Bringing Wooden Deck Furniture Back to Life

Teak patio furniture

Teak patio furniture

Despite the winter cold weather and almost constant rain, it’s time to be thinking of how to bring your deck furniture back to life for spring.  Most of us tend to leave our deck furniture outside in all the elements to take the pounding of the suns powerful UV rays, and anything else mother nature can throw at it.

This has a detrimental effect on the life span of your precious deck furniture, yet we can do so much to help protect it, and bring it back to life.

Yes, it will require some elbow grease, but as spring is right around the corner, it is going to be so much easier than trying to attempt this in the hot weather of summer in a few months.  Make sure you have a free half day to do this. It would be fun make the job more pleasant to invite a friend to help,  or make it family project with the help of your kids or partner.  This is a great team building exercise, and you will be surprised at the end results.

I normally recommend to plan ahead and to make a list of what materials you will need for this small project.  I assume here that we are working with solid teak furniture that has been outside for a couple of years, and is looking a little worse for wear.  The colour is fading, the varnish is peeling and the heat marks and stains from food are showing much more than when new.

Before you begin the manual labour, give your furniture a deep wash, with warm soapy water, to remove any debris or grease build up on the surface.  Leave this to drive in the open for at least 12 hours (overnight is usually satisfactory).

Once the wood surface is fully dried, take an electric sander (or sanding block) to take off the top layers of varnish and to expose the beautiful raw teak laying under the surface. 

Use a fine grit sandpaper, but remember to keep in the direction of the grain, otherwise you run the risk of damaging the wood permanently. 

Once you have exposed the raw teak, gently brush (or vacuum) the dust away from the surfaces, being sure to get into those little nooks and crannies!

I always recommend using a high quality yacht varnish for outdoor teak furniture, as it is made for all conditions at sea, and produces one of the most robust surfaces you will encounter. This should be done undercover. Use your garage, garden shed or somewhere protected from the elements while applying varnish.

Yacht varnish leaves a tough, long lasting and completely water and weather proof finish, and will be the envy of all your friends and neighbors!

Apply the varnish to your outdoor furniture with a soft bristle brush. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying additional coats.  It is best to leave it 24 hours before each coat, and remember you can apply as many coats of varnish as you like, the more you apply, the longer lasting the protection. 

Between each coat, use a wet and dry sandpaper to etch the surface in readiness for the additional coat of varnish.

Once the surfaces have dried properly, then your furniture is ready to be placed outdoors into the elements once again. This time you will know the protection and shine will last a lot longer than previously.  It is always advisable to store your furniture out of the elements, or when not in use for long periods of time.

If you are looking to buy high quality outdoor deck furniture why not take a look at the incredible bargains online. Save hundreds of dollars by buying used or discounted. Improve or add the finishing touches yourself to a neglected piece of second hand outdoor furniture.


About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.


  1. Good tips. No deck, no patio and no wooden furniture.

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