Caring for teak furniture

Caring for mid-century modern teak furniture

Sometimes when I go look at retro shops, I marvel at how cool everything looks and wish my home looked the same. But I forget that I have a house full of teak furniture with tapered legs! Things look good in the shops because they have been polished up to show their true beauty.

So when I picked up a can of furniture polish and gave our furniture some much-needed TLC, I was surprised how well everything came up. I wish I’d done it sooner. Just an hour or two and everything looked great again. That’s the beauty of wooden furniture.

I was able to disguise most of the scratches and bring out the beautiful grain of the timber again. Perhaps I should have been using proper teak oil, but I have heard that its fumes are toxic. As you can see from the Before and After pictures, there are some places where the varnish has come off. I think that to address this would involve stripping back all the varnish and re-surfacing it. Deeper scratches could then be lightly sanded out. But that’s a job best left to a professional.

Polishing modern teak furniture Before and After

You can see the damage to the varnish in the bottom left corner.

Doing this job made me realise just how much I love our dining table: it’s the place where we talk, eat and enjoy happy times together as a family. And how much I love my forty-dollar desk: the place where I study, blog and manage the family paperwork. It’s damaged in the corner, and when the desk finally falls apart I will need to find a replacement. Of course I have been looking at lovely rosewood and walnut desks from Denmark with tambour cupboards, but perhaps spending so much on a desk might hamper my creative process!

Teak table and retro mid-century modern antiques

If you have any tips on how to disguise the larger scratches, please let me know in the Comments below!


3 thoughts on “Caring for teak furniture

  1. Your polishing job looks beautiful, and looks like it took care of some scratches. I’d like to know about how to care for bigger scratches too — I’m hoping someone weighs in.

    • Thank you! The teak ones I bought in a retro shop and the small ceramic ones were given to us when we were bumped to business class a few years ago. I love how they look like pebbles!

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