Commercial teak oil is a blend of either linseed oil or tung oil, with a bit of lacquer and dilbit; called teak oil because it is intended to be used on teak and not because it is extracted from the teak trees.
Teak oils are a class of oil, using either linseed or tung oils as bases, that is meant to enrich the color and texture of teak wood. Teak oil is used on boats and on furniture. Teak wood which has been treated with oil developed more vibrant colors and easily appreciated patterns.
These days, teak oil is made for use on any wood and can often more effectively penetrate wood grains than other finishing oils.
Wood oils should not be applied to wood furniture outdoors, but specialized teak oil for indoor applications can be used to teakwood–note teak oil is not made from teak. On actual teakwood, oil finishes are generally OK for indoor furniture.
There are some good reasons to avoid applying oil on outdoor-used teak wood furniture. Most wood finishes cannot be applied on oiled wood surfaces, because a varnish cannot stick to the surface nor penetrate an oils coat. Fire-retardant stains and varnishes cannot also be applied directly to oiled or waxed wood. The high oil content of teak wood will generally make polishing or lacquering more challenging to adhere to the surface of the wood.
Notes on the Brands of Teak Oil
Some brands say that they are specifically designed for teak and other oily woods, but do not drier as well, which is something you would expect from oily woods, causing oils and varnishes to drier. These do better protection than teak oil due to pigments but also stain the wood, which many people do not like. Tung, teak, and Danish oils are three of the most common wood finishes used. Because teak oil has non-toxic benefits, tung oil is used for wood cutting boards, salad bowls, and wooden spoons.
Because tung oil does not penetrate wood, it is safe to use, and wood can be worked with once you have applied oil. Pure Tung Oil is considered an eco-friendly wood finish because it does not contain any other ingredients or production processes. Often thought the finest, most natural wood finish, tung oil does indeed require a different application process. While tung oil will deepen color and highlight grains if applied, it does not permanently damage the underlying wood, and when removed, the original wood will still look as good as when purchased.
Even when the oil is stripped from the wood, if it needs re-coating or trying another finish, it does not fully regain the original color. It is great to have oil to seal the grains in your wood; this may alter your initial wood color. Applying a lubricant on the surface is meant to slow down color fade, thus making your teakwood look as good as new. After soaking into the wood and giving it a nice finish, the manufactured oil will start to wear off in only a few weeks, taking with it a bit of natural teak oil, leaving your wood’s surface drier and more susceptible to damage than before.
Reflections on the Quality of Linseed Oil
Boiled Linseed Oil (such as this from Sunnyside) applied in this manner can give a lovely finish but does not mainly protect the wood since it has to be used so thinly to avoid creating a wrinkled texture on the surface when drying. Pure Linseed oil, however, will look, feel, and behave a bit differently from the wood, as it does not contain mineral spirits or solvents found in your average teak oil formulation. A product like a tung oil or the mixed boiling linseed oil polyurethanes might not perform entirely as well as teak oil since they will not penetrate close-grained wood deep enough.
Either tung oil or linseed oil may work as a protective finish on the wood alone, but you need to apply them properly. Although linseed oil can be, and is, used as a stand-alone product in both raw and boiled variants, it is most often blended with varnishes and other wood oils to create different products, including Danish oil and Rustin Danish oil.
Teak oil brings out the beauty of the wood, as well as acting as a protective covering because of its UV ray resistance and ability to protect against water staining. The main reason teak makes long-lasting outdoor furniture is its high content of natural oils. Oiling your outdoor teak furniture seriously undermines what is excellent about teak and locks you into a tedious maintenance schedule.
Alternatives and Additions to Teak Oil
Some homeowners might urge to take it one step further and apply oil to their teak outdoor furniture. We will explain why oiling your teak furniture is strictly not recommended to prevent you from making a poor purchase. Danish oil will provide the most robust finish on the pine furniture, though you can use walnut oil to achieve a slightly different finish on your wood.
Danish oil is an excellent option for untreated wood, giving it a glossy finish; this Danish oil from Watco may be a perfect option to include on your shortlist. To help retain its natural blonde color, Danish oil and teak oil are the best oils for finishing, though they may slightly yellow or turn a deeper shade when the wood is exposed to excess UV. Marine uses mineral oil and Behlens Dehydrated Castor Oil on teak and other exotic woods.
Tung oil penetrates wood for protection and nourishing, while the varnish makes for an all-things-considered finish that feels nice and smooth. Its high-natural oils protect the wood from weathering, termites, and pests, which allows you to keep your prized teak pieces outdoors year-round.