How to Refinish a Teak Dining Table

It is easy to get overwhelmed when contemplating the amount of work necessary for a home renovation project, but refinishing a teak dining table doesn’t have to be an intimidating task.

How to Refinish a Teak Dining Table

With some elbow grease and the right materials, you can bring your old dining furniture back to life with a polished look that will have you hosting your favorite dinners in style once again!

In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to refinish a teak dining table from start to finish—including prepping it properly, cleaning and sanding down the surface area, preparing the wood for staining or varnishing if desired, sealing or waxing afterward and caring for your newly refinished piece over time.

Let’s dive into all that goes into making sure your refinished teak dining table is both beautiful and durable in years to come!

What is a Teak Dining Table?

Before we get into the actual refinishing process, it’s important to understand what teak wood is and why it’s traditionally used for dining tables. Teak wood is a tropical hardwood that originates from Southeast Asia—it’s famously known for its durability, natural oils, and rich golden color that patinas beautifully with age.

Teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture due to its ability to resist rot and decay, but it also works great indoors as long as it’s properly cared for.

The Benefits of Having a Teak Dining Table

There are plenty of reasons why having a teak dining table can be beneficial to your home. Teak wood is naturally durable and resistant to warping, so it’s great for people who want something that will last for years without needing too much maintenance.

Its natural oils make it resistant to bugs and water damage, which makes it perfect for dining tables that are exposed to frequent messes. And lastly, teak is incredibly easy to refinish—so if you’re looking for a piece with classic style and an updated finish, a teak dining table is the way to go!

Required Items

Before you begin any refinishing process on your teak dining table, it’s important to make sure you have all the right materials and tools at your disposal. This includes

  • Sandpaper
  • A dust mask
  • A tack cloth for removing dust particles from surfaces after sanding
  • Wood cleaner
  • Oil soap product
  • Stain or varnish (if desired)
  • Steel wool pads
  • Protective gloves and goggles.

Prepping the Table

Once you gather your supplies, begin by removing the table’s hardware (like hinges, handles, and knobs), and wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

Next, sand your table down using an orbital sander, starting with coarse-grit paper and then gradually moving up to finer-grit paper until you achieve your desired smoothness. Use a dust mask to prevent inhaling sanding particles, and be sure to wipe down your table with a tack cloth before moving on to the next step.

10 Steps on How to Refinish a Teak Dining Table

Step 1: Clean Up

Table With a Wood Cleaner

Clean the surface of your teak dining table with a wood cleaner and oil soap product. Dirt, grime, and other debris can easily get trapped in wood grain, so it’s important to start with a clean slate before staining or varnishing.

Step 2: Sand

Sand your teak dining table down using an orbital sander, starting with coarse-grit paper, then gradually moving up to a finer-grit paper until you achieve your desired smoothness. Use a dust mask to prevent inhaling sanding particles, and be sure to wipe down your table with a tack cloth before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Stain or Varnish

If desired, apply stain or varnish to your teak dining table using a brush or a cloth. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the product label for the best results. Varnish is preferable for outdoor dining tables as it offers more protection against the elements.

Step 4: Seal

After you’ve applied stain or varnish, allow your teak dining table to dry and then seal it with a clear protective finish. This will help protect your table from dirt, water damage, and other debris. Sealing also prevents your table from fading over time.

You Have Applied Stain

Step 5: Buff

Once the sealant has dried, use steel wool pads to buff the surface of your teak dining table for a glossy finish. This will give your table an extra shine and help protect it from scratches and dents. Buffing also helps bring out the natural color of the wood.

Step 6: Polish

To give your teak dining table a polished look, apply furniture polish with a soft cloth and then buff it using circular motions. This will help maintain the luster of your table for years to come.

Step 7: Re-oil

Teak wood is naturally porous, so it needs to be oiled regularly in order to maintain its strength and integrity. Apply a teak oil product to the surface of your table using a clean cloth, taking care not to leave any excess behind.

Step 8: Clean-up

Once you’re done refinishing your teak dining table, clean up any leftover dust and debris with a damp cloth. Cleaning up after refinishing is important, so you don’t end up with a messy, uneven finish.

Debris With a Damp Cloth

Step 9: Reinstall Hardware

When your teak dining table is completely dry, reinstall any hardware (like hinges, handles, and knobs) that you removed before beginning the refinishing process.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Now that you’ve successfully refinished your teak dining table, you can enjoy it for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, your teak dining table will stay looking beautiful for many meals to come!

8 Safety Precautions to Follow When Refinishing a Teak Dining Table

When refinishing a teak dining table, it’s important to take all necessary safety precautions. Doing so will ensure that the job is done correctly and safely. Here are eight safety precautions to follow when refinishing a teak dining table:

  1. Read the directions on the products you plan to use very carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The instruction manual or label will provide details about the proper application, precautions, and safety information.
  2. Always wear protective clothing such as an apron or face shield to protect your skin from any splashes of paint, varnish, or other chemicals. The protective wear should also include safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask.
  3. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated during the refinishing process to prevent any hazardous fumes from building up. The area should be equipped with an exhaust fan and appropriate windows to allow for the circulation of fresh air.
  4. Make sure you are working on a flat, stable surface that is away from any flammable materials such as curtains or furniture. The surface should also be covered with a drop cloth to protect it from any splatters or drips.
  5. Disconnect any power tools before beginning the refinishing process. This will help prevent any possible shocks or electrical fires. The power cords should also be kept away from the working area to prevent any possible tripping hazards.
  6. Acquire all the necessary supplies and materials before starting. This will help ensure that you have everything you need at hand and that you don’t accidentally leave out a critical step in the refinishing process.
  7. Securely store any hazardous materials in a safe place out of reach of pets or children. This will help prevent any accidental ingestion or injuries.
  8. Have a fire extinguisher available should there be an accidental fire due to sparks or flammable substances. This can also be used to douse any spills that might occur during the refinishing process.
Disconnect Any Power Tools

Following these safety precautions will help ensure that you have a successful and safe 

experience while refinishing your teak dining table.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take to Finish the Project?

The duration of the project will depend on the size and complexity of the table, as well as your own skill level. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least a few days for preparation and sanding, followed by 1-2 days to apply the finish. The drying time for the finish can also vary depending on the type of product you’re using, so make sure to read the directions carefully.

How Often Should I Refinish My Teak Dining Table?

It is recommended to refinish your teak dining table at least once a year to help maintain its beauty and condition. Doing so will also help to keep the wood looking new and vibrant. However, this could vary depending on the type of finish you choose and how often the table is used.


Having a refinished teak dining table can take your dining area from dull to dynamic. With just a few tools, some time, and effort, you can restore your teak dining table to its former glory. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various finishing methods and techniques – there are plenty of options available, so don’t limit yourself!

Keep in mind the tips provided in this guide on how to refinish a teak dining table. Follow the steps carefully, and you’re likely to have a beautiful piece of furniture that will become one of the focal points of your dining area.

No matter what, refinishing an old teak dining table is always rewarding as it brings life back into furniture that would’ve otherwise been tossed out and forgotten.

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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