Teak and Eucalyptus Facts and Finishing Tips
Teak and Eucalyptus will gradually weather to a silver-gray patina if left outdoors untreated. You will begin to notice the "graying" after 3 months or so, depending on the amount of sun and rain the furniture is subjected to. Total weathering will take about 6 to 9 months.
Eucalyptus wood, like teak, is beautiful, dense, durable, and resistant to rot and insect infestation. The rapid growth of eucalyptus trees makes them more readily available and more easily affordable. Like outdoor teak furniture, outdoor eucalyptus furniture can be treated with teak oil following an annual cleaning to help preserve the wood's natural color (if desired).
Once the wood has weathered, the original color can be restored by an annual scrubbing with soapy water to remove accumulated dirt. Trouble spots can be gently sanded with a very fine grit sandpaper. Alternatively, you may use a pressure hose with a fan or multi-nozzle jet, where a gauge is fitted. It should be set to a pressure of 900-1200 psi. A distance of 6'-8' should be maintained between the nozzle and the surface to be cleaned. Apply a constant, gentle jet pressure using the lowest possible setting to achieve the desired result. Due to the unique properties of teakwood your furniture will need no other care or treatment and will last for decades.
Small surface cracks (known as checks) may appear. This is a characteristic of all timber and will not affect the strength or durability of the furniture. This is due to the changes in seasoning and the wood releasing or absorbing of moisture from the atmosphere. Checking is non-structural in nature and is not to be considered a concern of defect.
Marks from spills on a tabletop, especially if they contain fat, should be avoided where possible, as they can be difficult to remove. Any such marks will eventually be washed out and bleached by the elements. However, this process may be accelerated by allowing the stain to soak into any absorbent material applied to it for a time under pressure and then rubbing with sandpaper.
Treating with teak oil or other preservatives is not needed to protect eucalyptus and teakwood and will not extend the life of your outdoor furniture, its use is purely cosmetic. If you prefer the light brown look of natural, unweathered wood, then applying teak oil regularly will maintain that look. I do not recommend oiling your furniture because it creates unnecessary maintenance, but should you prefer to retain its original color, the following guidelines will offer the best results:
Teak oil should be applied before the furniture begins to weather and change color. Ensure the furniture is dry and free of any dust or dirt and apply one light coat of oil with a clean cloth or brush, wiping off any surplus. Teak oil should not be applied over accumulated oil or dirt. This can cause the furniture to turn black over time. If necessary, remove previous oil or dirt by vigorous scrubbing or use of pressure washer. Re-oiling annually is usually sufficient.
What is Teak?
- Teak wood is an extremely dense course grained hardwood used for thousands of years for ship building and furniture making.
Where Does Teak Come From?
- Natural Teak Wood is found primarily in India, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and Java. Tectona grandis is the Latin name for Teak, and Jati is the Indonesian name for Teak.
- Our Teak outdoor furniture including the Teak Steamer Chair, Teak Folding Chair and Teak Patio Table are all made from environmentally friendly Plantation Teak in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- The plantation is regulated by a government agency called Perum Perhutani who set guidelines as to the number and size of trees which can be harvested, as well as the numbers of trees which are replanted to maintain the productivity of the teak forests for future generations.
- A common fact about the characteristic of teak is its durability.
- The high level of resinous oil present in the timber helps to act as a natural insect repellent making the wood highly resistant to rot caused by fungal decay or attack by termites and other wood boring insects.
- This attrubutte allows the wood to last many years without any treatment or finishing.
- Teak has withstood the test of time as demonstrated by the boat building industry, and the common knowledge that many municipal parks and conservatories use teak wood to make their outdoor furniture last.
Do I Need To Finish Teak Outdoor Furniture?
- Teak wood is of itself naturally oily and requires no treatment to be used indoors or outdoors. Applying oil won't increase the life of the timber.
- When teak furniture is left outdoors, the effects of the suns rays will 'bleach out' the timbers natural colour.
- Gradually over time the teak wood will turn a soft silvery grey colour.
- Many consider this distinctive 'bleached' color to be very attractive and allows the furniture to blend in well with many outdoor environments.
- Teak Patio furniture left in this state is easily maintained, and needs no treatment whatsoever to give many years of service. This is about as easy as a maintainence schedule as you can possibly get!
Should I Apply Stain or Oil To My Teak Patio Furniture?
- Teak wood is of itself naturally oily and requires no treatment to be used indoors or outdoors.
- The use of teak oil or other products won't increase the life of the timber.
- However the application of Teak Oil or Tung Oil will deepen the colour somewhat and will prevent stains from seeping into the timber grain.
- The application of Teak Oil or Tung Oil will also slow down the greying effect caused by ultra violet rays.
- We found a fine scrub sponge used for cleaning dishes works well to apply a coat of oil to the timber. Simply wipe down with Teak Oil or Tung Oil.
- We discourage the use of varnish or any type of polyurethane finish or sealers as teak is an oily wood and the urethane sealers don’t stick well resulting in the need to refinish the wood in the future.
Taking Care of Your Redwood Furniture
Your Redwood Furniture will last for many years in year-round weather without maintenance.
OGA's "Forever Redwood Furniture" is guaranteed for up to thirty (30) years against decay from weather (depending on the grade of redwood that you choose). Under most conditions, you can expect your furniture to last ten to thirty years without maintenance of any kind.Although our furniture is maintenance-free, it doesn't complain if you clean it…
After the winter season's snow or wet season, take a few minutes to spruce up your set. We clean our display items in spring by hosing them down and taking a minute to brush away accumulated debris. No soap or chemicals are needed.
Being outside year round is rough on the wood's finish. The wood's surface slowly oxidizes and absorbs UV rays, pollution and moisture resulting in the surface color changing towards a silver patina over a couple years. The silver patina is surface deep only (less than 1/100") and is not indicative of decay. Your set will last for decades and is not compromised in any way by the natural surface color change. We keep some of our display items year after year without refinishing them to show off the finish's natural aging (we like the silvering effect!).You can restore the original tones of your furniture in 10 minutes…
…with a power washer. When power washing, be careful not to spray too close to the surface or you may cut into the grain of the wood. Once the set is cleaned up like new, take a couple of minutes and touch up the grain surface with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper by hand. The power washer may create a few rough spots that you can easily smooth out by hand in a few strokes. Then choose any stain/sealant you like because redwood takes well to most. We recommend Superdeck Transparent Sealant. It is a quality product available nationwide. This product is available in 10 transparent and 63 semi-transparent stain colors. We use a mix of stains No. 1905 (Heart Redwood) and No. 1910 (Natural). We recommend that you purchase the two and experiment to get the color tone you prefer.Our furniture is available in many finish options:
Our standard sealant is the Superdeck product mentioned above (1905 and 1910 mixed 50/50). We also offer our furniture "unfinished" if you wish your set to change to a silvered finish quickly. If you are planning to paint your set a specific color, we suggest a two-coat oil-based primer finish in either off-white (for light color paints) or a gray (for richer or darker colors). This makes painting a one-coat process. Our customers report the best results with a mini roller and two thin coats applied one day apart.
If you plan to use your furniture indoors, you may want to consider our wax finish option. The Wax Finish is a carnauba and beeswax blend with orange oil (yes, it smells like squeezed orange peels for a few days after applying). The product we use is called "Howard's Feed 'N Wax". If you choose the wax finish, we add a generous coating to all surfaces of your finely sanded furniture and buff it out. No other finish will be added to the wood. The wax finish can be renewed by simply dusting the furniture with the same rag every couple weeks. Once in a while add a bit of wax to the same rag and go over the furniture to lightly buff and bring back the shine in a few seconds. Some of our customers have used the "Howard's Feed 'N Wax" on their indoor Redwood furniture for decades without ever using anything else. They assure us the furniture looks better each year! We've experimented with the same wax finish for covered patios and outdoors— it doesn't work as well. You have to apply it a lot more than the occasional indoor application. It really works best indoors only. For best results, don't mix with other waxes or finishes. You can purchase a pint of "Howard's Feed 'N Wax" in the paint department of any Home Depot store in the U.S. for less than $10.
The 3 grades of Redwood offer a variety of grain and color tone variations. If you do not like the natural tones of any of the 3 grades of Redwood, we can stain the set a darker color in most cases. A frequently requested no-cost option is to have the young redwood tone stained to either match the mature or the old-growth colors. We can also stain the mature Redwood grade to approximate the old-growth color. And lastly, we can also stain any of the grades to be a very dark coffee color. Just make a note when ordering or via email.
Another excellent product we've used is the Sikkens brand sealants. We don't use Sikkens on our production items normally nor is it offered as a finish option because it's not as readily available as Superdeck nationwide, but some of our customers say its a superior product to the Superdeck. To find out more about Sikkens finishes, go to: http://www.nam.sikkens.com/index-english.cfm.Small checks and cracks: Ignore, fix or replace…
Redwood is ideal for outdoor furniture and structures. It will sit out in the year round weather for decades and remain structurally sound. But, like the old picnic tables in parks, wood furniture in year-round unprotected weather may eventually develop a surface and/or end check from the expansion and contraction caused by changes of temperature and moisture. Over the many years, if your redwood furniture develops a check or crack, it does not compromise the integrity or longevity of the furniture. If your set develops a crack or dent that has a rough edge, lightly sand the spot by hand for a few seconds to smooth out the rough edge. Use 80 grit sandpaper for a few strokes to remove any rough edges and then finish with a fine 150 grit sandpaper to match the smooth surface finish (redwood sands easily). After many years out in the weather, if your set develops a significant check, you can do one of 4 things:
- In most cases, it requires no attention at all for longevity's sake. For example, we have over 2 dozen display items that have been out in the weather for many years. Some since 1995. In that time, one item had one board that developed a 4" long crack— so, it's a rare occurrence. It happens because every once in a long while a board is used to build an item that has built-in stress due to the way the tree grew (the tree could have had a bit of a lean for example). These relatively rare stresses are invisible when the set is built and occasionally appear many years later in the form of a crack. We recommend ignoring it in most cases. Consider it a sign of "character"…
- But, if your crack has a rough edge, take a few minutes to sand it smooth as mentioned above. After sanding, if you want the sanded area to match the rest of the furniture, power wash the set (see "You can restore the original tones of your furniture in 10 minutes" above) and then reseal.
- If the crack is significant or is just unattractive, you can send us a photo so we can make a replacement piece for you at minimal cost. Or,
- If you're a handy person and want to dabble in making the crack "disappear", you can either talk with your local hardware person for a product recommendation specific to your climate, or you can use a two-part epoxy (or five minute or high strength epoxy) available at most hardware stores. You'll need some masking tape and acetone (or nail polish remover that contains acetone). Clean around the crack and mask off the wood out two inches around the crack. Make sure the masking tape is right up on the edges of the crack. Place masking tape underneath the crack to keep the epoxy from falling out the bottom or back side. Mix the epoxy and fill the crack, rubbing it in with your fingers diagonally. BEFORE it has completely cured, remove the masking tape. Remove excess with acetone before it cures. Clean the epoxy off your fingers before it cures. Epoxy dries transparent and will last for many years.
Caring for Wicker Outdoor Furniture
PVC wicker and rattan along with poly resin furniture is growing in popularity. It is attractive to many busy home owners for many reasons. One of those reasons is it being a low maintenance product. PVC wicker, as well as poly resin, is plastic and therefore water and dirt resistant. It can become faded in the sun, damaged by animals and pets who get thrills from gnawing, or damaged when weight limits are not respected.
That being said, the longevity of furniture made from this material is mostly up to the owner and how the furniture is cared for. If kept in out of constant direct sunlight, while giving it enough light to reduce the chances of it developing mold or mildew, the furniture will need very little care. If the PVC furniture is to be in a place where it will frequently become wet or be consistently in direct sun, it would be very wise to cover it with outdoor furniture covers. This will help the furniture to stay looking newer longer.
Keeping the furniture out of areas prone to cause mildew and direct sun along with covering the furniture or storing inside during winter months and unpleasant weather, will reduce the amount of cleaning and care the furniture requires. However, outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements and will likely need to be cleaned. Most of the time water and a very mild soap will take care of dirt and rain spots. Should your PVC wicker or poly resin furniture become stubbornly dirty and need to be cleaned more intensely, here are some helpful suggestions for cleaning it:
- Spay the furniture with a hose using the "jet" setting on the hose attachment to remove excess dirt and grime.
- A product designed to clean boats, like Greezed Lightning, melts body oils and grime. Just be sure to do it outside and rinse well with water.
- Most general purpose cleaning sprays like 409, or Fantastic will do the trick too, however, it is important not to let them sit on the finish for more than a few minutes.
- On a tough stain, you can sand past the stained finish with fine grit wet-dry sandpaper or abrasive powdered cleaner and polish the surface with paste wax to help re-finish where you have sanded. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain (if any) of the resin.
- Mildew can be removed with a spray like Tilex, but be sure to wash clean immediately.
- To get tree sap off your PVC furniture or Vinyl, try Goof Off (or a product similar to that), or WD40. Spray the product on the stain, rub, and wash with soap and water. If any stain remains, try scrubbing with non-gel toothpaste.
If there is remaining concern about caring for your outdoor resin or PVC wicker furniture, contact the manufacturer for help in caring for the product properly. Most furniture does come with care instructions. Do consult these before trying any of the suggestions listed above. Caring for your outdoor furniture properly will keep your outdoor living area looking and feeling clean and fresh for years to come.