Can You Stain Teak Wood? (Here’s How)

Teak wood is beautiful but when the wood is left unsealed, the natural beauty begins to fade and turn grey. DIYers often wonder if Teak wood can be stained to prevent the wood from fading. So, can you?

You can stain Teak wood – This is because Teak wood is a hardwood and all hardwoods have pores that wood stain is absorbed through. Unlike softwoods that don’t accept wood stain evenly, hardwoods like Teak wood have good stain absorption.

But, to ensure a perfect finish, you need to sand the Teak wood and apply a coat of sanding sealer. Sanding helps to smoothen the wood and the sanding sealer helps the wood stain to grip better on the Teak wood.

This post reveals all you need to know about staining Teak wood including how to go about it. Let’s dive in.

Does Teak Wood Accept Stain?

Teak wood accepts wood stains because it is a type of hardwood. Like other types of hardwood, Teak wood is porous and the wood accepts wood stains properly.

Teak wood absorbs oil-based stains especially because there are natural oils in the wood that are compatible with the oil-based stain. However, to make Teak wood accept the wood stain smoothly, you need to sand and prep the wood surface by applying a sanding sealer.

When it comes to accepting wood stains, hardwoods like Teak wood are the best. This is because these woods have even pores scattered across the wood surface that helps to accept stain evenly.

However, you should know that sanding sealer is needed on the Teak wood to control stain absorption. If you don’t use a sanding sealer, the Teak wood can over-absorb the wood stain.

So, what type of wood stain is the best for Teak wood? Let’s find out.

What Kind Of Stain Do You Need To Use On Teak Wood?

What Kind Of Stain Do You Need To Use On Teak Wood?

You should also know that oil-based wood stains work best on Teak wood because Teak wood has natural oils in it that are compatible with the oil-based stain.

Water-based stains and gel-based stains can also be used on Teak wood but you’ll need to seal the Teak wood before applying either. This is because the over-absorption of water-based and gel-based stains in the Teak wood will ruin the finish.

There are three main types of wood stain; water-based, oil-based, and gel wood stain. All three types of wood stains can be used on Teak wood but oil-based stains work better. This is because oil-based stains are usually dissolved in natural oil like Linseed oil.

The natural oil present in the oil-based stain is very similar to the natural oils in the Teak wood. This makes the oil-based stain compatible with the Teak wood. As such, you don’t always need a washcoat or sanding sealer on the Teak wood before applying an oil-based stain.

Water-based and gel stains also work on Teak wood but you need a sanding sealer or a washcoat before applying either on Teak wood. This is to allow the water-based or gel stain to dry smoothly on the Teak wood.

How To Stain Teak Wood?

Staining teak wood is pretty easy since the wood readily accepts stains. However, you need to follow the right steps to prevent over-absorption of the wood stain and a blotchy finish.

Not to worry, this guide will show you how to stain Teak wood easily in 5 steps. But first, we’ll need a few tools and supplies:

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wood filler
  • Lint-free cloths (for gel stain)
  • Sanding sealer
  • Polyurethane varnish
  • A paint bucket
  • A drop sheet
  • Paint stripper or acetone
  • A vacuum or duster

Here is a quick rundown on how to do it:

  1. Prep the Teak wood
  2. Sand the Teak wood
  3. Apply the sanding sealer
  4. Stain the Teak wood
  5. Seal the finish.

Next, let’s check out these steps in detail.

1. Prep The Teak Wood

Prep The Teak Wood

The first step is to prep the Teak wood. To do this, you need to wipe, clean, and repair defects on the Teak wood surface. Start by removing any existing stain or sealant on the teak wood with a paint stripper or acetone.

If there isn’t any finish on the wood, start by wiping the wood down with mineral spirits. This is to remove filth, dust, and grease on the Teak wood surface. Before wiping the Teak wood, ensure to lay a large drop sheet on the floor to collect dust and stain that fall to the floor.

2. Sand The Teak Wood

Sand The Teak Wood

The next step after wiping the Teak wood is to sand. The purpose of sanding is to remove stuck debris on the Teak wood surface.

Sanding also helps to even the wood and make it smooth for stain application. Start sanding the Teak wood using 180-grit sandpaper. If the wood feels very rough or patchy, you should start sanding with 120-grit.

After sanding down the wood with 120-grit, finish up with 220-grit. This will smoothen the Teak wood. If you are working on a large surface, you’ll need a power sander to cover more ground quickly. When you are done sanding, vacuum or wipe down the dust.

3. Apply Sanding Sealer Coat

Apply Sanding Sealer Coat

The next step after sanding the wood is to apply the sanding sealer coat. The sanding sealer coat will help regulate the absorption of wood stain in the wood.

You can apply the sanding sealer with a paintbrush but ensure to only apply light coats. Usually, a light coat of sanding sealer is enough for Teak wood but follow the manufacturer’s guide to know how many coats you need.

After applying the sanding sealer, wipe off the excess sealer on the Teak wood and wait for it to dry. When dry, sand the sealer coat with fine sandpaper and wipe off the dust after.

Related Read: Can You Apply Stain Over Sanding Sealer?

4. Apply The Stain

Apply The Stain

With the sanding sealer dry and well sanded, you can apply the wood stain to the Teak wood. Wood stain can be brushed on the wood or wiped on depending on the type of wood stain that you are using.

For water-based and oil-based wood stains, you should apply the stain using a bristled paintbrush. When brushing stain into Teak wood, ensure to apply light coats and move the brush in the direction of the wood grain and not against it.

For gel stain, you need to wipe on the stain over the Teak wood. While wiping on the wood stain, you should rub the stain on the Teak wood in circular motions. You only need 3 coats of the wood stain on the Teak wood and remember that each additional coat that you add will make the finish darker. Also, ensure to wipe off the excess wood stain immediately after application so the finish doesn’t turn tacky.

You should also wait for at least 1 hour between coats of water-based stain. Oil-based stains can take up to 4 hours to dry enough for recoat but gel stain takes 12 – 24 hours to dry enough for a recoat.

5. Seal The Finish

Seal The Finish

24 hours after applying the stain to the Teak wood, you can seal it. Sealing the finish makes it last longer and be more resistant to water, dents, and scratch marks. A good choice for Teak wood is polyurethane varnish.

Can You Stain Teak Any Color?

You can stain Teak wood any color but you should know that coloring the wood will hide the natural beauty and pattern of the Teak wood grain. It’s best to use a transparent stain on Teak wood so the pattern and natural beauty of the wood can be enhanced.

You can also use wood stain colors like amber and gold on Teak wood because these colors match the original color of the wood. You can even stain Teak wood darker. To do this, you need to apply additional coats of the existing color.

Teak wood has a natural light to dark brown color. The color highlights the grain pattern and curves in the wood creating a beautiful natural appearance. This natural appearance is why most homeowners go for Teak wood in their homes. However, the natural color of the Teak wood can also be changed to a new color. To do this, you need a wood stain with the color that you want.

You should know that staining the Teak wood with color will cover and hide the natural beauty of the wood meaning that the wood grain wouldn’t be seen. If this is the type of finish you want, then go ahead and stain the Teak wood with color. But, if you want the natural wood grain to show, you’ll need to use a transparent stain. Transparent stains often have a glossy finish that will highlight the wood grain instead of hiding it.

You can also choose to stain your Teak wood darker. This can be achieved by applying extra coats of the wood stain color on the Teak wood. For each additional coat that you add, the Teak wood will get darker. You can also stain Teak wood darker by using a dark-colored wood stain.

Benefits of Staining Teak Wood

Here are the advantages of staining Teak wood:

  1. Staining Teak wood helps to beautify the wood.
  2. Wood stain improved the Teak wood’s resistance to scratches, dent marks, and moisture.
  3. Wood stains help to make the Teak wood last longer.
  4. Transparent stains can be used to highlight the curves and patterns of the wood grain.
  5. Wood stains especially exterior wood stains contain weather resistant additives that help the Teak wood thrive in harsh environments.
  6. Wood stains make it easier to clean up and maintain Teak wood.
  7. A sealed wood stain helps Teak wood to survive in high-traffic and busy areas.
  8. You can change the wood stain anytime you want so you can achieve different finishes on the same Teak wood.
  9. You can get a mirror finish on the Teak wood by using a transparent finish.
  10. Wood stain is an affordable finish to use on Teak wood.

Final Words

In summary, Teak wood can be stained because the wood is a hardwood and the natural makeup means that it also accepts wood stains easily. You can use any type of wood stain on Teak wood but ensure to use a sanding sealer when using water-based or gel-based stains.

If you want to enjoy the natural appearance of the Teak wood, you should use a transparent stain but use a colored stain if you’ll like to enjoy a colorful appearance. For best results and durability, ensure to seal the wood stain with polyurethane varnish.

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