Q: I purchased a water-damaged teak table for my patio. What is the best way to restore the table, and what type of protective finish should I apply? - Jim Kroner, Parker, CO
A: Teak is one of the most durable woods for exterior use. It is commonly used for outdoor furniture and boat building — especially for deck boards and trim. Most marine supply stores (and Web sites) carry specially formulated teak cleaners, brighteners and oil. Many of these products claim to eliminate the need to sand off the old finish. You will need to sand out any water damage, however.
If you apply a protective finish to teak (especially a film finish) be aware that you’ll probably need to refresh it annually. If that sounds like too much work, consider leaving the wood unfinished. It will gradually turn gray — a natural, weathered look that many people find attractive. - HANDY