Bill & Mary, residents of the Peninsula Region of the Bay Area, purchased their teak outdoor furniture from Terra Outdoor in 2017. Nearly five years later, due to extensive exposure to droppings from a nearby pine tree, their furniture needed some TLC. Today they are newly-minted experts on how to restore teak, but let’s start with a little context.

A lack of protective coverings for the cushions meant significant stains from sap across the cushions. The teak frames themselves suffered from extensive dirt accumulation and mildew. Although teak itself will not mildew, dirt and other foreign substances on the wood can mildew.

before teak restoration process

(pictured above clockwise from top left) The offending tree generating all of the sap problems; close up of teak lounge chair, showing accumulation of dirt, sap, and mildew on surface of wood; view of full furniture set, showing damage to cushions and wear & tear on frames.

Initially, the couple feared that perhaps the furniture had exceeded its useful lifespan. However, following a visit to the Terra Outdoor Burlingame showroom and a consultation from a friendly associate, they felt much more hope. They set out on the following strategy to bring their Belvedere lounge set back to life:

  • Purchasing replacement cushions. Due to the extensive presence of sap, even the recommended cushion cleaning tips on Terra’s care and maintenance page would be insufficient. They selected new charcoal-colored cushions, to help better mask spills by their three children, to replace the original canvas flax.
  • Purchasing protective covers. In order to mitigate the exposure to sun, rain, and most importantly sap, they purchased new protective coverings for their two lounge chairs and loveseat.
  • Applying a two-part teak cleaner to their furniture, to remove existing dirt and grime, and then restore the teak to its original color.
Below we’ll detail the process of how to restore teak outdoor furniture using the Semco two-part cleaner. Thanks to Bill & Mary for sharing your photos and your story!

Step One: Soak & Squeegee

The process of how to restore teak furniture is rather simple. Using a regular garden hose, simply rinse all sides of the furniture until thoroughly wet. Do not use a high-pressure hose or power washer as that may splinter or damage the wood.

Next, use a squeegee to remove and standing pools of water from the furniture.

Step Two: Apply Part 1, Scrub with Soft Brush

To apply part 1 of the Semco cleaner (red bottle), transfer into a spray bottle, the thoroughly spray a small section at a time. After spraying, use a soft bristle brush to little scrub the solution against the teak. There is no need to aggressively scour the wood.

A light brushing is usually sufficient to remove dirt, teak oils, food, and other stains from the wood’s surface. Continue spraying and scrubbing a small section of the furniture at a time, until all sides have been addressed.

restoring teak part one cleaner

(pictured above) Part one solution and scrubbing applied to right side of table. The left side only rinsed with water at this point.

Step Three: Rinse & Squeegee Again

Once the entirety of the furniture piece has been sprayed and scrubbed, it’s important to do another rinse. Depending on the original state of the furniture, there may be a lot of grime dislodged that can clump up in corners and crevices.

Additionally, if there are spots on the wood that still appear dirty, take a moment to lightly spray and scrub these areas again. Then, once the entire piece has been thoroughly rinsed, squeegee off all surfaces before proceeding the next step.

how to restore teak - rinsed post-cleaning

Step Four: Apply Part 2, Scrub with Soft Brush

Now, transfer the green Semco solution (part 2) into another spray bottle, and apply to the furniture once small area at a time. During this step, the brushing serves more as a way to evenly spread the solution. There’s no need to scrub aggressively to remove dirt or oils at this stage.

how to restore teak - rinsed post-cleaning

As the part 2 solution absorbs into the wood, the teak should considerably brighten. Take note that your outdoor teak furniture will feature an even brighter tone once dry. Contrast the color of the freshly treated (and still) wet loveseat in the photo below, against the dry coffee table and lounge chair.

restored teak - wet vs dry

Step Five: Apply Sealer (optional)

For Bill & Mary, they prefer the look of their restored teak without any additional sealer. Over time, the teak will weather into to an elegant silver patina, but preferably without the sap and grime they previously experienced.

However, Terra Outdoor showrooms also carry Semco teak sealer in a variety of different finish options. These sealers offer long lasting, natural-looking protection for teak furniture.

The five color options for the sealer are shown below. Wait a day or two for the teak to be 100% dry before applying sealer with a foam brush or rag. One to two coats is almost always sufficient.






Concluding This Teak Restoration Story

For Bill & Mary, taking a few hours to restore their teak to its former glory was well worth it. The cost of new cushions, cleaning supplies, and the new protective covers was a fraction of the cost of full replacement.

Terra Outdoor is committed to using premium teak in our furniture. The natural qualities of this material enable it to restore to its original state as highlighted in this post, with relative ease. Even when exposed to harsh elements, this enables your furniture to last for many years or even decades.

To learn more about restoring your Terra Outdoor teak furniture, how to use Semco products, or where to purchase protective covers or replacement cushions, visit your local Terra Outdoor showroom, or contact Internet Sales at or 1.888.449.8325.

completed project of how to restore teak