Does Teak Turn Grey?

Wood is one of the most beautiful materials to work with. It has such a wide variety and shades of colours, along with an elegant grain pattern. Though it also gets affected by natural elements and factors a lot. For instance, the wood starts to grow mildew and other fungi on it if not protected from water. However, the most common issue with outdoor wood has to be greying. Most outdoor furniture is made from teak due to its higher resistant properties. Though even teak isn’t going to stay the same colour forever. Though one question on the mind of most people has to be, does teak turn grey? Sit back as we guide you through the answer and if it does then how to prevent that from happening.

Yes, teak can turn grey under long exposure to UV rays. Most of the time, direct and harsh sunlight is the culprit for wood to turn grey. Teak being famous wood for outdoor furniture sits under the sun a lot. So it can turn grey if not given proper care and treated properly. There are other factors, like moisture, that only add to the problem.

Sun degradation is a very problematic factor for people who enjoy the natural beauty of wood. It discolours wood, drying it out, and turns it grey. However, you can always maintain the beauty of wood and prevent the sun from ruining it. Using a sealer with UV inhibitors is the best way to deal with sun degradation and make sure that wood is going to stay the colour it was meant to be.

Why Does Teak Wood Turn Grey

Wood, while being a very strong material to build furniture out of, is also fragile against moisture and dryness. Teak wood is resistant to water, so that is not a huge problem for furniture made out of it. However, sun degradation is still an issue that the natural resistance of teak cannot get out of. When wood is exposed to the weather for too long it starts to turn grey. Teak has a beautiful grain pattern and colour, which is very pleasant to look at. The natural resistance it has to moisture makes it ideal for outdoor furniture making.

Many people use teak for benches and tables in their lawns and gardens. It is a hardy and strong hardwood that can withstand the water from rain. Though the constant exposure to the sun may cause the teak wood to get a weathered look. While teak is resistant to moisture, it is not completely waterproof. So a period of exposure to water and sun together gives it a weathered look. It loses its beautiful colour and ends up discoloured and grey.

5 Tips for Preventing Teak from Greying

1. Covering Your Outdoor Teak Furniture

When you are not using your outdoor teak furniture, it is best to cover it up. This protects it from direct sunlight and rain. Using something made with waterproof material will help prevent rain from directly being absorbed by the furniture. It will also keep the sun from causing UV degradation. These days people create custom furniture covers made out of materials of their choice. Taking advantage of such a service ensures that you can save tons on refinishing your furniture frequently.

2. Making Portable Teak Furniture

Portability is a very important factor in furniture these days. Being able to put away chairs and tables is a great way to prevent teak wood from getting grey. Of course, this is also convenient when you have to move from one place to another. Portable furniture is lightweight and also made with durability in mind. During rains or when generally you are not using the teak wood furniture, you can just store it inside the garage or on a shaded porch.

3. Building a Roof On Your Lawn

Most outdoor furniture is placed on your lawn or backyard. During the day it can get very hot and adding a sunroof of sorts will help you chill in the breeze while making sure you are not getting burnt from direct exposure to the sun. Though protecting your skin is not the only thing a sunroof can help in. It will also reduce exposure to the elements which can cause teak wood to grey.

4. Using a Sealer With UV Inhibitors

Sealing wood is the best way to protect it from moisture damage. While teak is a great wood that has natural water resistance qualities, it can still rot and get damaged from prolonged exposure to water. To protect your outdoor teak furniture you can always rely on a good sealer to help seal the wood from the weather. However, that is not the only thing sealers do, you can find sealers with UV inhibitors that reflect UV rays from the sun preventing the degradation and greying of wood.

5. Regular Maintenance

Wood with regular maintenance can last for a long time. Even teak wood which is very durable and hardy can use annual maintenance. When your teak furniture starts to lose its natural colour and becomes grey, you can always sand it lightly and apply a coat of your favourite sealer to ensure that it stays beautiful for a long time.

Restoring and Cleaning Grey Teak Furniture

After a while, every object made of wood requires restoring and cleaning up. Teak wood can turn grey after a year or so and will require you to clean and restore it so that it can look fresh and young again. Restoring and cleaning grey teak furniture is not very difficult. All you need is a sander and some quality sealer, one with UV inhibitors, to make it look young again.

If your teak furniture has already been finished before, you will need to take it off. To do so you will have to use a sander with fine-grit sandpaper. Though it will take some time, it will also ensure that you don’t remove too much material as you said. After sanding it for a while you need to clean it off using mineral spirits or with a wet sponge and microfiber cloth.

When you remove the dust and are sure that the teak furniture is clean, it is time to apply a few coats of your sealer. If you want to prevent your teak furniture from greying again, make sure to use a sealer with UV inhibitors. Apply one coat of your sealer and leave it to dry out. Once it has completely dried, which might take 12-24 hours, apply another coat. Continue this till you reach the desired number of coatings.

After that, you need to let the finish cure out, which can take anywhere from 14 days to a month depending on the weather conditions. Make sure to do this in an open and well-ventilated area as the fumes from the sealer can be harmful if inhaled.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take teak wood to grey?

It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year for teak to grey. It depends on the weather conditions of your region. If it is very sunny and rains often, then it might grey out sooner than a year.

Will teak wood turn grey indoors?

No, teak wood will not turn grey indoors if it is not exposed to direct sun and moisture. It will lose its sheen after a year or so. However, any wood loses its sheen after a while as it gets dirty from being used. 

Final Thoughts

Teak is a great wood and can be slightly expensive to use. It can be expensive to get furniture made out of teak wood, so taking care of it is necessary. If you make sure to protect it from the elements, then it will not turn grey. Annually resealing the teak furniture and giving it care will ensure that it lasts for a long time.

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