12 steps: how to refinish teak dining table

So, how to refinish teak dining table? Do you enjoy it when your neighbors visit your place and see how fine your kitchen is, your furniture is well-designed and the decorations elegantly fulfil the overall picture? Then you are the one who at least once in your life has tried to refinish some pieces of furniture.

It is becoming a trend to buy used teak tables or other teak wood furniture and “give it a second life” in new colors or styles. What is teak furniture? Can teak tables be refinished?

Today, I am going to share with you some of the methods that will make your dying teak table look captivating like a new one.

Let’s start with talking about what teak wood means.

refinish teak dining table
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Teak furniture

Made of tropical hardwood that comes from Asian Tectona grandis, it presents a good piece of wood that can reach a height of up to 115 ft, is resistant to droughts and is freely grown without any fertilizers.

As it is rich in natural oil, insects are not willing to attack it, people call this type of wood weather-resistant.

Now, this type of furniture is not as popular as it used to be, which is why people prefer buying used and refurbish teak wood furniture themselves. Teak requires caring but serves longer and looks stunning in the room.

Teak wood furniture

Not only do people get old, but their furniture too. Tables are the most useful and durable furniture, and teak furniture is famous for its durability. But even they are getting old.

However, teak wood is much longer durable than other varieties of wood. Teak wood has earned a special place in such areas as shipbuilding, architecture, and furniture manufacturing. Representatives of famous furniture producers are G Plan furniture, Parker-Knoll, Ercol and Nathan furniture, teak wood became a benchmark of mid-century furniture production.

how to refinish teak dining table
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What are the advantages of teak wood?

Besides its durability and resistance to rot, teak wood can withstand extreme weather conditions and it is so hard that you should not worry about children throwing things into it!

The only thing that might happen is that when it becomes dry, it changes color slightly. For example, it turns brown from warm honey color but if you properly care about it, you can keep the attractive golden color!

Is teak wood expensive?

Factors that affect the cost of wood are the decline in number of exclusive trees and harvesting them to mature trees in special conditions takes from 40 to 80 years. Thus, vintage teak has been holding its price for decades and people are into giving new life to teak wood furniture.

Teak oil

Which is better for wood: teak oil vs. tung oil? Both oils have distinctive features, and we will compare of them. Tung oil or, as it is called, China wood oil, was discovered 2,500 years ago. It is made of tree nuts. This makes it become strong when hardened and protective for surfaces.

Teak oil is made with tung oil and linseed oil and other additives. Additives are mixed in with the oil, so it can serve many purposes.  Due to this, it is not fast-drying (takes 8 hours to dry) but offers protection to different types of wood. But avoid using it on teak wood as it causes mold and mildew.

how to refinish teak dining table
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How to refinish teak dining table. Let’s begin!

So, your teak dining table is stained and pale in appearance. However, with the current prices, it is better to refurbish your old one than buy a new one. Besides, we know 12 simple steps for doing it yourself!

How to refinish teak dining table – Step 1: Dry your teak wood table

The sun is the first and the easiest source of drying old teak furniture. Sun rays will help to separate the dirt and the paint used for the old version of your table.

Take it outdoors and keep it there for 20 or 30 minutes, then you can properly clean it. In the sun, you will also better see the scratches and affected areas.

how to refinish teak dining table
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Step 2: The cleaning process

Murphy’s oil soap is one of the most effective means to clean surfaces. When you finished heating the indoor teak furniture, take a sponge or a soft scrub brush and the soap to brush the top of the table. Be careful with extra hardware, though. Pull them out to reduce the injuries.

Another damage that you can take is when cleaning the corners and on the slippery ground your hand may cut off or bump up due to sticking to the hardware.

Use a spray bottle and a brush to assist you.

Step 3: You need space!

Find a spacious place to allow yourself enough place to work. This will also help to avoid injuries and losses. Prepare all cleaning materials and instruments in advance. A large room or a backyard will be the best option.

Step 4: Area to refinish

Find the most affected area after cleaning and brushing. Usually, when the furniture gets old, there are many stains and scratches. These are the things we focus on now.

Depending on the type of it, your selection of materials and teak oil will be made.

Step 5: Using a paint stripper

You found your affected area, now spread the stripper well on the top. How do you refurbish a teak tabletop? If you don’t strip teak furniture, restoring will not be as smooth as it might be. Additionally, it does help to remove stains. To protect yourself from any potential damage prepare hand gloves, protective gloves, mask, stripper, scraper, brush, and decoration tray are useful.

In many cases, it can also remove the entire stain. Before you begin this step, make sure you have everything you need. It is a careful work that can be compared to painting:

  1. Pour some paint stripper on the spot with scratches.
  2. Spread the stripper over the whole top of the table with a painting brush.
  3. Give the area time to saturate (about 15 minutes).
  4. When it dried well, remove some overalls with a sharp knife.
  5. Repeat the process several times until it looks fine.
how to refinish teak dining table
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Step 6: Use mineral spirits as neutralizing agents

Apply some mineral spirits or methylated spirits with coarse wire wool. This is a universal and cheap means to see how it looks after the chemical strips and how much you need to apply more. Measure from the border or the corner of the table.

How do you refinish a teak veneer table? No difference to a simple teak wood table, see the steps below to learn more!

Step 7: Sandpaper

To finish the teak table and its restoration applies sanding. Wooden furniture likes it. No residue and no roughness as a result.

Again, you will need a cube or rectangular sanding block, 120-240 grit sandpaper, a mask, hand gloves, and protective goggles.

The better application works when you wrap it with a cube sanding block. The thickness of the sandpaper should not be more than 240 grit, apply it smoothly not to scratch teak furniture. Rubbing with sandpaper also makes the teak wood soft and ready to perfect finish.

how to refinish teak dining table
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Step 8: Use danish oil

Add coarse wire wool and hand gloves to your equipment. Danish oil is the best for restoring teak furniture. It will turn back the color of your old exterior or interior furniture. It protects teak wood furniture from dust and sand and increases glaze shine.

Furthermore, it lasts longer and prevents teak wood from early drying, warping, and splitting. Even other types of wood can be refinished thanks to teak oil. No water or insects will attack your solid teak. Your dining room will look captivating!

To have new colors for your teak wood furniture, use a variety of natural oils. But apply it elsewhere before using it on the main dining table before refinishing. This teak oil has no side effects. We can say it is a natural oil with rosewood and other natural ingredients. Examples of good danish teak oil are Rusting and Barrettine for indoor furniture.

Step 9: Polish teak wood with wax

Do you want to make teak wood look brighter? Use solid wax oil! It dries faster, is easy to apply, and lasts longer. Wax oil, pure cotton cloth, white spirit, gloves and hard wax oil are things that you will need.

Step 10: Remove the pales

You have been refinishing indoor teak furniture and saw a pale stain or dents on your favorite dining table – put the hard tape on the spot or melt the wax to fill in the holes. Use a soft cloth to absorb the wax if needed. Keep it to become hard and repeat the process described above with the sandpaper.

how to refinish teak dining table
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Step 11: Use oxalic acid

To add glazing on the rough area, use oxalic acid. In order not to harm the wood, you can mix some water with acid. Spray the mixture over the scratch or stains. Finally, rub the dent with a scrubbing brush.

Step 12: Finish it!

Ugh! You are in the last stage! Put on the gloves, moisten the upper part with some amount of alcohol, to apply a clear satin white bond oil polyurethane. Put some more polyurethane into a pot, fold the cotton cloth and soak it with polyurethane oil. Wipe the surface and apply a thin coat. Repeat the process several times until you see a perfect result.

how to refinish teak dining table
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Further care about the refurbished objects

If you do not want your work to be ruined soon, please cover the table with a tablecloth and table pad during lunches in your dining room. No plastic or non-breathable covers are recommended because they cause mold and mildew.

How do you refinish a Danish teak dining table?

Specifically, this type of table can use its oil from the wood. To achieve this, sand your Danish teak dining table with sandpaper, clean and dry the top, then add a sealant.

If there is excess oil sorb it with sandpaper.

However, if you see a Danish friend who is too old to recover – go back to the 12 steps above and follow them!

Finally, let’s summarize what we have learned by restating some “dos and don’ts” of teak wood maintenance after sanding:


  • Keep the wood for two weeks under the sun.
  • Spray a sealant on a dried piece.
  • With a lint-free cloth, work the sealant into the grain as much as possible.
  • Remember that teak retains its color from the moment of sealing, so if you want the wood to look more aged, seal it after the shade has reached your preferred level of development.


  • Never oil teak. This wood naturally creates its own oils, therefore oiling it won’t provide any protective characteristics. Use sealants that are protective only.
  • Teak is naturally water-resistant, therefore avoid using water repellents on wood.
  • Use milder materials while cleaning teak rather than abrasive or harsh ones like steel wool
how to refinish teak dining table
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FAQs: How to refinish teak dining table

How do you refurbish a teak dining table?

To refurbish a teak dining table, follow these steps:
1. Clean the table thoroughly with a teak cleaner or a mixture of water and mild soap. Sand the surface gently to remove any stains or rough patches.
2. Apply a teak oil or teak sealer to protect the wood and restore its natural luster. Repeat the oiling process regularly to maintain the table’s beauty and longevity.

What finish to use on teak dining table?

For a teak dining table, using a teak oil or teak sealer is recommended as the finish. Teak oil enhances the natural color and grain of the wood, while a teak sealer provides a protective layer against moisture and UV damage. Both finishes will help preserve the table’s appearance and durability over time.

Is it OK to sand teak furniture?

Yes, it is generally okay to sand teak furniture, but it should be done with caution and care. Teak wood is relatively soft, so use fine-grit sandpaper and gentle pressure to avoid damaging the wood’s surface. Sanding can help remove stains, blemishes, or rough areas, but it’s essential to follow up with a teak oil or sealer to protect the wood and restore its natural beauty. You can also use belt sander dust collection.

Can you refinish teak veneer table?

Refinishing teak veneer can be challenging because the veneer is thin and delicate. Sanding the veneer can easily damage it, so it’s best to avoid aggressive sanding. Instead, consider cleaning the veneer and applying a fresh coat of teak oil or sealer to rejuvenate its appearance and protect the surface.

How to refinish teak dining table? Final notes

The dining room in your house is now boasting a new table, and clean damp cloth. You are proudly invited guests to see how you refurbished your Danish treasure. People around wonder how you could do it. Tell them about the 12 steps of refurbishing different woods: from cleaning to polishing procedures.

Go over them again to revise and follow. Prepare space and equipment in advance. Search for the famous brands of old teak pieces online and select your one. Finally, do not forget that using teak oil on a teak table is dangerous!

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