How To Restore Teak Furniture and Bring it Back to Life Easily

As someone who grew up in the 60s and 70s I took a real liking to teak wood furniture for indoors. I loved the Scandinavian sleek style and the look and smell of the teak. We got many pieces as wedding presents, and without dating me too much, let’s just say that after 30 or more years, kids and many moves, these pieces looked faded, orange and scratched.

But I simply could not get rid of them, especially the dining table. It was not a huge table put it doubled its size with pieces that pulled out from underneath. The teak I owned did not have a varnished finish, so it needed some care, and unfortunately it got neglected.

But you can bring teak wood furniture back to life with a bit of tender loving care and a big bottle of teak oil!

What you will need to Restore Your Beloved Indoor Teak Wood

Teak oil (you can get this online) extra fine steel wool, rubber gloves, small bowl and lots of clean polishing cloths (not towels as they have fibers that can come loose, just a soft cotton cloth) and an afternoon.


Make sure the piece is dust free, but don’t use any dusting products, just a cloth. Then identify your worst areas such as scratches or patchy areas or cup rings (that is what mine had).

Teak Oil

Then with rubber gloves on, pour some teak oil into your small bowl and then take a piece of extra fine steel wool and dip it in the oil. Now with a light circular motion, work on a small area at a time, such as a scratch. This will help to get the teak oil to penetrate into the scratch which will get rid of that “white or beige” area where the colour has come away.

The teak oil has a honey colour to it, and it will penetrate right into the “wound” Let it sit and work on another area dipping the steel wool into the oil and then rubbing it into the wood. The extra fine steel wool will help to lightly open the wood grain and allow the oil to seep in.

After you have worked on all your bad areas, then take the soft clean cloth and buff the table. This will take off any excess oil and will leave your teak wood furniture piece looking richer and renewed!

After you have buffed and removed the excess oil. Take another cloth and rub more teak oil on it again, then buff
once more. If this is a table, wait at least a day before you put anything on it, or really use it. Your table will look so much better with this treatment.

If your teak wood is simply faded looking with no scratches, then you can take a cloth and liberally wipe the
table down with the oil until it soaks in, and then repeat. But by paying attention to “wounds” you can give your piece a uniform look.

My teak table still has deep grooves where kids had scratched it over the years, but I didn’t want to get into fillers, so I simply followed the steel wool method which I received as good advice from a furniture maker to at least blend the scratches with the rest of the beautiful teak colour. I will not get rid of this table; it has stood the test of time along with the matching buffet.

Indoor Teak Restoration

After fixing the bad areas and really giving it a good drink of oil, it has come back to life and has a soft sheen. So, I now make a point of giving it a quick buff with teak oil at least once a year to keep it looking its best. You can do this yourself quickly and it stops the wood from drying out and looking faded.

If you like teak outdoor furniture then here are tips on how to clean teak outdoor furniture and also buying teak furniture on the cheap and how you can use outdoor privacy screens to create your special oasis to relax.