5 Tips for Painting Teak Furniture

There is something to be said for a slightly weathered piece of teak furniture; it can make for a very homely, comfortable and charming look in the right setting. But there’s a point where ‘homely’ becomes ‘run down’ and it’s certainly important to keep your furniture maintained.

We know lots of ways you can keep your teak furniture in good nick, but there are times when touching it up with a quick paint of it can give your outdoor setting the refresh it needs. Teak can be painted in many different colours and it’s quite easy to paint.


Photo by United Soybean Board / CC BY (https://www.flickr.com/photos/unitedsoybean/10481755764)

Let’s take a look at the main things you need to remember to get the job done.


Consider the Weather

Painting teak furniture is messy work so doing it outside is obviously a must, and when you’re painting outside you need to have certain conditions. Make sure you chose a warm, sunny day with low wind levels if possible. Always put an old cloth underneath the furniture when you’re painting.

Clean and Sand Before You Begin

No matter what you’re painting, you don’t want to do so on a dirty, dusty surface for obvious reasons. It’s also recommended to clean the furniture thoroughly since any dirt residue can stop the paint from adhering to the surface. A sponge and soapy water should do the job. You can use sugar soap as it works marvellously to remove any dust or stain from the furniture. Just wipe it down all over the furniture and always allow it some time to dry. After it’s dried, check for any holes and dents and cover them up before painting. We’d also recommend using liquid deglosser which will help to ensure that the paint properly adheres to the surface.

After cleaning give a quick sanding to your furniture. You can either do this by hand or by using a sander. The main purpose of sanding at this stage is to make tiny scratches in your furniture so that the paint can stick to.

Apply a Primer

If you’re looking for a finish that will last long term, applying an undercoat is recommended. Primer also makes sure that no stains will come out after you are done painting. A standard acrylic primer will do the trick – it helps to even out the surface and actually means less paint is required in the second coat, potentially hiding any mistakes you make when applying it. You can apply this with a paint brush or you can use a roller. Apply the primer on all the surface of the furniture and let it dry completely.

After applying the primer it’s time to sand again. This is a very crucial step and many people don’t know about it. When the primer is dried completely, lightly sand the furniture. This sanding helps to remove any air bubbles and bumps on the surface of the furniture. Then wipe the entire furniture with a smooth cloth after everything is nice and clean.

Use a Spray Can

For the second coat, we’d strongly recommend oil-based outdoor house paint, ideally applied from a spray can. There are some quality spray can paints on the market nowadays and given that the surface of a piece of teak furniture is uneven and rather rugged, it can be very difficult to apply paint comprehensively with a paint brush. Spray from a foot or so away from the surface and cover all parts of the furniture including the bottom. After you are done with one coat of paint and it has completely dried, sand the furniture again with fine sandpaper. In this way, you will make new scratches for the paint to stick to and in the process you will also be removing any bumps or air bubbles. To get a flawless finish apply many coats of thin layers. After you are done with painting clean up any drips immediately! And remember to wear protective goggles and take common sense precautions to ensure your safety.

Allow Time for Drying

Obviously you want to let the furniture sit and the paint to dry for some time before using it. We’d recommend waiting a week (better to be on the safe side before using it as you would usually. Then it’s ready to enjoy as usual! After the furniture is completely dried you need to apply some protection. For wooden furniture and especially outdoor teak furniture , furniture oil is a great option. You can apply it using a brush or with a sponge or cloth. For further protection you can also apply exterior timber paint.

If you follow these simple rules, then your old furniture will be good as new and as always keep an eye on this blog for more tips when it comes to looking after your teak furniture.

Erin Emanuel


  1. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to paint teak furniture outside and in good weather. I want to get a teak table and chair set for my patio, and I would like to paint them a shade of teal to match some of the other pieces I have out there. I’ll definitely make sure to paint them outside, and I’ll plan to do it on a day where the weather is clear. Thanks for the great post!

    • How did your teak furniture turn out after you painted it teal?

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  3. Nice write-up! Really helped me during my home construction. Thanks for sharing the useful information.

  4. I have painted a teak dresser with latex paint after priming it with BIN. 3 coats later dark is still showing through. Any suggestion So?

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