How should I refinish an old teak chair?
August 10, 2014 4:16 PM   Subscribe

I found a nice old Danish rocker free on Craigslist (just the frame). It's very weathered and dusty, but a nice shape. How can I clean it, and what else should I do to restore the finish? Ideally, I'd like the most environmentally-friendly, least smelly options for cleaning or polishing. I'm afraid there is also a spot or two of mold in the wood; what's the best way to safely get rid of that?
posted by three_red_balloons to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Light sanding and refinishing with linseed oil is the usual recommendation for teak. This is a nice tutorial from The Brick House.
posted by goggie at 4:58 PM on August 10, 2014

I like Teak Oil, which you can get at a Danish furniture store, or Home Depot. It's just better on teak.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:34 PM on August 10, 2014

I'd suggest using fine grade steel wool rather than sandpaper, and I'd use pure tung oil as a finish. I've just done that on some finish work on a boat I'm making, and tung oil gives a beautiful nontoxic protective coat which brings out the wood's beauty very nicely. The only downside is the time it takes: each coat of tung oil needs to rest for 24 hours or more before it's ready for the next.
posted by anadem at 10:02 PM on August 10, 2014

Seconding teak oil. We recently rescued a teak bench with sentimental value (it was a present to my grandad when he left the Army) from my grandma's garden after she passed away. It was in a real state, covered in moss and general grime, but structurally it was fine. A good wash and then a couple of coats of teak oil did the trick. The first layer will soak into the wood, you have to keep doing it until it's reached its colour again. The oil kills the moss, so don't worry about that.
posted by winterhill at 1:24 AM on August 11, 2014

Thanks! Does anyone happen to know anything about mold in wood specifically? I read something that made it sound like sanding mold is so dangerous only a professional should do it, but assuming it only looks like a tiny bit of mold and I wear a mask (and I don't think I'm allergic to it or anything), should I be fine?
posted by three_red_balloons at 12:39 PM on August 11, 2014

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