Wood patio furniture is beautiful, but it can quickly wear out in the weather. It doesn’t help that patio sets are usually coated with varnishes that don’t penetrate past the surface, leaving the wood unprotected.
Exhibit A: This was my outdoor furniture after a few years of use, despite being shielded on a covered deck in a mild climate.
So I finally refreshed my furniture with a penetrating teak oil and new outdoor cushions. It’s simple to do with a weekend and some elbow grease.
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About Teak Oil
Teak oil promises to protect the wood from within, restoring the natural appearance of your furniture. It penetrates into the wood, so it won’t chip or wear off like surface coatings do.
Since my teak oil was not tinted like typical wood stains, I wasn’t sure what kind of transformation to expect.
The before and after image on the cover of this can is pretty dramatic. Could it really revive the weathered wood like that?
Yep, this teak oil delivered.
It enhanced the natural wood as promised, warming it up and bringing out the unique grain pattern.
Teak oil is recommended for indoor and outdoor furniture, especially with dense wood like teak, mahogany and rosewood. It worked perfectly for my acacia wood patio furniture.
Restoring Wood Patio Furniture With Teak Oil
Follow these steps to refresh your outdoor furniture.
- Safety gear (mask, gloves, goggles)
- Damp cloth to clean furniture
- Sandpaper or power sander
- Teak oil (we used 3.5 cans of the WATCO brand)
- Brush, cloth or roller for applying teak oil (we used foam brushes)
- Clean rags to wipe off the teak oil
- Cardboard or drop cloth to catch spills
1. Wash and Prep Furniture
First remove the old cushions and clean up the furniture. Get rid of any dust and grime with a good hosing off. Let it dry.
We did this in advance so the furniture would be ready for sanding and staining over the weekend.
2. Sand and Smooth Wood
Safety Note: Do not sand if you think your furniture contains lead paint.
Sand away whatever’s left of your old varnish…it may not be much. We used 120-grit sandpaper and a power sander to remove the remaining varnish and smooth out the surface of the wood.
3. Apply Teak Oil to Patio Furniture
Safety Note: Teak oil is highly flammable and smelly stuff. Use it outside with safety gear like masks, gloves and goggles. Don’t leave teak oil or oil-soaked rags out in the sun. Check your teak oil for specific instructions.
The WATCO oil says to generously “flood” it onto the furniture with a brush, cloth, roller or spray and leave it on for 30 minutes. Follow up with a second coat, and wipe it off with a clean cloth after 15 minutes.
Teak oil will draw out the natural character of the wood.
Here’s how my patio furniture looked right after the first coat. Already so much better!
After the waiting period, make sure to thoroughly wipe off the teak oil. If there’s excess oil, it will leave drip marks like this.
4. Let Everything Dry
Check your teak oil for expected drying times, and consider padding that time to be on the safe side. Remember to flip the furniture over to let the feet dry, too.
Our furniture was still slightly tacky the next day. We waited three days to make sure it dried completely before adding cushions.
If your restored furniture starts to look weathered again down the road, you can give it a fresh coat of teak oil.
Finding Outdoor Cushions
After restoring my wood furniture, hunting down new outdoor seat cushions turned out to be the bigger challenge. There are LOTS of cushion sizes out there, and it can be tricky to find a match for your patio set.
Here are some places to look.
- Amazon has tons of outdoor cushions and replacement cushion covers if you can track down the right size.
- Home Depot has a variety of sizes with square, rectangle and rounded options.
- Lowe’s has several sizes, including these seat pads I was considering.
- Walmart has lots of options, like these square tufted cushions.
You might also want to check Wayfair, Overstock, AllModern and Target, or consider making or ordering custom cushions.
After a long search, I was lucky to find these gray Sunbrella cushions in just the right size at Costco this spring.
Since they didn’t have loveseat cushions, I doubled up with two single seat cushions on my loveseat. Charlie doesn’t seem to mind.
I got the turquoise and navy outdoor pillows from Walmart several years ago, and they have held up well. Now we’re ready to catch up on some relaxation time!