Polishing Teak: Horses for Courses

We offer three different finishes for our teak work. They have different strengths and weaknesses and it is worth thinking carefully about the sort of performance you need and the level of care and maintenance you are prepared to carry out.


If you live in a hard water area we strongly recommend fitting a water softener. Limescale is a real scourge, and however diligent you are limescale cleaner does not really do the business.


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Marine


This is a 10% sheen factory applied PU lacquer on a specially formulated base coat which has unparalleled adhesion to the timber substrate. It is tough and hard wearing and can be cleaned using standard non-abrasive bathroom cleaners such as CIF or Mr Muscle.


  • An occasional application of clear OSMO polyx oil or Teak Oil will lift the appearance and touch up minor blemishes.
  • More significant damage to the polish film will require attention from a professional polisher.
  • The use of Limescale remover is compatible with this finish.
  • We add a non-slip compound to the finish when making shower trays, duckboards and floors.
  • Remember, all furniture lacquers are glass hard compounds sitting on a (relatively) soft wood substrate. Any blow hard enough to compress the timber carries with it the risk of breaking the lacquer film. Thus lacquer is a beautiful but fragile finish that needs care taken to preserve its looks. It needs the same quality of care as an enamelled tub.


Marine finish is the closest we can offer to a maintenance free surface. In the bathroom its performance is similar to that of a ceramic basin. In sum: easy and convenient to live with as long as care is taken but the repair of damage is quite a performance.


Marine


This is a 10% sheen factory applied PU lacquer on a specially formulated base coat which has unparalleled adhesion to the timber substrate. It is tough and hard wearing and can be cleaned using standard non-abrasive bathroom cleaners such as CIF or Mr Muscle.


  • An occasional application of clear OSMO polyx oil or Teak Oil will lift the appearance and touch up minor blemishes.
  • More significant damage to the polish film will require attention from a professional polisher.
  • The use of Limescale remover is compatible with this finish.
  • We add a non-slip compound to the finish when making shower trays, duckboards and floors.
  • Remember, all furniture lacquers are glass hard compounds sitting on a (relatively) soft wood substrate. Any blow hard enough to compress the timber carries with it the risk of breaking the lacquer film. Thus lacquer is a beautiful but fragile finish that needs care taken to preserve its looks. It needs the same quality of care as an enamelled tub.


Marine finish is the closest we can offer to a maintenance free surface. In the bathroom its performance is similar to that of a ceramic basin. In sum: easy and convenient to live with as long as care is taken but the repair of damage is quite a performance.


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Oil


We use OSMO teak oil. It is a high-quality product formulated without biocides and is food safe when cured. This is one of a family vegetable based products which combine ease of application and a good resistance to water with ease of repair.


  • Regular application is necessary to maintain effective protection of the timber surface
  • Limescale remover will strip oil finish back to the bare wood
  • There is no doubt it is hard work to maintain an oil polish that is repeatedly soaked as in a basin or bath. But it is a perfectly practical proposition in a piece of furniture that is no more than wiped clean with a damp cloth. In the early days a piece of furniture will benefit from regular oiling, but fairly rapidly the combination of oil, dust, light and oxidation that is the basis if patination will work its magic and within a year or two the surface will require almost no attention.


In sum: requires a regular maintenance regime but it is wonderfully easy to repair.


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Hot Wash


Teak is an exceptionally durable timber and it does not need the protection of polish to survive for a long time, even in a wet environment. Our Hot Wash finish repeatedly wets and flattens the timber until the impact of water no longer raises the grain. The result is a perfectly natural surface to the timber, stable and hand kindly. For cleaning we use VIM, a traditional scouring powder which has a slight bleaching effect.


  • Be aware that unpolished teak will absorb stains. However, Vim on a pan scourer is a highly effective cleaner, and this, combined with the effects of light and oxidation helps to soften stains. Teak treated in this way ages beautifully.
  • If you want a teak kitchen sink that is to do heavy duty with large cast iron pans of the Le Creuset variety, we recommend HOTWASH finish. Inevitably your sink will get dented and bashed, but it simply will not matter.

In sum: this is 'the don't worry about it' finish. It is not smart, but, particularly in hard working environments, it allows the great qualities of teak to come to the fore. It is quiet, it doesn't break dropped glass and china, it absorbs terrific bashes that would break many a china sink and distort a steel one, it will grow old well.


Hot Wash


Teak is an exceptionally durable timber and it does not need the protection of polish to survive for a long time, even in a wet environment. Our Hot Wash finish repeatedly wets and flattens the timber until the impact of water no longer raises the grain. The result is a perfectly natural surface to the timber, stable and hand kindly. For cleaning we use VIM, a traditional scouring powder which has a slight bleaching effect.


  • Be aware that unpolished teak will absorb stains. However, Vim on a pan scourer is a highly effective cleaner, and this, combined with the effects of light and oxidation helps to soften stains. Teak treated in this way ages beautifully.
  • If you want a teak kitchen sink that is to do heavy duty with large cast iron pans of the Le Creuset variety, we recommend HOTWASH finish. Inevitably your sink will get dented and bashed, but it simply will not matter.

In sum: this is 'the don't worry about it' finish. It is not smart, but, particularly in hard working environments, it allows the great qualities of teak to come to the fore. It is quiet, it doesn't break dropped glass and china, it absorbs terrific bashes that would break many a china sink and distort a steel one, it will grow old well.


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