Can Teak Wood Be Polyurethaned

A lot of consideration goes into applying a coat of your finish to wood. You don’t just choose the cheapest stuff and wipe it on the surface of lumber. Depending on what is the purpose of the wooden item you are building, you need to choose a finish accordingly. Polyurethane is a finish that goes well with many types of wood and pretty much suits any purpose. Though does it work well on outdoor wood like teak? In this article, we will be exploring whether can teak is polyurethaned or not.

Yes, teak can be polyurethaned to seal and protect it from moisture. While teak is highly water-resistant, it is not 100% waterproof. You will still need to apply a coat of finish on it to protect it from moisture damage. Teak wood, over time, can rot and decay over time due to absorbing too much water. Since teak is an outdoor wood, it can absorb water from a lot of sources. So to ensure that it does not do so, a few coats of polyurethane can seal teak wood.

Polyurethane is a clear coat finish that creates a hard film or barrier when it dries. While it increases the durability of the wood you apply it on, its main purpose is to seal wood so it cannot absorb any moisture. While creating a barrier between wood and moisture, it also prevents lumber from getting scratched or dented. Polyurethane is extremely easy to apply, you can find wipe-on poly from a lot of brands nowadays. Though make sure to let it cure before you can put the wood to use properly if you want the best results.

Why Should You Polyurethane Your Teak?

Teak is a great wood, in fact, one of the best for outdoor furniture. This is because of its natural quality of being highly water resistant. People use teak wood for outdoor furniture as it can withstand rain and harsh weather. However, like most woods, it is just water-resistant and not waterproof. So even teak can rot and decay when it absorbs too much water. Not to mention the sun degradation can cause it to grey out as well. Using a sealer like polyurethane can help prevent teak wood from taking in too much water that can later on cause it to rot, decay, and become grey.

Polyurethane brands offer their products with UV inhibitors that protect the wood from drying out due to the heat of the sun and turning grey. Not to mention a few coats of a good poly product can also seal it in. This means that it does not absorb any moisture and stays dry. Not only that, but it also keeps the beautiful colour of teak the same for a long time. Also, this means that your teak furniture will not get scratched and dented when you use it. So using polyurethane on your teak wood is a great idea.

How Do You Weatherproof Teak

Why Do You Need to Weatherproof Wood?

Weatherproofing wood is an important element when you are working on a woodworking project. Wood succumbs to rot and decays easily if it absorbs moisture. To help prevent that from happening, weatherproofing wood is the best way to go. Not only that, wood can dry out in hot and sunny weather, losing its colour, and turning grey. This can be a big problem for those who are looking for wooden furniture for its appeal and durability. So the best method to prevent this from happening is to use a sealer.

Sealing Teak Wood

Teak wood is specifically sought after for its outdoor applications. This is due to its resilience against moisture damage. However, even teak can succumb to rot and decay from prolonged exposure to water. Weatherproofing teak is extremely important, to do so you need to use a sealer to finish it. The best sealer you can find in the market for your money is polyurethane. It seals the teak from the outside, making sure that it cannot absorb any moisture.

Guide on Sealing Teak Wood

Firstly, choose a good brand of polyurethane that also includes UV inhibitors. Teak can turn grey as well, so to prevent it from doing so, it is best to use a finish with UV inhibitors. Sun degradation also causes the finish to dry out and chip off. So you also increase the durability of the finish this way. After that you need to sand your wooden project, first, you sand it with 80-grits and work your way up the grits accordingly.

When you reach 180-grits, clean off the dust and apply a coat of your polyurethane. It will take around 12 hours to dry properly. Once it is dry, time to apply another coat. Make sure to wipe off any excess so that it can dry quickly. Apply as many coats of polyurethane as you want and then wait for at least 14 days to let it cure. Once cured, you can now place your teak furniture outdoors and it will stay protected for around a year or so. 

Once the sealer wears off and you see the need to refinish it, just sand it lightly to remove the previous finish and just apply the desired number of your polyurethane coats.

What is The Best Treatment for Teak

If you are looking for a natural finish that will help teak wood thrive in the outdoors, then you can apply a teak oil finish. Though it is not made from teak trees, it is named so because it helps repel moisture. It also replenishes wood, making it look beautiful and preventing it from drying. Though it does not seal teak wood so it will not completely weatherproof it. Not to mention you will need to apply teak oil to the outdoor teak wood furniture frequently if you want it to look fresh.

However, a good quality polyurethane finish will seal the wood entirely, prevent it from drying out and weatherproof it. You can also apply a clear coat finish after applying a coat of teak oil. This replenishes the teak and seals it at the same time. You cannot apply any other finish over your polyurethane though as it dries to a hard film.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How do you weatherproof your teak?

To weatherproof teak wood, you need to use a sealer with UV inhibitors to finish it

Can I put wax on top of teak oil?

Yes, you can apply wax on top of any oil finish, teak oil is not an exception. You can also apply a clear coat finish like varnish or polyurethane on top of an oil-finished teak surface.

Is beeswax good for teak furniture?

Beeswax is not a good finish for outdoor furniture. Due to the high heat from the sun, beeswax can wear off pretty quickly. Using a heat-resistant wax like carnauba wax from the Brazilian palm tree is much better in comparison.

Final Thoughts

While being a great material to build furniture out of, wood also requires extreme care. Applying a good sealer like polyurethane can extend the life of any lumber, especially if it’s teak wood used outdoors. You can find quality polyurethane brands these days online with ease that contain UV inhibitors to completely protect teak furniture. Just make sure to apply enough coats so that the outdoor teak furniture is sealed off completely against any moisture damage.

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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