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How To Make Your Trashed Outdoor Furniture Look Great Again

Changing seasons can be rough on wood.

Rain is a major plus for we Californians, yes, but rain’s advantages run out when it comes to wood furniture that has been left outdoors without covers and/or additional protection. The good news: The fixing-up process requires nothing more than a power sander and some teak oil, and the results are straight-up spectacular. If you have wood furniture that’s seen better days – whether indoor or outdoor – you have to give this simple DIY a try.


What You Need:

  • A power sander (don’t use regular sandpaper if you’re dealing with a substantial surface area; a power sander will make your life far, far easier, and you can pick one up for about $25)
  • Teak oil
  • A brush or rag to apply the oil

Here’s what the wood we were working with looked like after a couple of seasons of being left out in the open with no protection:

To start, you’re going to use the power sander to sand down the wood as far as you need to go to get a smooth, even surface. The table and benches you see here took about an hour and a half to sand down.

Here’s what you end up with after a thorough sanding:

The next step is the teak oil application. This is pretty self-explanatory – pour oil onto rag or brush, then apply to surface of wood – but there are a couple of important points to note.

First, the way teak oil is supposed to work is that you apply the oil, wait 30 minutes, and then wipe off any excess, but if your wood is in really bad shape, you may find that the oil absorbs completely almost instantly. If some oil remains on the surface of the piece you’re refinishing, be sure to wipe it off after 30 minutes, but either way a second application half an hour or so later is a good idea.

The second important thing to note is that you can’t leave the brush or rag you used to apply the oil outside in the sun, or it will literally catch fire. File that under: excellent information to have if you do not feel like burning down your house today.

Here’s what the wood looked like immediately after applying the teak oil – you can see that it soaked in immediately, but is kind of uneven and dark.

By the next morning, however…

So. Much. Better. It’s like having a whole new set of outdoor furniture for the price of a quart or so of oil. Simple, inexpensive, and effective.

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Coldwell Banker is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.