How to Refinish Teak Wood on a Boat

Water and sunlight take a toll on almost every part of a boat. From the motor to the seats to plastics to railings, everything wears just a little quicker out on the water. 

That wear from the elements also affects any teak wood you have on your boat. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to show you how to refinish teak wood, using a boat’s wooden nameplate as an example.

Tools and Supplies Needed - Refinishing Boat Teak Wood 

Teak wood refinishing

Teak Wood Restoration Steps

Step 1. Use 80-grit sandpaper to sand off a teak wood nameplate that has weathered sun-bleached wood and/or shadows of letters. 

Boat teak wood refinishing

Boat teak wood restoration

NOTE: In the second photo above, you can see beyond the sander at the result of pulling all of that worn surface off the wood: no shadows from the letters and a deeper color on the wood itself.

Step 2. Clean the sawdust away and put some paper under the nameplate before you start refinishing the teak wood. Next, brush on teak oil with the grain of the wood, making sure to apply it evenly and to the sides and ends of the wood. 

Teak oil application

Step 3. Let the teak oil sit for a few minutes, then wipe it down with a lint-free cloth to remove the excess oil.

Star Brite teak oil application

Step 4. Allow the teak oil dry overnight, then come back and check out the results. For a darker finish, repeat the application, wiping and drying process again until you get the shade you want. 

Boat teak wood restoration refinishing

NOTE: Our teak wood oil application took two coats, so after a second cycle of application, we wiped it down and let it dry overnight again. 

Mount the letters back on the name plate and the plate itself back onto your boat if you’re satisfied with the results. 

Boat teak wood namesake refinishing

PRO TIP: We only used Star Brite teak oil, but we recommend getting the Star Brite Premium Teak Care Kit, which also includes a cleaner and brightener to help you maintain your boat’s teak wood.

Our teak refinishing project took a little longer because the wood had really gotten weathered in terms of bleaching and wear. However, if you make cleaning and brightening a part of routine teak wood maintenance, restoring it won’t take as long.



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