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How do you get rid of the white haze on Teak?

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Forum topic by HammerSmith posted 04-18-2019 10:21 AM 363 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


04-18-2019 10:21 AM

This old teak bench has lived in the rainforest for 20+ years… It’s never been refinished, but it had a coat of “Teak Oil” when it was new.

I just cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of Teak oil, and the color came back pretty good… but there are some spots where the white haze persists…

Does anyone know the secret for getting rid of that haze?

-- ~Jim


9 replies so far

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John Smith

1797 posts in 524 days


#1 posted 04-18-2019 11:17 AM

I just cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of Teak oil.

- HammerSmith

could you please explain what steps you used to clean it up ?
since you have already sealed the wood, your options of the haze
removal may be extremely limited.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


#2 posted 04-18-2019 11:55 AM



I just cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of Teak oil.

- HammerSmith

could you please explain what steps you used to clean it up ?
since you have already sealed the wood, your options of the haze
removal may be extremely limited.

.

.

- John Smith

I dis-assembled it and scrubbed it with a strong bleach/water solution and a stiff brush… Then I rinsed it real good with a hose, and let it dry over the weekend. ...it was a pretty dry weekend out here, and all the parts were under cover, leaning up to allow air flow.

The surface is heavily weathered because it’s been washed with a pressure washer many times over the years. The rough surface is a cool effect, but it does make it hard to wipe the Teak oil off after the second coat….

Could it be moisture trapped in the teak oil? I don’t think so, because it dries so slowly.

-- ~Jim

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Lazyman

3338 posts in 1749 days


#3 posted 04-18-2019 12:32 PM

Some teak oils have some color added to actually stain the wood. Did the color look like that after cleaning but before you added the teak oil? if not, it could be that moisture in the wood simply repelled the oil so another coat once it is dryer might work.

I have had luck with cedar fencing that was gray using a pressure washer to get down to wood where some of the natural color comes out but you do lose a little wood in the process so might not be the best choice.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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John Smith

1797 posts in 524 days


#4 posted 04-18-2019 12:37 PM

in my experience of working with teak on boats, when it turns the natural
gray color, that is the wood that has been drained of its natural oils over the years.
it is considered “dead wood” as compared to fresh wood.
what you have done is encapsulated the dead wood into the crevices created
by the power washings.
there is no reason to hash over “what you should have done before the oil”.
what I see now may be the point of no return, and you must live with it as is or remove
everything down to bare wood below the gray haze with sanding or thickness planer.
after that, you can achieve the weathered grain effect again with several applications
of the power washer or a rotary wire brush in a hand drill.
it’s a bench, meant to be outside in the elements, it will look just fine the way it is.
I would not do anything more to it other than enjoy it for several more years.
if you are going to use it in your home, and you want it to match the existing decor,
it’s going to need a LOT of work to make that happen.
[there are commercial products in the marine world to “rejuvenate” old weathered teak.
some experience is required to achieve the “new look” finish. and the price for small
quantities are pretty steep – if that is the way you want to go].
this video may be of some assistance
our valued member, ShipWright, can give you more detailed assistance if desired.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


#5 posted 04-19-2019 03:12 AM

Nathan, John, thanks for the responses!

I did some experiments today, and Teak Oil mixed with acetone seems to be working pretty good. It’s still not perfect, but it seems to be better at least. I’ll know for sure tomorrow, when it’s dry. (I tested it on the bottom)

The acetone sat on top of the mix at first… It didn’t “sink right in” like naptha does… But it does mix, and I think the acetone helps to melt whatever resins are trapping that haze.

In my test so far, the best results are to just scrub the mix in with a rag, and then leave it to dry. It’s a very light coat. It’s thinned about 30% with the acetone. There’s a splash of Naptha, and a few drops of Japan Dryer in there too.

I lost track of the recipe because I spilled a bunch of it while adding acetone to a nearly full mason-jar…. That was frustrating, especially since some of it got into a bucket of tools… I spent a half hour cleaning up those tools… I dumped about 12 oz of that mix…

So I got frustrated and decided to go on faith. I said a little prayer and and went against everything I know to be true. Normally, I would never mix brands… but I had Minwax and Watco brand teak oil, so I mixed them together with some more acetone. And some more naptha, and a splash of mineral spirits. And a few drops of Japan dryer.

This is getting interesting… I hope it works..

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


#6 posted 04-19-2019 03:20 AM

I have had luck with cedar fencing that was gray using a pressure washer to get down to wood where some of the natural color comes out but you do lose a little wood in the process so might not be the best choice.

- Lazyman

PS Nathan, I love the effect of a pressure washer on wood. It makes it look like an old dock or something. It’s awesome imo, but I can just imagine how fas it would tear up Cedar.

On this bench, it took many years and many pressure washings to get that deep weathered effect on the teak. I love it, and I would never even consider trying to sand it down “smooth”... It’s gonna be spectacular once I get this haze thing figured out…

And also, on this bench, the pressure washer always brought the color back a little bit. But it only lasts a few days before it’s all gray again…

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


#7 posted 05-13-2019 09:24 AM


... Normally, I would never mix brands… but I had Minwax and Watco brand teak oil (left overs), so I mixed them together with some more acetone. And some more naptha, and a splash of mineral spirits. And a few drops of Japan dryer.

This is getting interesting… I hope it works..

- HammerSmith

The trick worked! :)

The mix was approximately 12oz of teak oil, 10 oz acetone, 2 oz naptha, and a tiny bit of Japan dryer.

It was very thin, and I used it more like a cleaning solution rather than as a coat of finish… I used a rag made from an old sheet (not very absorbent, but no lint). I scrubbed it with a lot of elbow grease. Some of it was tedious, with getting down into the grain and all.

In hindsight, I see where I made my mistake… “I followed the directions”... lol

The weathering of the grain is very deep, so I never wiped it good enough after the original second coat.

The directions said to let the first coat sit about 10-15 minutes, then apply another coat and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Then buff it with a clean rag…

That final buffing is where things went wrong… Because of the deep grain, I think I just didn’t wipe it good enough. It was too thick. ...That wouldn’t be an issue if the surface was smooth, but now I know what I’ll do differently when it comes time for another coat of teak oil..

-- ~Jim

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John Smith

1797 posts in 524 days


#8 posted 05-13-2019 11:43 AM

very nicely done, Jim !!
now – don’t power wash it and you will be good for another 20 years.
good job !

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

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HammerSmith

257 posts in 446 days


#9 posted 05-14-2019 04:04 AM



very nicely done, Jim !!
now – don t power wash it and you will be good for another 20 years.
good job !

.

.

- John Smith

haha, thanks John, but I can’t promise to “never power-wash it again”... Maybe I’ll try to be more gentle with it in the future though, since it already has the look … But pressure washing is crucial up there because the rain forest makes it easy for mildew to grow… Even on a sunny day, it rains up there… 80% humidity is probably the norm, year-round…

And, even if the finish needs to be refreshed every so often, that shouldn’t be too big of a deal either… now that I know what to watch out for!

For something like this, I think I might mix Penetrol with the Tung Oil next time, to make the Tung Oil dry even slower.… And then I’ll be more detailed about the final buffing for sure! I might even do the final buff with a rag dampened with mineral spirits, just to be sure.

-- ~Jim

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