before and after

How We Restored Our Teak Wood Outdoor Furniture by Cleaning and Refinishing

What We Restored: (Qty 1) 117” Double Extension Rectangle Table; (Qty 6) Chairs

Restoration Time: Three hrs cleaning (two people); Two hrs oiling first coat (two people); Two hrs oiling second coat (one person); One hr oiling third coat (one person)

*We cleaned our teak wood outdoor furniture with a no-sanding method using products that state they are “ideal for use on teak, rosewood, eucalyptus, bamboo, and mahogany”

About nine years ago, we got our second-hand Smith & Hawken teak wood outdoor dining furniture set for our patio. It’s well made and durable but the wood had badly weathered to a gray finish and we weren’t familiar with the restoration process of teak wood at the time. Over the years, it began to mildew due to neglect on our part because life got busy with three kids and we never cleaned or covered it.

Condition of our teak furniture before the restoration. Teak can weather over time to a silvery-grey finish, especially when exposed to sunlight.

I didn’t mind the gray too much but after nine years, it was filthy with mildew and ready for a good cleaning! I can’t believe we’ve dined out here all these years ignoring this fact.

We researched the best way to clean and restore our teak wood outdoor furniture, by reading through lots of articles and watching Youtube videos, before deciding on the best products and method to use. I also discovered lots of photo examples where people had successfully restored their badly weathered gray/black teak furniture to its original warm tone without sanding which gave me some hope!

I’ll admit that I wasn’t confident we could get it to look like new but felt we could clean it and it would look better. But wow, were we blown away! After our research, we decided to order Star Brite Teak Cleaner/Brightener and Star Brite Teak Oil. It’s available in many hardware, home improvement and boat stores but we found that it was by far the cheapest to order from Home Depot. So how do you clean and refinish badly weathered gray teak wood furniture? Keep reading to find out exactly what we did to restore our weathered teak wood outdoor dining furniture set and have it looking brand new…with no sanding!


What We Restored: (Qty 1) 117” Double Extension Rectangle Table; (Qty 6) Chairs

Restoration Time: Three hrs cleaning (two people); Two hrs oiling first coat (two people); Two hrs oiling second coat (one person); One hr oiling third coat (one person)

Cleaning Portion:

  • (Qty 2) 32 fl oz. Star Brite Cleaner & Brightener *states that it is “ideal for use on teak, rosewood, eucalyptus, bamboo, and mahogany”

  • (Qty 4 Pairs) Protective Gloves for cleaning and oiling

  • (Qty 1) Scrub brush

  • (Qty 2) Old toothbrush

Refinishing/Oiling Portion:

  • Qty 2) 32 fl oz. Star Brite Oil *states that it “seals and protects all fine wood”

  • (Qty 3) Foam Brush w/ handle (get a couple or more for larger furniture pieces)

  • Sponge Applicator Pad to saturate large area

  • Clean Rags to wipe excess oil

  • Empty Spray Bottle to fill with cleaner & brightener

  • Old To-go Container

  • Drop Cloth for oiling process


*Note: You can purchase the cleaner and brightener separately. We wanted the combo to skip an extra step. The brightener is for those who want to lighten the wood and bring back the warm tone.

  • Step 1. Hose down furniture if lightly weathered. For badly weathered teak, you can apply the cleaner & brightener directly to the dry wood (we ended up just hosing ours down because the day we planned to tackle the cleaning, it was lightly raining on and off).

  • Step 2. Pour Teak Cleaner & Brightener into clean empty spray bottle.

  • Step 3. Spray and saturate area to be scrubbed.

  • Step 4. Use scrub brush or toothbrush to scrub areas that were sprayed, working in sections.

  • Step 5. Hose down areas that were cleaned. We did this halfway to see the difference!

    *Note: We read that it is not recommended to pressure wash teak wood because it could increase the likelihood of splintering. We ended up using our pressure washer but at the lowest setting because our wood was so filthy! Use at your risk!

Look at the side by side difference!

All Cleaned up!


Teak wood furniture completely dried after cleaning and brightening application

I couldn’t believe how much the wood lightened! The brightener portion almost bleached out the wood. Our teak wood furniture set looked so fresh and CLEAN!


  • Step 1. Make sure wood furniture is completely dry. Lay down drop cloth under furniture.

  • Step 2. Pour Teak Oil into a to-go container to streamline this process. At first, we were squeezing out the oil into our brush and realized this was a much faster way!

  • Step 3. Dip foam brush or sponge pad (depending on the surface coverage) and apply directly to wood furniture. You’ll want to saturate it evenly and brush in the direction of the wood grain.

  • Step 4. Wait about 5 minutes to allow to soak into wood before wiping off excess oil with a rag. Keep on applying until you’ve covered every surface.

  • Step 5. Wait for the Teak Oil to dry and see if you need a second coat. We actually did three coats because our wood was so dry and just drank up the oil!

After the first coat of Teak Oil application. The wood soaked up all the oil because it had never been cleaned or refinished so it was very dry!


Photography by Canary Grey

*Note: At the time we had photos taken, we did two coats of oil. After, we decided to do a third coat but the difference can be seen minimally in photos. It is recommended to seal/oil teak wood every 6-12 months but I’ve read that once a year is sufficient as long as there’s no sign of weathering.

Here’s the finished result with two coats of oil and no sanding involved! It was really satisfying to restore our teak wood outdoor dining furniture! We also replaced the umbrella and seat cushions with Sunbrella fabric to protect against the outdoor elements. Making something old, new again will always feel rewarding. Hope you found this post helpful and inspirational!

Sweetest Regards,


Product Sources

Sweetest Regards, Patti