How To Restore Teak Furniture In Two Steps


1960s Vintage Danish Teak furniture is a testament to some of the best in minimalist design, so how do you ensure it lasts forever? Teak wood is the most durable wood in the world but it is not
maintenance free. We want to provide some care-tips, so you can restore Teak furniture for indoors or outdoors. And get many years of enjoyment out of it.

Vintage Teak Furniture Denmark Factory Stamp

Teak wood has an inherently dark rich patina that is extremely durable however over the course of six months to a year it can start to turn grey. Now it’s totally up to you, you could let your teak furniture blend into the stonework and keep that weathered look or if you’re a Teak-furniture-purist and ‘respect wood’ (as Seinfeld aptly put it) you will want to retain it’s look. Assuming you love vintage and are part of the latter camp, it is a two step process let’s get started.

Step One – Elbow Grease

With mild soapy water and a soft clean cloth wipe down the teak furniture and clean any wine stains, deposits or dirt residue. If you find that some dirt is heavily ingrained this can be removed with a fine 220 grade sandpaper or higher. Ensure you sand gently in the direction of the wood grain. After you’ve finished cleaning the furniture and it’s void of dirt and dust, let it completely dry.


Step Two – Teak Oil

Buy 1 Quart of classic Minwax 67100 Teak Oil it’ll last you forever. To maintain that rich patina Teak wood furniture gets, you will need to oil it periodically. Teak Oil will not increase the life of the timber but it will bring back that rich wood grain and protect it from stains and greying caused by UV rays.

Next up buy yourself a good set of paint brushes, clean cotton rags (old clean cotton t-shirts work well) and ensure you have plenty of light and space to work in. This will be a messy job and the smell is toxic so if you’re doing this indoors wear a mask and have proper ventilation and put newspapers on the floor around the furniture. Be sure to wear overalls and rubber gloves to protect your clothes and your hands.

Vintage Teak Furniture Dresser

Apply the oil with your 1″ or 2″ paint brush starting from the top and working your way down to the floor, your brush strokes should be following the grains of the wood. The wood surface should be wet with oil. Do not leave so much oil behind that it builds up because it will leave dark patches if left to dry later.

After fifteen minutes your Teak furniture should be tacky to touch. At this point you can wipe it down with a clean cotton rag to take away any surplus oil buildup. After an hour of drying repeat the oiling process to provide a second coat, when the wood is dry to touch a second time use a clean rag again to buff the surface.

Stand back, admire the beauty of this fresh new coat on your vintage teak furniture in all it’s Danish simplicity and let out a big fat “RESPECT WOOD!”


More Vintage Articles

1. Things To Do In Palm Beach For Vintage Hunters
2. Road Trips Were Made For Finding Vintage Teak Furniture
3. The Diningroom Set With Custom Teak High-back Chairs


  1. Heather MacDonald says


    I just inherited the exact teak set in the photo – that is the sideboard and hutch as shown, plus a table with a centre fold-out extension, and 4 chairs.

    It’s all in excellent shape, except for one thing: my elderly aunties were smokers! And this beautiful set reeks of years of cig smoke!

    I’ve read numerous articles on removing the smell with a dilution of white vinegar. Would you kindly weigh in on this? Also, I read that ‘teak oil’ is anything but, and it shouldn’t be used to dress furniture.

    All I have used so far is Murphy’s oil soap to remove the stains, and built-up grime. It already looks good!
    I then dressed the table with beeswax, but the cig smell is still around!

    If you can suggest what to do, I’d be so grateful!
    Thanks very much!
    Heather in Ottawa, Canada

    • Chris Hobson says

      Hi Heather, a quick spray with Pledge lemon scent every month will eventually do the trick. Thanks for stopping by!

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