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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Hong Kong

    Default Teak darkens with light colored spots

    I just bought a new teak furniture and I found that in one area the wood has darkened with light spots and clouds (attached pic). The wood surface is artificially darkened with chemical and lightly seal. When I ordered it, it looked fine, but it has been sitting in their warehouse for a few weeks. I suspected it might be mildew but the seller claims the cause is because the oil in the teak is being release due to change in climate. Would anyone know if what the seller claims is true. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Oberon, NSW


    I do not believe that is mildew.

    The dealer is correct in that it's a flaw in the finish but I suspect that time is the culprit, not humidity change. (Although that is a possibility too.)

    Teak is an oily wood, so it's common practice to wipe down the surface with a solvent to reduce the oils before applying a finish, which means the the oils will float back to the surface after a period of time.

    I'm inclined to think that what you're seeing is the result of the modern "finish quickly and sell it" attitude.

    A bespoke manufacturer - or a home hobbyist, who has the time - would wipe down the surface to apply the stain, then wait a few days. Wipe down again and apply the finish coat, wait a few more days. The waits give time for the finisher to see how the timber is going to react and make corrections. Especially with timbers such as Teak which can be cranky to finish nicely.

    In this case I suspect it was: wipe down, apply a stain, it's dry? Good. Apply a finish and when that's dry, ship it off.
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Finishing teak requires some special treatment, as Skew has already mentioned. If the oil content in the wood is not taken into consideration the end result will often be less than desirable. An oil finish is the best option for teak along with an oil based stain if required. With time, it is not uncommon for lacquers and poly to blister and peel due to the high oil content in the timber.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013


    Yes,it would be interesting to hear from someone who used to work for some of the old Australian furniture companies.

    Maker's such as Chiswell or Parker used a lot of Teak back in the day and it would be interesting to hear their knowledge of how their finishes were achieved that still looks good 40-50 years on!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Hong Kong


    Its good to know its not mildew or mold. Luckily the marks are covered by the mattress so I don't see it. So I'm leaving it for now, hopefully the finish has stablized now.

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