Teak Care and Use Guide
To preserve teak in its natural color for an extended period of time SEMCO offers a Teak Sealer. SEMCO Teak Sealer is a solvent based teak finish with water-like viscosity containing pigments, mildewcide, UV inhibitors and moisture protection. SEMCO does not contain silicone, varnish, polymers or exotic oils.
When SEMCO Teak Sealer is properly applied to teak, the wood will look as if it has nothing on it, yet it will not turn gray or support the growth of mildew. Surface soil can be washed away with mild detergent, and with seasonal recoating the teak will be preserved in its natural state for many years.
If teak has been allowed to weather, the gray and any mildew must be removed before finishing the wood. The cleaning process is harsh on the wood and may contribute to a rough surface if repeated many times.
When teak is newly milled or has been sanded with a mechanical sander the heat from those processes will burnish or polish the natural oils in the wood. The dust created from sanding teak is very fine and oily and it will clog the pores of the wood. These two phenomena cause the "waxy" feeling of new wood. This burnished oil and dust must be removed prior to finishing. The finish will not soak into the burnished areas and the dust will absorb the finish and eventually be washed away causing a blotchy appearance.
To clean weathered teak, SEMCO offers SEMCO Two Part Teak Cleaner. This product is easy to use and will produce dramatic results. To clean the teak with SEMCO simply remove the piece from any finished surface or remove any items that might be affected by the cleaning process. SEMCO teak cleaner will not hurt the lawn or fiberglass but it may damage painted surfaces or stain a patio. Always wear rubber gloves and goggles when using this cleaner. Using a hose, wet the wood thoroughly and be sure to allow plenty of water to flow where the rinse water will run. Open the applicator lid of the Red Part 1 Cleaner and squirt onto a small area. It is best to work on a small area at a time, overlapping each area and working from top to bottom, not allowing the cleaner to dry on the wood. Scrub the Part 1 with a Scotch Brite pad or a soft bristle brush, the wood will turn a deep brown color. Rinse thoroughly, then apply the Green Part 2 to the same area and scrub in the same fashion, the wood will then turn much lighter. Finally rinse the area thoroughly with water. The teak should appear obviously lighter and cleaner. If any stains remain repeat the process. The wood will lighten further as it dries.
SEMCO Two Part Teak Cleaner will remove teak oils, food stains, the residue of varnish, and SEMCO Teak Sealer. Any solid surface coating like varnish must be removed before using Two Part Cleaner. Never use a brass brush or a pressure washer to clean teak, these methods will scour the soft grain of the wood causing a rough and splintery surface. Never use steel wool to clean teak because it will produce rust spots in the wood. Brass wool is acceptable but a Scotch Brite Pad is the best tool to clean teak.
If the teak is already finished with SEMCO Teak Sealer this type of cleaning is not necessary unless you want to remove the SEMCO and start again. For new teak, cleaning with two part cleaner is not necessary, however the "waxy" feeling of newly milled wood must be gone before finishing. To prepare new wood for finishing one of two methods may be employed. Either the new teak can be allowed to weather for a few weeks, just until it begins to lose its color, or the process can be accelerated by washing the wood with a strong detergent such as Tide, Wisk or Simple Green. When the grain of the wood is open and the waxy feeling gone, the wood is ready to be finished with SEMCO Teak Sealer.
To apply SEMCO Teak Sealer the wood must be completely dry. Shake the can or stir the contents to thoroughly mix the SEMCO. SEMCO Teak Sealer has a water-like consistency, appearing opaque in the can. Apply the SEMCO to the teak using a foam brush applicator allowing the wood to absorb as much as it wants. There are no brush strokes or lap marks to be concerned with. When the first coat is complete, a second coat can be applied immediately. Always apply both coats in the same day. Use a rag to wipe any excess from the wood after each coat. Two coats as an initial application should be sufficient in most cases, as more coats will mask the grain of the wood. The teak will be dry to the touch in an hour and ready for service the next day. Cool, cloudy or damp weather will slow the drying time. A plastic spray bottle eases application to furniture.
When SEMCO Teak Sealer is applied to the teak and it has had a week or two to weather, the wood will appear as if it has "nothing" on it, yet the teak will not turn gray or allow the growth of mildew. After cleaning and sealing with SEMCO the first time, an occasional cleaning with soap and water and a single fresh coat of Sealer applied seasonally will keep the teak looking great for years to come. If water dashed on the surface beads up, then the SEMCO is still working and does not need re-coating. Avoid applying SEMCO too often as the finish will build up and mask the grain of the wood. A harsh environment or higher usage may shorten the intervals of maintenance required .