How to Keep Teak From Turning Gray

Are you looking for a way to keep your teak furniture from turning gray? Teak is an incredibly durable wood that adds warmth and beauty to any outdoor space. However, it can quickly turn silvery-gray if it isn’t properly cared for. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

How to Keep Teak From Turning Gray

Teak is a highly sought after wood for outdoor furniture because of its natural resilience and durability. However, the sun’s rays can cause teak to become increasingly gray as it ages. While it may seem like you’ll have to replace your furniture sooner than expected, there are various ways to keep your teak looking beautiful and prevent the graying process.

Keep reading this blog post to discover tips on how to keep teak from turning gray and make sure it stays in pristine condition!

What Will You Need?

The most important thing you’ll need when caring for teak is given below:

  1. Teak Cleaner
  2. Soft Bristle Brush
  3. Varnish or Sealant
  4. Sponge/Rag
  5. Bucket of Water
  6. Protective Gloves
  7. Safety Goggles

With these supplies, you’ll be able to effectively care for your teak furniture and keep it from turning gray for years to come.

8 Easy Steps on How to Keep Teak From Turning Gray

Step 1: Clean the Teak Furniture

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the teak furniture. Apply a generous teak cleaner to the surface and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Next, take a soft bristle brush and scrub the furniture gently. Be sure to scrub all surfaces, including any crevices or hard-to-reach areas.

This will remove any dirt, grime, or old sealant that may be present and will prepare the teak for the sealant application. When you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse the furniture with a bucket of water and let it dry completely.

Step 2: Apply the Teak Sealant

Once your teak furniture is completely dry, the next step is to apply the teak sealant. Wearing your protective gloves and safety goggles, apply a generous amount of sealant to a sponge or rag. Spread the sealant evenly across the furniture’s surface, making sure to reach any hard-to-get areas.

Apply the Teak Sealant

The sealant is key to preventing your teak furniture from turning gray, providing a protective layer that shields the wood from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Allow the sealant to dry fully before moving on to the next step. Remember always to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the application and drying times of the sealant.

Step 3: Reapply the Sealant Regularly

To keep your teak furniture looking its best and prevent it from turning gray, it’s essential to reapply the sealant regularly. Depending on the specific product’s instructions and the climate and weather conditions in your area, you may need to reapply the sealant every few months.

Regular reapplication creates a fresh protective layer, ensuring the wood is consistently shielded from the sun’s harmful UV rays and other damaging elements. As with the initial application, ensure the furniture is thoroughly cleaned and completely dry before reapplying the sealant. Taking the time to maintain your teak furniture this way will help keep the wood’s natural color and ensure its longevity.

Step 4: Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Besides applying sealant, regular cleaning and maintenance are also crucial in keeping your teak furniture from turning gray. Wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth at least once a week to remove dust and dirt. Use a mild soap and water solution if the furniture appears particularly dirty.

Use a Mild Soap

It is important to avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers, as they can damage the wood and strip away the protective sealant. By incorporating these maintenance practices into your routine, you can preserve the natural color of your teak furniture and prevent it from turning gray.

Step 5: Cover or Store the Furniture

Covering or storing your teak furniture during seasons when it’s not in use or during extreme weather conditions is also important. Furniture covers can help protect the wood from exposure to sun, rain, snow, and other damaging elements.

These covers should be made of breathable fabric to prevent moisture from becoming trapped and causing mold or mildew. Alternatively, store your furniture in a shed or garage. This extra step can significantly extend the life and beauty of your teak furniture, preventing it from turning gray and preserving its natural color.

Step 6: Consider Using a Teak Protector

If you’re still noticing your teak furniture turning gray over time, consider using a teak protector. Unlike sealants, teak protectors penetrate the wood and protect it from within, providing a barrier against weathering and discoloration. To apply, make sure your teak furniture is clean and completely dry.

Then, using a sponge or rag, apply the teak protector evenly across all surfaces of your teak furniture. Allow it to dry fully before using the furniture again. As with sealants, you’ll want to reapply the teak protector regularly to maintain its effectiveness. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Step 7: Monitor Your Furniture Regularly

Regularly inspect your teak furniture for signs of graying or any other damage. Early detection can make the restoration process much easier. If you notice any gray spots, use a soft bristle brush and a mixture of mild soap and water to clean the area, then reapply the sealant or teak protector.

Remember, frequent inspection and early intervention can go a long way in keeping your teak furniture in its natural color and preventing it from turning gray.

Step 8: Address Any Stains Immediately

If you notice any stains on your teak furniture, address them immediately. Stains can come from a variety of sources, such as food spills, bird droppings, or rust from metal accessories. To remove them, make a mild soap and water solution and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush.

Scrub Gently With a Soft Brush

You may need to use a specialized teak cleaner for more stubborn stains. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly and let the furniture dry completely. Once dry, reapply your sealant or teak protector to keep your furniture from turning gray.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your teak furniture looks its best and retains its natural color. Proper cleaning, maintenance, and protection will make your teak furniture beautiful!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use teak oil regularly. Regularly applying quality teak oil helps keep the wood looking its best and can help prevent it from turning gray.
  2. Ensure the teak is properly sealed. Sealing your furniture with a quality sealant will help protect it from weathering and keep its color looking vibrant for longer.
  3. Keep furniture in the shade. Keeping outdoor furniture in the shade can help prevent it from turning gray, as direct sunlight can cause discoloration.
  4. Add a protective layer. Adding a layer of protection to the furniture, such as a plastic cover or tarp, can help keep it from weathering and turning gray.
  5. Wash with mild soap and water. To clean your teak furniture, use a mild soap and water solution on a soft cloth or brush to remove dirt and debris. This will help keep the wood looking its best.

With some maintenance, you can keep your teak furniture looking as good as new. Taking the time to regularly oil, seal, and clean it will help preserve its original color and beauty for years.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid using harsh cleaners. Harsh cleaning products can damage the wood and cause discoloration more quickly.
  2. Don’t pressure wash teak furniture. Pressure washers can be too strong for teak furniture and can cause it to become damaged or discolored.
  3. Don’t leave teak furniture out in the sun for extended periods. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause the wood to fade and turn gray more quickly.
  4. Don’t use steel wool or abrasive pads. These materials can scratch the surface of the teak furniture, making it look dull and aging faster than normal.
  5. Avoid using chemicals on teak furniture. Many household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage the wood and cause it to turn gray.
Don't Pressure Wash Teak Furniture

These tips will help keep your furniture looking beautiful and prevent it from turning gray. With regular maintenance, teak furniture can last for many years and remain a functional and stylish addition to any outdoor space.


The key to keeping teak from turning gray is regular cleaning and maintenance. Whether you use natural cleaners or opt for a store-bought product, the secret lies in its consistent, proper application. Removing that build-up and dirt on the wood prevents it from turning gray over time.

Plus, regularly oiling the surface can help bring out its original warmth and beauty that got you interested in teak furniture in the first place!

Even if your outdoor teak pieces have started to turn gray, you can easily restore their original look with some elbow grease and a few simple steps. Try out our tips today, and you’ll find yourself with beautiful teak outdoor furniture for years to come!

Hopefully, the article on how to keep teak from turning gray has been helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read it! 

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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