Preserving Your Teak Furniture: Varnished VS Unvarnished Wood

Dining tables are amongst the most important furniture in any home. Not only do you enjoy your meals here, but it is where you also spend quality time with your family. There are of course various materials you can choose from when it comes to dining tables, but those made of teak are most the popular. Teak furniture is so popular because it is very durable; it looks great and does not need any special care to keep it protected from the outdoor elements.
dining tables
Teak has its own natural oil which keeps the wood waterproof and keeps all wood-eating insects, including termites, away. However, over time your teak wood furniture will start to change its colour due to the natural weathering process. This is absolutely usual, and will not affect its strength, quality or durability. The change in color is just an aesthetic issue, and many people find the aged silver grey look of unvarnished teak wood furniture even more appealing.

Though most teak furniture brands will suggest you not to stain your teak furniture, but if you still want your furniture to look just like new, and like the golden brown color more than the grayish one, then there are two things you can do. First, you can varnish it with teak oil, or you can use a wood sealer. Most manufacturers advise against the use of teak oil for unvarnished furniture as for the inexperienced hand, this may result in uneven colours on furniture.

A common misconception is that teak oil is made from the oils found in teak. Teak oil is commonly made from tung oil or linseed oil and other ingredients. It is known as teak oil because it is used for teak wood, though it can be used for other types of wood as well. Teak furniture brands generally suggest using a teak sealer that seals in the natural oil of teak, and you do not need to use it continuously. It does offer some protection against mold and stains though it does not completely eliminate the risks. However, do note that some sealers come with colouring/staining elements, so it would be wise to look out for the colours that match your teak piece.

Apart from visual appearance, there is not much difference between varnished and unvarnished teak furniture. As such, keep your teak unvarnished if you want your teak to go through the natural weathering process. But if you wish to offer your teak a genuine protection from moisture, rot, dirt or pollution, then you’d rather try varnished teak furniture. Click here to learn various ways of taking care of teak wood furniture.

If you do not want to get involved in varnishing your teak furniture periodically, but still want to preserve the original colour for as long as possible, you should use a teak sealer. It will preserve the golden-yellow color, will not harm the wood, and you can stop applying it whenever you want. However do remember that some sealers are tinted with colour, and may affect the colour of your furniture. Sealers are not recommended for already-varnished products.

Cheryl Lim works at Scanteak - a renowned brand that sells beautifully designed and lasting teak furniture in Singapore and around the world.  At Scanteak, we pride ourselves on 39 years of crafting Teak, a prized tropical hardwood, into furniture of timeless, classic designs. Our Scandinavian ideology maintains that furniture should complement our lifestyles, so that we’ll always have time for the things that truly matter – friends, family, and feeling at home.


Unknown said...

I do believe that in wood furniture’s it is really very important that the wood is being sealed most especially if the furniture is your dining table. It is prone to getting wet and the more reason that it needs to be polished in order to preserve the integrity of the wood.