Teak wood is often used in outdoor furniture because of its durability and weather resistance. However, over time the teak can take on a yellowish appearance.

So, can you paint teak wood to restore its natural color or match your decor? Well, many people seem to think that you can’t, but I’m here to tell you that not only can you paint it, but it’s a really simple process, too!

But be careful; not all paints are suited for this purpose. This blog post will go over the steps I took to turn my dingy old teak wood furniture into something brand new and beautiful.

Can You Paint Teak Wood?

Yes, you can paint old teak wood. However, painting new teak wood furniture isn’t easy because its natural oil inhibits paint adhesion and potentially bleeds through the surface. Before painting teak wood, prep the surface and apply a stain-blocking primer. Then, use at least two coats of teak wood paint.

How Often Should You Paint Teak Wood?

Teak is a deciduous tropical tree native to India, Thailand, and Indonesia. It is one of the most preferred timber for garden furniture and other applications because it’s extremely strong and durable. 

If you’re wondering about cost, you can read “how expensive is teak wood?”

Teak wood is best known for its naturally high oil content. These oils prevent rot because the wood is naturally water-resistant and repels insect infestation.

In addition, untreated Teak wooden furniture can withstand the abuse of elements and develop a charming gray color –shiny patina.

On the flip side, teak’s excess oil content makes it challenging to paint or stain because the wood finish won’t adhere well to the surface.

Before painting, you ought to have prepped the surface and, most importantly, applied a primer. And you can repaint as soon as the paint coating starts flaking, or somehow, the oils manage to bleed through to the surface.

How to Paint Teak Wood

Teak wood can have a long lifespan even if untreated. But for you who want an aesthetically pleasing outdoor, you can paint teak furniture in whichever color reflects your style.

You will need lots of patience throughout this project. Whenever you’re ready, the steps below will show you the way. 

Materials and Supplies for Painting Teak Wood

  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block or power sander
  • Cloth or rag 
  • Trisodium Phosphate
  • Rubber gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Exterior wood paints (Check the best paint for outdoor wood).
  • Stain-blocking primer
  • Wood finish

Painting Teak Furniture Step by Step

Step 1: Wash the teak wood surface

Begin by dusting the teak wood furniture using a dry cloth. Then wash it with soap, water, and a soft sponge. 

However, if your outdoor teak furniture is weathered and has a shiny patina, wash it with a bleach solution to restore the golden color of teak wood.

Create a cleaning solution by mixing ½ or 1 cup of Trisodium Phosphate in a gallon of warm water. Wear rubber gloves and goggles to shield you from the chemical solution. Wet the surface and scrub the weathered teak using an abrasive sponge.

Rinse the teak furniture with plenty of water and let it air dry completely.

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Step 2: Fill any holes in the outdoor furniture

Once the wood is clean and dry, it’s easy to notice holes, cracks, and gouges. You can fill holes with an epoxy wood filler or whip up your DIY wood filler.

Mix the epoxy filler with the recommended wood hardening products and apply it to the affected spots. Apply the filler immediately after mixing; any delays may have the filler drying in the bowl, making it hard to apply.

Once the filler dries, sand down any excess and smooth the spot using 120 grit –sandpaper. 

Skip this step if the wood is in perfect shape.

Step 3: Sand the teak wood furniture

Sanding teak garden furniture evens out the texture of the surface and opens the wood pores in preparation for priming. Start sanding the surface using 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the furniture going in the direction of the wood grain.

For example, you can use a sanding block or an orbital sander for a large teak table. Remember to sand every inch of the teak garden furniture, including the sides and bottom.

Vacuum the dust off the surface. Run your palm over the sanded surface to find any rough spots you may have missed. If the entire furniture surface is even, proceed to sand further with finer grit sandpaper. 

Finish sanding your outdoor furniture using 220-grit sandpaper. This fine grit will even out any tiny scratches on the whole surface. In addition, this final round of sanding will ensure the primer and teak paint adheres better to the surface.

Ensure the surface is clean before you prime teak wood. Then, vacuum again to remove most of the dust and debris.

Finish cleaning the surface by wiping it with a tack cloth or a damp cloth dipped in mineral spirits. This will pick up the dust grains that may have remained after vacuuming.

Step 4: Apply a stain-blocking primer

Apply lacquer or shellac-based primer on the prepared outdoor wood surface. Since teak wood has high oil content, these oils may inhibit paint adhesion and get in the way of a flawless finish.

Therefore, you should apply a stain-blocking primer like shellac to block oil bleeding through the surface.

Coat the entire teak furniture with the primer using a foam or bristle brush.

Let the primer sit on the surface for a few minutes to soak into the wood pores. Then, wipe off excess primer from the surface to prevent a splotchy teak surface.

Then wait for the shellac coat to dry completely. Check the surface after a few hours to see if there are air bubbles or if natural oils have bled through the shellac sealer. (Read on to know the exact shellac cure time.)

If it has, lightly sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper; wipe the dust and stains using a smooth cloth. Then, reapply another coat of shellac sealer and repeat the process above.

If necessary, you can apply multiple coats of wood sealer before getting to the painting stage. If you can, wait a week between the primer and paint to ascertain that the natural wood stains won’t bleed and ruin your paint job.

Step 5: Apply at least two coats of teak wood paint

Since we used a shellac-based primer, we can paint teak wood with oil-based paint or latex paint. If you opt for latex paint, apply it using a synthetic bristle brush.

But if you go for oil-based paint, use a natural bristle brush to spread the paint coat. Then, apply the paint in thin layers. If you’re painting many teak garden furniture or a few with intricate patterns, a sprayer makes a better paint applicator.

It is faster, and you can have an evenly painted surface with less effort. The best part is that you can apply exterior furniture paint spray using a spray gun. Spray paint your teak furniture standing a foot away from the surface, and overlap at 30%.

Scuff the surface using fine sandpaper once the first coat is completely dry. Then, wipe the debris and reapply the second coat and subsequent coats using the same method.

Step 6: Seal the painted teak furniture

Now, seal your painted outdoor furniture to weatherproof it. (Here’s the best way to seal painted wood.)

Next, apply a clear polyurethane coat using a natural bristle paintbrush or spray it on teak wood. Polyurethane finish is UV resistant, waterproof, and generally more durable than other wood finishes.

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Additional Tips to Remember when Painting Teak Wood

Painting teak outdoor furniture can be a daunting task. It is important to remember a few key things when painting this type of wood to ensure the best results. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind;

Consider the weather

Painting teak wood requires certain conditions because it’s a messy job. First things first, check the weather forecast. Since you will be working outside, choose a calm, warm, and sunny day with the least wind levels,

Also, remember to place a drop cloth under the furniture you want to paint and secure it with masking tape. This will collect paint drips and keep your work area paint-free. 

Allow sufficient drying time

The more time you can allow for your teak wood project, the better the results will be. You need lots of drying time between paint coats and after the topcoat sealer.

Let the restored weathered teak furniture sit for a minimum of a week. After that, you can arrange them in the garden and enjoy the fresh set.

See also: How to restore cedar siding


Can you paint over teak oil?

Yes, you can paint over teak furniture oil. First, clean the surface using teak cleaner and let it dry. Then lightly sand the surface, wipe, and apply a primer or teak sealer. Next, lightly sand the primer to remove air bubbles. Finally, apply two to three coats of oil-based paint in your preferred color.

Can you paint teak wood with chalk paint?

Yes, you can paint teak wood with chalk paint. However, it will conceal the teak’s natural beauty. That aside, chalk paint may crack and flake on teak wood because it’s not water-resistant (See how to make chalk paint waterproof). Also, teak’s natural wood oils may bleed through the surface and ruin the chalk paint finish. 

What is the best paint for teak wood?

Oil-based exterior timber paints make an excellent choice for teak wood. This is because; teak wood contains high levels of natural oils. These wood oils will blend more oil-based paint than other paint formulations.

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  • ONE-COAT COVERAGE - Forget multiple applications; one coat of our STAR BRITE Teak Sealer achieves the desired color and wood grain patina

Can you change the color of teak wood?

Yes, you can change the color of teak wood by painting over it with a color of choice. Alternatively, you can stain teak furniture darker without necessarily hiding its natural beauty.

Can you paint teak outdoor furniture?

Yes, you can paint teak outdoor furniture. Whether the outdoor furniture is new or slightly weathered, ensure you prepare the wood properly: clean, sand, prime, then paint and seal. Painting teak furniture can be fun, especially because you can play with various color palettes.

Read also: Mahogany vs Teak Outdoor Furniture

How to modernize teak furniture

You can restore weathered teak furniture with a fresh coat of paint or wood stain.

  1. Thoroughly clean the furniture with teak cleaner
  2. Fill any holes with epoxy wood filler
  3. Sand it smooth
  4. Prime with a teak sealer to prevent oil bleed through
  5. Paint, stain or apply a golden sealer to restore the golden teak appearance

How do you keep teak wood from turning gray?

Gray wood on teak is from exposure and reaction to UV rays, rain, snow, etc. To prevent silver patina, wash the wood with teak cleaner and apply golden sealer. This sealer will maintain the beautiful golden teak appearance, keeping wood from turning gray.

Can you stain teak wood darker?

Yes, you can stain teak wood darker using a dark wood stain. However, always ensure you seal the wood before staining. Also, you should use oil-based wood stain and apply multiple coats using a natural bristle brush. After that, you can seal the stain for more protection.

Related: How to Identify Teak Wood Furniture

Can you Paint Teak Wood Summary?

So, can you paint teak wood or furniture? Although it is possible to paint teak wood, you should consider a few things before getting started.

We’ve outlined the steps you need to take and shared some tips for ensuring your project looks great.

Key takeaway: The secret to sturdy adhesion on teak wood is applying a stain-blocking primer. Once you have that out of the way, you can paint or stain teak furniture however you want.

Have you ever painted teak wood?

If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!