The Magic of Teak Oil

6 Jan

Furniture has been a big topic on this blog…new furniture that I covet (like the Perch sofa) and old vintage furniture that I have thrifted. More recently I wrote a post about this mid-century dresser that I found at the Mercer Island Thrift store. No one in the household was quite as enamoured with it as I was, but clearly they just didn’t have the vision I did. Granted, it was a bit marred on the top and aged with water stains and scratches.

But hey, I am a girl with a new electric sander and I can conquer anything.  Okay, so Maeve actually conquered things first (more on that soon!) but I can conquer things too.  I used three different ‘grits’ of sandpaper on the sander…80 first to get the finish off, 100 to smooth it and 120 to finish it. (In hindsight, I would have used 220 for that, then it would be ULTRA smooth like a baby’s butt.) You need to sand only in the direction of the wood grain or you will end up with circular marks on the wood.  Be warned:  Very attractive photos of me in yellow glasses and a hoodie.

You can see in this next photo the difference between the top and the side.

I was also armed with a can of magic oil.  Teak oil.  How did I not know about this? This stuff is amazing, I tell you.  I wiped it on with a rag and it soaked it in. The wood turned into a gorgeous warm reddish-brown color.



I have been told by a reader that I should finish the job with Feed ‘N Wax, and I definitely will.  And in a fortuitous accident, I spilled some teak oil on the floor and it REALLY is magic.  We have very rough and worn hardwood floors and have been dreading the effort and money it will take to restore them because that is not a DIY we will attempt.  However, I think we just bought ourselves some time because the teak oil made the floors look so much better!  While we were out one afternoon, Maeve spread it on some of the hardwoods and they shine! The house also smells really good too actually, that is if you like that kind of petroleum smell of a gas station.  I wonder if we should put Feed ‘N Wax on the floors too.  Does anyone have any experience with floors and oil they would like to share? I can’t find anything on the internet that says this is a good or bad idea. But I have to tell you, the floors shine and have looked beautiful for the past week.  I thought it would soak in and return to the shabby state, but it’s stayed really nice.  Tell me if you have had any experience with this.

UPDATE:  Just saw the EXACT same dresser on Craigslist for $375!  What a deal.


12 Responses to “The Magic of Teak Oil”

  1. L. April 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    So glad to hear this. We have a teak floor in dining room for 22 years and never did a thing to it except occasionally damp wash. Needs some help. I’ll try the Watco Teak oil.

  2. Rabab Kaur October 23, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    The teak oil is really magical. We can see the transformation. Thanks for sharing.

  3. kw January 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    glad ya like it.. def makes finding beat up MCM furniture easier to restore stuff is wonderful.. and when i was first messing with it too i spilt some on my floors as well and it has stayed a lovely finish and color..

  4. returntheoldme January 7, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Will definitely be trying Teak Oil on the cabinets in my Bar Room when I am finished with it! Looks Beautiful!! Am a lover of all things Mid-Century, and couldn’t let my mum and dad throw out the old Kitchen cabinets!

    Keep an eye on my blog and hopefully I’ll have some great pictures to put up when the room is finished!

  5. Dana@Mid2Mod January 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Teak oil really does have magical properties. We use it at our store constantly. We rarely, if ever, have to refinish a teak piece. We just slather on some teak oil, and the dings and scratches disappear.

    We also swear by Howard’s Feed-N-Wax and Restor-A-Finish and a product called Kramer’s Best Antique Improver.

    • Brandy January 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      Hi Dana…
      Right? It’s seriously magic! I am a total convert. I’ve heard Feed N Wax is awesome too and am going to get some ASAP. Have you ever used it on floors?

  6. jamieshehan January 6, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    I recently redid a MCM dresser & hutch. I used stain because I was really terrified of the teak oil. I wanted to use it, I mean it says teak…of course I wanted to use it. I was just afraid to screw up but for my next project I may. I am glad you posted this.

    Also, my floors are equally in need but I may but some teak oil until I can get to redoing them. Did it make them feel oily or anything? Did the noticeable chance stay after sweeping or mopping?

    • Brandy January 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      Hi there…
      Thanks for commenting. I’ve had no issues with it at all. And it won’t screw it up, I promise. If you don’t like it, sand it again. It basically works like stain. I think? I really like your blog and what you’ve done with your furniture, especially that dresser. Maeve will flip out. I will be posting about her dresser project soon.

      As for the floors, they aren’t oily. But I haven’t mopped or swept. I will keep you posted when I do. Stay tuned.


  7. Kim Marks January 6, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    WHERE did you end up finding the magic elixir? I wandered around the world for 2 years looking for Tung oil in order to fix up my lawn set that ultimately Goodwill refused to take away. People thought I was crazy when I said it could be restored. I even used a pressure washer to try to win over my family, but without the oil, it was an unconvincing demonstration. And, don’t you just love the power sander? 🙂

    • Brandy January 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      I actually just found both teak and tung oil at Home Depot in the paint department. Go get some and prove that family of yours wrong!


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