teak oil for wood

Some factors like sun, humidity and even the passage of time affect the wood, especially if it is outdoors.

To avoid this deterioration, which is evident when the wood loses its natural color and cracks appear, it is necessary to treat it. Many can be used for this, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

This time, we’ll focus on teak oil, a natural option that stands out for its nutritional properties and for returning a natural color for wood.

What is teak oil?

Teak oil is a wood finish that combines natural products with others of industrial origin. Contrary to popular belief, natural components are not obtained from the teak tree, but are usually tung or flaxseed oils.

The reason why it is commercially called «teak oil“They are not entirely clear, although they probably have a lot to do with the suggestion that the application of this finish will give some of the exceptional characteristics that teak wood has.

Although it can also be used indoors, it is especially suitable for wood exposed to the elements. Can be applied to any wood, not exclusively in teak.


This industrially manufactured compound, in addition to the aforementioned natural oils, may contain other compounds to improve some properties such as UV filters, fungicides, tones … This makes the offer wide and diverse.

When it comes to buying teak oil, we can find it in different shades and shapes:

  • Shades or colors: transparent, light woods (honey), dark woods (teak).
  • Formats: can or spray.

Properties of teak oil

Among the features of this product are:

  • It does not create a film, but is absorbed by the wood.
  • Nourishes and hydrates the wood.
  • It can offer filter against ultraviolet rays.
  • It protects the wood from the harmful action that moisture can have.
  • Excellent product resistance to sudden environmental changes.
  • It is also suitable for marine environments (not submerged).
  • Stops discoloration of the wood.
  • Natural finish.
  • You can slightly change the color of the wood on which it is applied.
  • Quick and easy application. In fact, drying times do not arrive on time and we will not need another tool than sandpaper and a simple brush.


This wood oil is mainly used outdoors: furniture, fences, doors and windows, decks, etc.

It is also suitable for very demanding uses, such as protecting wood in nautical uses (not submerged), such as boat decks.

Application of teak oil on wood

teak oil application

As already mentioned, one of the great advantages of oils is that they are very easy to apply, much more than varnishes, paints, etc.

Prepare the wood

Before applying teak oil, the surface must be prepared by removing all possible impurities and traces of the previously applied finishes.

This step can not only be the most complex and laborious, but also the key to achieving a good result.

For that we can use sandpaper. If the wood is virgin, that is, it has not been finished before, fine sandpaper is enough. If other oils have been applied, we will use medium grain sandpaper, and if it is varnished or painted, we will initially use coarse grain sandpaper and we will reduce the grain in successive sandings. In the latter case, separators can also be used.

After this process, you can wash the wood with mild soap and water and wait for it to dry.


Teak oil can be found in different formats, the most common being liquid, although it is also common in spray.

To apply it, we will spread a good amount of oil on the wood, always in the direction of the wood grain. We will let the wood absorb the product before applying a new layer. Usually the manufacturer will detail the times that must be respected.

Before applying the second coat, we can use a cloth to wipe up any surplus that may have remained. Try to use a lint-free material.

When to renew the application?

It is advisable to do this in spring or autumn, when temperatures, solar radiation and humidity are moderate compared to other times.

As for the frequency, that is, the frequency of renewal of the product will depend on several problems. According to the oil manufacturer’s recommendations, how exposed is the wood and the area. It is not the same thing to have wooden furniture outdoors, but covered in a temperate zone, than it is completely exposed near the sea.

Teak or Linseed Oil

There are several options for protective wood oils. A common alternative is flaxseed oil. What are the differences and when to use teak or flax oil?

  • Linseed oil darkens the wood a little more. It is worth mentioning that both products retain the natural grain of the wood.
  • Teak oil dries much faster. In addition to flaxseed, if drying is not correct, it can leave a sticky texture.
  • The price of teak oil is higher than that of flaxseed.
  • Regarding the improvement of the durability of the wood to the outside after application, it is said that teak oil offers better results. However, it must be mentioned that both products are marketed in combination with all types of components, resins, etc. Therefore, the statement is very general.
  • Although both oils penetrate the wood, teak can be removed much more easily by changing the type of finish. That is, if after a few years we wanted to paint or varnish the wood treated with linseed oil, it would be much more work.
  • Flaxseed oil offers less protection from ultraviolet light.