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Finishing Options: Varnish

Varnish is probably the most traditional option for finishing teak furniture.

Varnish can be matte or glossy and can be clear or coloured with stain. One thing to note regarding colour, you cannot stain lighter than the original colour of the piece you are working with. If you want something lighter then there are other options like whitewash and paint.

Varnish can also offer very good protection against the UV rays of the sun. This will help stop outdoor furniture going grey from exposure to the sun.

But varnish will degrade over time and eventually will need to be refinished. This usually involves removing all the old varnish before applying new varnish. And that can be very time consuming and expensive.

Varnish is usually water proof and stain resistant but it is prone to scratches. It can be hard to repair individual scratches so after a lot of use it is pretty common to have to remove the old varnish and then re-varnish.

As with all finishing options, a lot of the choice comes down to personal taste and personal choice.

Pros: water proof, stain resistant, UV protection. Wide range of colour and sheen options.

Cons: difficult and expensive to refinish when damaged or marked.