By Anita Winter
Several years ago for Christmas, I bought a very good friend of mine a teak bench for her outdoor area. She was always wasting money buying cheap outdoor furniture that would rot and mildew by the end of the summer. Living in the south, I knew she needed to invest in something better. Teak furniture was always my suggestion but she thought that teak was too expensive. Why waste money when she could get something much cheaper that looked fairly similar.
Unfortunately, when it comes to outdoor furniture, you get what you pay for. The elements (sun, rain insects, moisture, heat and cold) can quickly deteriorate cheap outdoor furniture. I had bragged for months on the benefits of owning teak. I finally decided to prove my point by purchasing a teak bench which I knew she would grow to love and appreciate.
She always complained about not having enough seating in her back yard, so I thought that a teak bench would be perfect. Not only would it provide extra seating but it would allow options of where she could place it. She had a huge tree that gave lots of shade, so if she wanted to place it there she could.
I remember watching her picnic table warp and wither away because she never made time to reseal it. It was high maintenance. She's a busy lady with not a whole lot of extra time. That's why teak is ideal for those of us that want low maintenance furniture. In fact, teak doesn't need to be stained or treated because it has natural oils that keep the wood from warping and rotting. It even serves as a natural defense against insect infestation. It is one of the hardest, strongest and most durable of all woods. The texture stays smooth and never splints, so she wouldn't have to worry about snagging a sweater or blouse.
I did tell her that teak beautifies with age. It turns into a silvery patina color if left outdoors. The natural oils migrate to the surface of the wood turning the surface to an elegant and timeless gray color. I also let her know that if she had the time, she could apply teak oil to restore the beauty of its golden tones. If she wanted to use the teak bench inside her home, maybe an alternative to a window seat, the natural wood grain tone would stay true to its color.
By the end of the month she wanted to purchase more teak furniture for her outdoor area. She loved the fact that she didn't have to worry about replacing her furniture year after year which in the long run will be great on her pocket book. She did decide to let her teak bench turn its natural color outdoors. She loves the silvery color and the texture. I was glad that she finally was convinced that teak was really the smarter way to go.