When researching this topic you will find conflicting information depending on who you ask. The text below represents our experience. (Don’t trust a website that has links to where you can buy the products, naturally they are biased.)
The main research and new technology advancement has been to the advantage of the Water based products. If you ask grandpa, Oil based Vs Water based stain for teak? He will most definitely say, “oil based products last longer”. Grandpa was indeed accurate over ten years ago.
At Sydney Staining Service we have a square meter sized sample board that is being fully exposed 24/7 to sun and rain. As our name implies we are Sydney based and the Australian sun certainly does some serious damage, it shreds timber colour really fast.
What we have found after one year of full sun exposure is that the water-based products is a lot stronger. To protect against the uv-rays that causes the internal teak-oil to oxidize.
Pros and cons of oil based stain for teak
+ Oil based stain has deep penetration technology, which is both good and bad. Benefit being that it gives a deeper look that will enhance the grain better. It simply can look amazing after application. Other benefits are that it is less maintenance, if you keep your furniture away from the sun. It makes liquids bead on top of the surface.
- – Downsides being that it replaces the natural teak oil and sets you on a maintenance routine. That routine is required on a yearly/half yearly basis. The penetration makes it a lot harder to restore, if you down the track decide that you want your teak outdoor furniture setting in a natural silver grey, or another colour. It’s unforgiving in the sense that it turns into a really ugly finish if you stop the maintenance routine.
Pros and cons of water based stain for teak
- + Water based teak protectors stays on the surface of the timber and gives it a really good protection against sun due to hi-technology research that hasn’t been around more than 10 years. Even NANO-technology shield is available on the water based products. (In short that means that it rearranges the particles of the surface and making everything bead on top of it opposed to staining the table.) The water based is also extremely forgiving in the sense that it wears off and then turn into silver grey weathered teak colour eventually without a phase of ugly dark discolouration.
- – The downside of the waterbased is that it normally uses two products. One to protect the colour (does that job for longer than the oil-based, between 6- 18 months). The other one used to shield it against stains. The shield can in Australian conditions wear off within 3-6 months.
To conclude Oil based Vs Water based stain for teak we proudly say that we use both. It will depend on exposure to sun and how you much value you give their different pros and cons. Here is a link to the products we currently use, but we are always scouting for new better products.