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How to Restore Teak on a Boat in Simple 7 Steps

Everything ages, including your teak woodwork. Over time, nature’s elements and general wear will stain a teak boat.

Restoring teak means getting your boat's teak back to its original state. Teak is one of the most popular materials for boat construction, but it can be damaged by the elements and other factors over time. If you've got an older boat that needs some help, here are a few simple steps to help Restore Your Teak, either with teak oil or varnish:

Teak oil option:

  1. Clean the surface – wipe away any dirt with a damp rag.

  2. Deep clean – there are three options for cleaning. The cost-effective approach is a combination of laundry detergent (75%) and chlorine bleach (25%). Leave this solution on the teak for a few minutes and then rinse off. Otherwise, try a cleaner with oxalic acid or as a last resort a two-part cleaner (follow instructions for use carefully).

  3. Select a teak oil – choose which type best suits your needs, there are a wide variety of oils available; mildew protection, UV filters, and so forth. N.B. Be sure you know what base is used for the teak oil – linseed oil (cheaper but will darken wood) or Tung oil (more expensive but water-resistant).

  4. Paint on – apply several coats of oil and wipe away any excess. Apply enough oil to saturate the wood.

  5. Teak Sealer – will help protect the oiled teak. Best to wait at least two weeks before applying it. An oil-free surface is needed for the sealer to work so wipe down the wood with an acetone-soaked cloth.

  6. Seal the deal – apply a few coats of sealer with a brush and allow to dry.

  7. Repeat – to maintain a great oiled teak wood finish, clean and reseal every few months.

Varnish option:

  1. Thoroughly clean the area – wipe away any dirt.

  2. Apply a thick coat of varnish or paint remover on the teak floor for around half an hour, or as long as is specified on the tin.

  3. Use a paint scraper to remove the old varnish. Apply more varnish remover on any stubborn areas that won’t budge.

  4. Paint thinner will come in handy to make sure all the leftover varnish is removed from the teak flooring, apply with a rag and allow it to dry for around an hour.

  5. Apply a thin coat of waterproof varnish. Allow the deck to dry for several hours. If there are any bumpy or rough patches then use fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen them.

  6. Repeat with another thin coat of varnish – dry for 6 hours.

  7. Enjoy the end result.

We hope the steps we've outlined here have been useful to you and that you feel confident in how to restore your boat's teak back to its original condition. If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below or send us a message on Facebook.

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