twenty minutes to cover the entire table and by the end, my rag was full of the sealer. Just keep applying it as you go!

Tips to protect teak furniture

I then waited thirty minutes and applied one more coat. That’s it! I didn’t have to do anything else but apply the sealer twice. It was super easy to use because I could tell where I had applied it – the color was richer and darker in those areas – so I was able to zip around the table and get every area quickly.

My best tips to protect teak furniture

My plan is to reapply this sealer every spring when we get the patio furniture out. Oh, and I’ll be following these same steps to protect our teak chairs whenever they arrive.

Our Winter Gameplan

In order to keep all of our outdoor furniture looking good for years to come, we’ll plan to store it all away during those really cold Chicago months – December, January, February. Ice and snow can be pretty harsh, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

teak furniture protection

The legs of the table can be removed, so we’ll plan to take the legs off and store the table upright in our garage. That way, it won’t take up much space at all! Yardbird also recommends cleaning the furniture with mild soap and water before storing it away for the season.

How to protect teak outdoor furniture

Table // Umbrella // Umbrella Stand // Planters // String Lights Installation

Overall, I’m thrilled with our new outdoor furniture and I am so happy that I learned how to protect teak the right way. Fingers crossed those chairs arrive soon so I can protect them too. And we can stop sitting on folding chairs out here…


how to protect teak furniture

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The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.