Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Heenan
If you have recently bought a few teak furniture for your home, you may be thinking about how to conserve the beautiful finishes of your new teak furniture.
Teak wood is extracted from the highly valued teak tree, often found in the tropical regions of India, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia.
It has special characteristics compared to other woods found with its inbuilt resistance towards fungus, insects, and other elements of nature.
So, now you’re stuck in choosing between teak oil vs teak sealer for a beautiful varnish to preserve your teak wood.
However, before we make the choice easier for you, let’s look at what each of these is and their advantages and disadvantages in this Teak sealer vs Teak oil Guide.
Teak Oil vs Teak Sealer
What Is Teak Oil?
For a number of years, teak oil/teak cleaner has been a primary use for boats and teak furniture.
Teak oils have this signature dark and rich look after their application to teak furniture.
Extracted from the tropical forests, linseed oil and tung oil are mixed together with a few additional preservatives to create teak oil.
Natural teak oil is beautiful. There’s no going around it.
After applying, it takes pride in the beautiful finish that teak wood provides.
It gets into the micro-cracks and crevices of the teak wood and amplifies the texture the teak is so famous for.
However, teak oil does have its disadvantages, even with so many people loving it so much.
First of all, teak oil provides no protection.
It only amplifies the rich look that it provides with a dark varnish.
But no tangible protection from the elements is provided to the teak wood.
Thus if you are looking into teak oil for teak furniture which is exposed to these elements, it is definitely the wrong choice.
Teak oil also requires high maintenance, which means the beautiful coat often does not last long.
Long exposure to UV rays from sunlight carbonizes the oil.
This over time takes away the dark rich coating and makes the polish look grey over time.
Without proper protection, such as keeping the polished teakwood away from sunlight and periodically reapplying, you’d eventually lose the beautiful dark finish teak oil is so famous for.
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Teak Oil Uses
With teak oil, the primary use is for polishing the teak wood, giving it a dark, beautiful varnish.
It is usually ideal for dense woods and such as mahogany, rosewood, and of course, teak.
You can use the oil in almost all the wooden pieces that are usually used indoors or away from sunlight as the UV rays can carbonize the particles of the teak oil.
The most common usage of teak oils is furniture varnish.
How to Apply Teak Oil?
Using teak is actually quite simple.
You don’t even need a brush or any other extra tools except a clean cloth and the oil for the application, making it a favorite for any home project as well as professionals.
Step 1: Sanding and Cleaning
If you see the surface of the teak wood is not smooth enough, sand the surface with either sandpaper by hand or sander.
You can use the sandpaper for smoothing and leveling the crooks and crevices where you cannot reach properly with a machine.
After that, clean the surface with a damp wipe to clean it off the grains as well as any contaminations.
Step 2: The First Coat
Shake the bottle of teak oil and pour the oil onto a cloth.
Teak oil is not brushed but rather wiped on the surface.
Initially, start with a wet wipe and then move your way through the process.
As soon as you make the first wipe, you would see the beautiful signature natural color that the teak oil gives to the wood.
After you are done with the first heavy coat, you let it dry for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Even It out
After 10 minutes, check in the teak wood and look for any dull spots.
Reapply again with a medium coat. If you have any excess on sitting on the surface, wipe it away and even it out. After that, let it rest for 30 more minutes.
Step 4: The Finishing Touches
With a clean, dry cloth, give the teak wood an extra shine by buffing it out.
And with that, you are finished applying the teak oil.
You can give it a third coat, but at this point forward, it’s a matter of preference.
What Is Teak Sealer?
The second coating you can choose is a teak sealer.
Compared to natural oils, they do not get absorbed into the woods but rather seal the oils and resins of the wood to provide protection.
As a result, compared to teak oil, they are more durable and sustainable.
Teak sealers also do not require periodic reapplication, unlike teak oils, as once annually is more than enough.
It is also suitable for woods exposed to sunlight as it provides protection from the sun and its UV rays.
Usually, oil-based teak sealers are more preferred as they seal and protect as well as nourish the wood underneath.
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Teak Sealer Uses
Teak sealer ensures a beautiful polished finish that protects your wood from UV rays and saves it from turning grey.
Due to this, you can use a teak sealer on wooden surfaces that are more exposed to the elements of nature.
Similar to teak oil, teak sealer can be used on teak, mahogany, rosewood, among the other variants of wood.
Teak Oil or Teak Sealer
So the question is teak oil or teak sealer?
Compared to teak oil, the teak sealer offers UV-protected teak furniture, which naturally makes the wood safe from mildew as well.
It also preserves your teak outdoor furniture so it does not turn grey and can sustain with one application annually, unlike teak oil, which can fade away with exposure to sunlight.
It is essential that an oil-based teak sealer is used to refill natural oils and to protect them against dirt and moisture.
It is simple to use and long-lasting, making it very popular with teak furniture owners who want a lasting non-fragile solution.
Even though teak oil provides a beautiful dark finish, it cannot be sustainable over time and needs multiple reapplying.
Before using teak sealers, note to disinfect your teak furniture.
Make sure to let it dry naturally and then add a sealer cover with a sponge or a pressurizer held by hand.
After an hour, add a second thin layer, and you can use your teak meat as before if it dries after two hours.
Both teak sealers and teak oils have advantages and disadvantages with their usage, but we believe, in terms of having more practical use, teak sealer is definitely tipping the balance in its favor.
Thus when the debate of teak oil vs teak sealer comes up, in our mind, the latter is the obvious winner.
In the end, it also depends on the needs of the consumer themselves and how they intend to use that piece of woodware.