Can You Paint Teak Wood? Steps to Paint Over Teak Furniture

If you are looking at changing the color of your teak wood furniture then painting is always one of the considerations that come into your mind first!

Teak wood is exceptional as it makes furniture that repels termite invasions and other pests that destroy wood.

Its natural oils ensure that the lumber lasts longer and resists rots and decay. Additionally, teak has a natural, shiny look that makes it perfect for your outdoor and indoor furniture.

But with all these advantages of teak wood, you still need to give it the very best care to enhance its durability. This aspect of protecting teak leads us right back to our subject of discussion…

Can You Paint Teak Wood?

Yes. You can paint teak wood. It is easy to paint, and you are at liberty to choose your preferred colors.

Although the wood’s oils inhibit paint adhesion and may bleed through the finishes, a touch of paint will give your outdoor setting the needed refresh.

Painting gives the teak wood a good nick. The multiple colors at your disposal encourage you to add your personal touch to your environment.

However, it would help if you minded how you go about the painting process. Therefore, consider reading this article for more information.

What Happens If You Paint Teak Wood?

The oils in teak wood give the surface a shiny patina and prevent rot. However, they also limit and inhibit paint adhesion. So, you need to follow the correct procedure to get accurate results.

Image of Kitchen Cabinets Made from Teak Wood. But Can You Paint Teak Wood?Let us discuss the pros of teak wood as they will help us understand the subject better.

The Wood Is Versatile

While it may look great in its natural state, you can varnish, paint, and polish it to suit your preferences and decoration styles.

Teak is useful for multiple furniture pieces such as chairs, dining tables, bench seats, beds, frames, workstations, and kitchen cabinets.

Thus, working with the lumber is quite an incredible experience.

Teak Has an Aesthetic Appeal Like No Other!

Users consider it one of the most beautiful woods as it has a straight and tight grain design and pattern. The wood can age and retain its golden-brown hues.

Therefore, if you compare it with other wood options, it surpasses them by far.

Durability and Heat Resistance are Other Strong Benefits that the Wood Offers

It is a hardwood from broad-leaved deciduous trees. We know that the heavier and denser the wood is, the greater the strength.

Therefore, teak gets the durability slot as it does not warp, bend, splinter, or crack. 

Teak Wood Is an Excellent Insulator

It does not excessively heat up during summer periods, and it retains its warmth in cold seasons. The lumber also resists fungal attacks during rainy seasons. Therefore, if you maintain it, you will enjoy its services for a long time.

  • If you still do not get why teak wood is an excellent alternative, please consider its resistance to decay, rot, and termites. It repels harmful elements that destroy furniture and guarantees you longevity. Also, the abundant natural oils in the lumber ensure that the wood remains in good shape for an extended period.
  • Teak wood is also easy to maintain. But, it would be perfect if you considered a lint-free cloth to remove dust and dirt. Also, frequent maintenance will keep the wood glowing and with its natural shine. Therefore, you should not worry about leaving teak furniture outdoors. Natural weather conditions will not affect it, and you can restore its shiny look by polishing it.

Naturally, teak wood offers a variety of advantages. So, think of the additional benefits you will get once you paint.

Painting offers more protection and will help you enhance the wood’s lifespan.

How Often Should You Paint Teak Wood?

The teak is a deciduous tropical tree of Asian native mainly in India, Thailand, and Indonesia. This wood type is at the top of the list of painters, woodworkers, and homeowners for uses on garden furniture, among other applications.

You can attribute the favor accorded to teak wood to its durability and strong resistance to different elements. Teak wood naturally has high oil contents, which prevent rot as oil tends to resist water.

On the question of how often should you paint teak wood, it would help if you painted it based on inspection, routine check, and notice of cracks, peels, and damage to the paint.

In short, whenever you realize there’s a compromise on the surface of your teak furniture that can affect it, consider repainting.

These compromises can occur after years, especially if you take good care of your structure. In the case of refinishing, you need to oil your teak wood after 3 months to maintain the color and quality.

Typically, it will require about 2 coats to get the teak wood and the natural golden hue. First, when using oil, start with a small amount before increasing!

How to Paint Teak Wood

Even if you are working on old and weathered teak wood, proper preparation before painting is a must! Also, it does not hurt to seal it before you get on with the job.

Below are some basic steps to help you paint your wood perfectly.

Wash the Wood

A thorough clean-up eliminates excess oil, dirt, and mold that can alter paint adhesion. In addition, you may not need to sand off gray wood layers because a thorough clean-up is sufficient.

During the clean-up, get a strong detergent such as trisodium phosphate:

  1. Mix it using ½ to 1 cup of Trisodium Phosphate in a gallon of warm water.
  2. Wipe down the wood with the mixture and use an abrasive sponge. Consider using goggles and rubber gloves to keep your skin safe from the chemical.
  3. Rinse the teak wood with water and allow it to dry. Although sanding teak wood before the painting process is not a requirement, it will help provide additional protection from peeling. Therefore, get 220-grit sandpaper and scuff. Also, ensure that you fill holes and gauges with an epoxy wood filler. Holes may compromise your painting results. Thus, you want to cover them before you paint the wood.

Fill In Any Holes and Scuff

Filling every possible crack and hole will only contribute towards giving you the best paint finish possible.

Easy to say but you should know that having the best finish won’t come easy, you will need to mix the epoxy filler with the recommended hardener and spread it on the wood.

Also, use the mixture within five minutes of mixing the elements to ensure it remains pliable—finally, sand flat with 120-grit sandpaper.

Remember that you should sand only when the fills are dry to avoid having to redo the filling of cracks.

Use a Stain-Blocking Primer.

Teak has natural oils that will bleed through the paint coating. Therefore, you need to seal the wood with a primer.

There are high-solid primers that can do the job, but you can consider a safer lacquer or shellac-based solution.

Use a natural bristle paintbrush to apply the primer. Also, ensure that you apply in the direction of the wood’s grain as you brush.

Allow the formula time to cure before touching. 

NB: You can choose to wait for a week before painting the wood. It helps you to assess whether the oils bleed through the primer.

If they do, consider applying another coat before you paint.

  • Apply at least two Paint Coats

You need at least two paint coats to get perfect results, especially if you used a primer with a color close to the paint. Also, the primer and the paint should be compatible.

For example, if you use a shellac-based primer, you should consider an oil-based or latex paint. Use a natural bristle brush for your oil-based paints and a synthetic-bristle brush for latex paint products.

Scuff the first coat and soon after it cures, use the same procedure to do the second coat. Also, if you want to offer extra protection to your paint job, finish it off with a coat of clear polyurethane.

Wood hardeners are essential during the priming process. They stop decay, especially if you have an old wood column or desk.

In addition, the products seep into the teak’s pores and harden them to make them more intact. Please consider the following steps to help you use the wood hardener correctly.

  1. Determine the specific area that you want to harden. Then, scrape off any decayed wood until you are satisfied that the wood is in good shape. Also, ensure that there is no dirt, oil, or grease in the affected region.
  2. Shake the wood hardener and pour some into the wood’s surface. Then, spread it around the affected region with a paintbrush.
  3. Apply coats until the wood delivers a shiny surface. Therefore, do not shy away from applying a second or thief coat. It also gives extra teak strength. So, do not be in any haste to get done with the hardener.
  4. Allow the hardener to cure for two to four hours. Then paint, stain, or sand the surface to finish the project.

You will always deliver perfect results once you follow the correct painting procedure. Therefore, you need to get all the information you need to help you get your desired outcome.

Below are additional tips to help you handle the painting situation.

  • Consider the weather before you begin painting. Painting teak can be messy, so you will be outdoors during the process. Therefore, you need to choose a warm, sunny day with minimum wind levels to provide a conducive work environment. Also, consider using an old cloth under the furniture when painting to prevent the paint from spilling on the ground.
  • A liquid glosser will help you paint properly. In addition, the product ensures that the paint adheres to the wood’s surface. Therefore, it is a perfect way to enhance the painting results.
  • Although sanding is optional, a quick sanding session can make a significant difference in your results. Sanding helps you remove tiny scratches from the wood’s surface, and the paint can stick properly. On top of that, the process removes air bubbles and bumps on the furniture’s surface. Therefore, after the primer cures, gently sand the wood, then wipe it with a smooth cloth.
  • Consider using a spray that will help you cover all the furniture’s parts, including the bottom. Also, spraying will help you paint uneven and rather rugged teak wood. An oil-based outdoor house paint will work well with a spray can: therefore, consider such a product for the process.

Spray from a foot away from the wood’s surface, and do not forget to cover the furniture. After you finish applying one paint coat and it dries, sand the furniture again.

Also, if you want to get a flawless finish, apply multiple coats of thin layers.

  • Clean up paint drips immediately after work as it helps to keep your environment and other items paint-free.
  • Ensure that you patiently allow the paint coats to dry. Consider giving it a week; then, it is ready for use. Also, you can apply some protection such as furniture oil or exterior timber paint. Use a sponge, brush, or cloth and marvel at the results.

Can You Paint Teak Wood With Chalk Paint

You can use chalk paint for your teak wood, but there are reservations about the process.

Chalk paint hides the teak’s natural beauty. Also, water penetrates the coating and causes the paint to crack, flake or peel.

Most painters and woodworkers adore the wood grains as they evidently a thing of beauty. Using paint that will compromise the natural beauty of wood at any moment is not a welcoming idea at all costs.

Therefore, using chalk paint on your teak wood should be the last of your options. Another aspect of teak wood is its composition of natural oil.

These oils are repellant to paints like chalk which may hamper the adhesion of paint to the surface of the wood leading to paint peeling off, cracking, and falling.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Teak Wood?

You are at liberty to use a variety of paint products for your teak wood. However, the most recommended paint is latex or oil-based.

These products work well over shellac-based primers and will offer excellent finishes.

Oil based paints make a perfect choice considering the fact that teak wood contains some natural oil components that will always compromise adhesion with paints that are not oil-based.

Whenever you are working with teak wood and thought about painting it. You must always have oil-based paint on top of your list of paint to use on this wood.

Also, ensure that you use the correct brush for each product. For instance, natural-bristle brushes are perfect for oil-based paints, and synthetic-bristle brushes are ideal for latex paint products.

How to Modernize Teak Furniture

If your teak wood is weathered, you can restore it and give it a fresher look with the help of wood paint or stain.

Here’s what you need to do to achieve that: 

  1. Use a teak cleaner to clean the furniture thoroughly
  2. Fill any holes present in the wood with epoxy wood filler
  3. Sand, the surface of your teak, to smooth
  4. Prime using a teak sealer which will prevent oil bleeding through
  5. Paint, stain or apply a golden sealer on your prepared teak surface to restore the golden teak appearance.

Can You Change the Color of Teak Wood?

We all know how beautiful teak wood is and that’s because of the amazing wood grains that give it its natural beauty.

Some homeowners love teak in its natural state while a good chunk would love to add an extra layer to it for beauty and or for extra protection.

One question though is can you change the color of teak wood? And how do you go about it? Here’s the answer…

Yes. You can change the color of teak wood. Staining is the best way to go if you are looking to change the color of your teak wood.

There are many types of wood stains in the market. However, oil based stains are the best options for teak wood.

Why Oil Based Stains? First, teak wood has a natural oil that can compromise adhesion with paint that is not oil based.

Secondly, Oil based stains prevent possible streaking and blotching in the wood by penetrating the grain of the teak wood.

These stains are easy to apply. You can use a brush, wipe on using a clean rag, and wipe off. 

Can You Stain Teak Wood Darker?

Freshly-cut teak possesses a light brown or olive tint. However, it will darken over the next few weeks and days due to the wood’s resin. So, if you want darker teak, expose it to sunlight for some time before use.

The longer the exposure, the darker the result. The wood will continue to darken until it stabilizes at a dark chocolate color.

NB: If you want to preserve the wood’s light color, finish it immediately.

You can also stain your wood to give it a darker look if you do not have the patience of letting nature take its course. Add another coat of wood stain on previous layers and apply a finish on the surface.

Also, ensure that you get the desired dark finish before you finish the wood. Always use a clean paintbrush to apply stain on the finish if you want to add more coats.

You can use whatever stain you desire for your teak. However, consider a semi-transparent stain to avoid covering up the wood’s grain and beautiful texture.

Always use a product that accentuates the lumber’s natural beauty. Also, please note that the longer you leave an excess strain on the wood, the darker the results.

Just like painting, staining also requires you to follow a procedure. Therefore, the following guidelines will help you achieve your desired finish.

  • Always wipe off any stain that the wood does not absorb with a clean, dry cloth. Also, ensure that you consider a rag that you won’t mind disposing of afterward as the stain will be difficult to wash. Please ensure that you wipe off immediately you get the desired color as the excess stain darkness the longer it stays on the surface.
  • Give the wood stain sufficient time to dry. The duration will depend on the layer’s thickness. Therefore, the thicker it is, the longer you will have to wait before using the wood. Also, avoid touching the stain too much when still wet to keep away uneven and blotchy coats.
  • For a darker stain color, add multiple layers. However, ensure that the previous coat cures completely. Ensure you assess whether you like the color and repeat the application process.
  • Consider applying a finish on the surface. Get a clean brush to spread on the finish once you are satisfied with the stain’s color. Also, give the finish time to dry. You don’t want to compromise the results in the final stage.

Here’s a Video On Staining Teak Wood Furniture:

What Is the Best Finish for Teak Wood?

Teak is an exotic hardwood that will give you much pleasure as you use it.

The wood possesses resins that protect it from water, rot, and insects. Therefore, it has multiple applications and accommodates the needs of many projects.

Also, its beauty and functionality make it appropriate for ocean-going ship projects. However, the wood needs you to reinforce it with a finishing product to provide permanent protection.

Its weather resistance attributes may wear out as time goes by, and you want to use the teak furniture for an extended period.

Some of the wood finishes you will encounter are:

  • Oil Finishes

You can use oil-based finish products on teak. Therefore, products with tung, linseed, walnut, or lemon will give you satisfactory results.

They also work differently than varnish and lacquer as they penetrate the wood’s cells. Thus, the teak hardens from the inside out and becomes quite strong.

  • Lacquer Finishes

You need to always preserve the teak’s hardwood look even after finishing or polishing it. Therefore, lacquer products are a perfect option.

They offer a perfect balance between offering durability and delivering an attractive finish. The wood finish also provides a slightly higher consistency than other products such as varnish and shellac. 

Additionally, the product offers you finish options such as medium, satin, or high gloss. But, you require multiple colors to get a satisfying finish.

  • Polyurethane Finishes.

They are the most recommended as they offer superior protection to teak wood. The product even repels water and makes it the best alternative.

Note: If you want to varnish the teak wood, you can consider the marine varnish.

It also contains penetrating oils and will give your wood longevity. The product also has various tree resins, solvents, and drying agents that deliver a durable, tough, and plastic-like formula that blends well with teak.

It works well on exterior doors and trims. But, if you have a deck or a boat, it will deliver satisfactorily.

It takes much longer to dry than other finishes. So, you need to exercise patience as you wait for that shiny, hard, and water-resistant finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most asked questions regarding teak wood’s use, decoration, and protection.

Read with me for more insight on the subject of discussion:

  • Can You Stain Teak Wood Grey?

There are two ways of staining the teak wood grey. First, you can consider exposing the wood to the wind and sun.

The surface cells will get dry and eventually turn silver or grey. Alternatively, you can use a premium teak wood product to achieve grey.

Since teak’s natural darkening takes a while, staining is the best option if you want results in a hurry.

  • Does Teak Need To Be Sealed?

Teak is a unique type of wood as it naturally resists water. Therefore, you may not need water sealers or repellants to preserve it from moisture damage.

In addition, please avoid pressure washing as it damages and discolors the wood surface. However, you can use teak cleaners, clear coating, and oils to enhance its durability and natural properties.

  • How Do You Keep Teak Wood From Turning Gray?

You can protect teak wood from turning grey by using stains and wood finishes. Also, you can restore weathered teak by using a cleaner and applying Golden Sealer.

So, first, clean the furniture with the teak cleaner. Then, apply the sealer to prevent re-greying, Teak sealers are eco-friendly and water-based and will not harm your lawn or plants.

Therefore, you can comfortably use them whenever your teak furniture needs a touch-up. You can also choose to recoat the wood annually to preserve the golden teak appearance.

  • Does Teak Get Darker With Age?

Yes. Teak wood will always darken and experience color changes with time. New wood has a light to dark brown color. However, as it ages, you will observe a light silver-gray color.

You will also begin to see the changes after the furniture has been outdoors for about three to four months. Therefore, the more exposure the teak wood gets to sunlight and other weather elements, the faster it will gray.

So, you can preserve the wood’s natural color by staining or finishing it or using it for indoor furniture.


Although teak is naturally strong and durable, you need to reinforce its superior attributes by staining or finishing.

The harsh weather conditions will always compromise the wood’s life span. Therefore, it is ideal to consider options that will protect the teak’s surface.

Also, in a bid to get all the possible ways of preserving teak wood, many still ask,

Can You Paint Teak Wood?

You can always paint your teak. The painting process is very straightforward, and you can choose your favorite colors to do the job.

Also, painting the wood gives you a refreshing look for outdoor furniture. Even as you look to paint your teak wood, ensure that you use oil based wood paints.

Oil-based paints find it easy to blend with the natural oils present as a teak wood component. These oils blend to form a strong bond that will ensure that your paint lasts on the surface of the teak wood for as long as possible.

Paints such as water based paints will counter repulsion from the oils in teak wood and hence will form a weaker bond between the paint and the wood.

As a result, it will not take long until you start noticing the paint peeling, falling off, and even cracking.

As I conclude this post, I hope you found the information that I have provided here useful for your quest of having your teak wood in the best shape possible.

Do you have a question or suggestion that you would like to share?

I hope so, kindly share with me your thoughts through the comment section below. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your painting projects.