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painting teak furniture 01

Year 1

January 22nd, 2017
We are writing this article to debunk or confirm the written facts teak can or cannot be painted. There is so much garbage out on the internet from people writing articles and claiming to be an expert. But what bothers me the most is people say, "don't paint teak", but have no supporting evidence. Sometimes I think articles on the internet are like a group of 10 people whispering information to the next person. With each passing story, the facts and opinions vary slightly. How many of you have visited one of those HOW-TO websites and said what garbage is this??

Here is a freshly painted teak wood c-grade bench. We sell the same bench on our site. We experimented with various painted colors. For our teak benches, we used a car enamel paint that was sprayed with a professional gun. Various types of paint and the technique will vary your results. For example, a brush will apply a lot more paint on the product than a spray. And since most of you will brush your teak bench, the amount of paint on the teak will be substantially more. What this means is this bench example has a thin layer of paint. It might look more professional, but the amount of paint will be lighter. If you decide to spray paint your bench from cans purchased at Depot then you will be applying the least amount of paint possible.

Dark Colors hide the yellow from the oil Light colors seem to seep through.

The red teak bench we painted showed no color staining.

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Year 2

January 14th, 2018
SUMMARY : The darker stain is now a very light beige. We have some basic chipping where the wood should expand and contract with the seasons.

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This is basically 12 months in the outdoor weather. Our location is in Lexington, Kentucky with 4 standard seasons of weather.

What we can observe from the 1st year is flaking of the paint around the joints and areas of movement. Remember, teak is wood and therefore expands and contracts as the seasons introduce varying degrees of moisture in the air. It is also likely that as the bench was sprayed, the paint in the corners were not heavily painted. This along with movement in joints will create flaking and fractures in the area where two pieces of wood meet.

The big observation was the fact the "oil staining" was less. It was not as visible as when we first received the bench. You can still see it in the back, but the front was nearly gone. Obviously, we assume the UV rays from the sun had an impact on lessen the oil color. The front also received additional moisture from direct rain. Either way, the point is the yellow has dissipated from 12 months earlier.

What we hope to review in future years is the area of paint where the oil was originally yellow. The idea is oil deters paint from sticking. So we want to see how the paint holds up in future years. The edges of paint flaking is normal considering it is outdoors. Brush painted edges will still fracture since the wood must shift, but the flaking might be less in the early years.

Year 3

January 8th, 2019
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Now 24 months later, we see the bench attacked by algae. The bench is under a shade tree and moist most of the year. I guess it is no surprise the bench is covered in green algae. We did have the rainiest season in over 100 years in 2018 and this could have contributed to the current condition.

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The algae is nothing more than a thin layer easily removed with some household cleaner and a sink scrubber. In this photo, you can see the paint clearly once cleaned. There is almost no effort exerted in cleaning the algae from the seat. We will clean the algae from the bench later in spring. It is my understanding algae can stain the paint if left unchecked. But this article is about how paint is adhering to the teak itself.

For the most part, the bench is in similar shape as last year. We notice some additional flaking around the joints and we see some new flaking on the arm. It seems to us that a better effort to paint the joints would be a smart decision.

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In the back of the bench, we cleaned a section from last year that still had a slight yellow hue to the paint. And from our pictures, the yellow tint is still there. So, although we saw a reduction in the yellow hue from month 1 to 12, we are not seeing much reduction in month 13-24.

The pictures look rough and dirty, but the point of this update is paint related. We suspect if this bench was not painted we would see this area heavily weathered and dark grey due to the shade and moist conditions.

We will add a year 3.5 update to showcase the cleaned bench. At this rate, the bench will need touch-up in year 5 unless a better effort is made to paint the joints. Currently, the bench looks like any other wood bench on the market covered in a protective paint shield.

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Copyright © 2008-2017  Teak Closeouts, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Teak Closeouts is a Registered Trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office