Tabula Rasa - Teak outdoor furniture in Malaysia's harsh tropical climate December 08 2016
At Tabula Rasa, we stock some fantastic modern teak outdoor furniture and with the harsh tropical weather in Malaysia, we wanted to provide some tips on the best way to care for this beautiful wood.
Teak wood is incredibly durable and its natural oil content makes it naturally resistant to water and weathering. Over time, you should expect your new teak table to age to an elegant soft silver-grey patina. If you want to keep the original honey colour for your new furniture, we recommend applying a sealant like Semco Teak Sealer and then reapplying once or twice a year.
You should expect your new furniture to acclimatise to its new location outside and do not be surprised for the surface grain to rise slightly once it has been exposed to water for the first time. You may even notice a few small cracks, called “checking”. This is a natural weathering effect as wood expands and contracts slightly when left outdoors. This is nothing to worry about as the slight separation of the grain has no affect on the strength and longevity of the furniture. Water spots or other discoloration may also occur early in the weathering process but this will disappear as your furniture takes on a uniform sliver-gray color which in the Malaysian climate typically takes about 6 months.
If you prefer the silver grey patina, the only necessary maintenance for your teak outdoor furniture is an annual cleaning to remove the accumulated dirt. Use the garden hose to remove loose dirt and while the furniture is still wet, use a brush with soft bristles to lightly scrub in the direction of the grain of the wood and then immediately hose off the dirt before it dries. The result will be a fresh, clean and shimmery silver look!
Mildew can develop when in conditions that are consistently damp and there is high humidity causing the furniture to remain damp for prolonged periods. In such circumstances, mildew (black spots) may develop on your furniture and this can be removed with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Apply the solution to the affected furniture and let sit for a minute. Use a soft bristle brush and rinse clean with water. Repeat if necessary.
How to treat stains
Food and grease marks can usually be removed with soap, water and a soft bristle brush. Stubborn stains can be treated with a weak bleach, soap, and water solution. If all else fails, the stain can always be sanded out with fine grit paper.
Tabula Rasa is a leading furniture business in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia specialising in 20th century furniture design classics, leading outdoor furniture brands as well as designer lighting.