Published 18 September 2015 ● Last Updated on 8 October 2020

Sanding and upcycling teak furniture at home
Charting out the transformation of a teak day bed

There is nothing one can’t do with friends, music and some pizza thrown in. Or so I discovered over a weekend when I had the mammoth task of restoring the teak day bed which adorns our balcony. I decided to do it myself, after I got quotes of a few hundred dollars when I checked with some of the professional furniture restoration companies in Singapore.  Given our day bed had suffered the rigours of wind and weather so much that it looked grey, grey with age and acute boredom, I was left with little option. I started out by buying sanding paper and teak oil from Self fix, Singapore. All that remained was the execution, something I  had postponed several times, until I found few  unsuspecting friends to help me with the job!

Then onwards it was easy, I threw in the bait of “Sunday lunch at ours, been so long”, along with “psst: wear old clothes, I will be doing some sanding work, just help me if you like”. Reinforced with, “hmmm, I will order in pizzas from the awesome pizza take away next door!”, it worked like magic. The friends got hooked and I got few extra hands!!

Before the restoration: The rather drab grey weathered teak day bed

Drab looking teak day bed
A well used outdoor day bed, hence grey and dull!

How we really did the restoration?

-As the teak was rather weathered, the sanding paper we used was medium coarse of 150 grit. A tip from a recently initiated into the trade “sander” (yours truly), the smaller the grit number, the coarser the sand paper. So do not use a very low grit paper (which might be tempting as your work will seemingly get done faster) as in the name of speed you will end up damaging your furniture piece.

– Do the sanding outdoors as it generates a fair bit of dust! If you have kids, or your friends do, invite them over to join in, more the hands, the merrier. Unless the kids are allergic to dust, they will have a blast.

– Once the sanding was done and the color of the wood looked uniform, we wiped the surface of the day bed clean with a damp cloth and let it dry.

Sanding teak Day bed
Sand, sand, sand away!

– Finally we applied teak oil on the surface with a piece of cloth. I highly recommend cloth or sponge over a brush for application as it spreads evenly. And most importantly, do not forget to wear gloves before you start this step.  Let it dry and do a second coat after.  Be careful to reach the nook and crannies, if your furniture has any, as the colour difference can be rather stark if the teak oil doesn’t reach all the right places.


After: The fab looking day bed after sanding, two coats of teak oil and drying out in the sun.

Upcycling teak day bed at home
Upcycled teak day bed at home

The entire process took about four hours, so set aside a sunny afternoon for this task, not tough to find in Singapore luckily (Let’s not let the haze bog us down)! It might be tougher to find “unsuspecting friends” after this post though!! As always, welcome to send us your transformation stories if you have any to share on



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