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Repair and Restore Old, Worn-Out Wicker Furniture for Less Than $10
Restoring wicker furniture can bring the beauty back to your patio without spending a fortune to replace it. As wicker furniture ages, the paint can crack and peel and the wicker can break and unravel, both causing an unsightly mess. Luckily, learning how to restore it is simple and very inexpensive.
If you have the time and energy to restore your wicker furniture, there is no need to throw it out. These directions will teach you how to repair and repaint wicker furniture for under $10.
Step #1: Cleaning
To restore your old wicker furniture, start by giving it a good cleaning. Harsh weather and morning dew can lead to mildew, which can cause your wicker to turn shades of grey and green.
Use a spray bottle to apply a bleach solution made up of 1 part bleach and 2 parts water. Allow the solution to set for 5–10 minutes and then rinse away using a high-pressure nozzle.
After rinsing the bleach, use dish soap and a scrub brush to scrub the entirety of the furniture to remove any dirt, grime, mildew, or other particles that may prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.
Mean Green and Simple Green are also effective in removing tough mildew stains, but bleach is just as good and slightly cheaper. Either way, use what you have on hand. Both can be bought from the dollar store for around $2.
After washing, allow the furniture to dry completely. A dry cloth will help get off the excess water, but it will not dry the furniture completely. For best results, set in the sun and allow the furniture to dry for a few hours.
Step #2: Repairing the Loose Ends
After your furniture is dry, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut any loose or frayed pieces of wicker that may have come undone. Check the arms, legs, and seating area for any loose pieces that need to be tightened back up, woven back into place, or repaired completely.
Be sure to check the wraps, which are simple pieces of wicker that have been wrapped around the base to hold the strands in place—generally on ends of the legs, edges, and arms. They are the most common repair needed for wicker furniture and often need to be replaced or compensated for . . . the tie strap will do just that. You can buy those for a buck or two at the dollar store or at box stores. You can also find them online.
If you have wicker wraps that have to be cut back, they can be replaced using white tie straps with the connector facing the backside of the furniture. Once it is painted, the tie strap will blend in perfectly and will not be noticeable.
If you have parts of the seat, arms, or back that need to be repaired, that too is simple. You can purchase the wicker, commonly referred to as "cane," to weave back in.
"Priming wicker furniture before painting it will help seal any exposed wood, cover any painted surfaces that may be glossed (and prevent new paint from sticking), and help create an even paint color for beautiful finished look."
Step #3: Priming
Priming wicker furniture is not required, but it will help the overall appearance of the finished piece by maximizing your painting efforts. Priming wicker furniture before painting it will help seal any exposed wood, cover any painted surfaces that may be glossed (and prevent new paint from sticking), and help create an even paint color for beautiful finished look.
Again, priming is optional, but I would recommend it so that your paint lasts longer and looks better. If you are painting over a dark color to start with, it is highly recommended in order to get an even paint color and minimize the amount of paint needed to cover the original color.
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You can use primer in a spray can for the easiest application and to ensure that you are able to cover the entire surface, including the gaps in between the strips of wicker. You will only need a single coat, so one or two cans should do fine unless you are painting multiple pieces of wicker furniture.
Krylon Sandable Primer Aerosol comes in white and grey and is a great primer for using on wicker. It is also sandable—so if there are any minor flaws in the wicker, then you can simply prime, sand down, and prime again until the area is smooth and all scratches, pits, and nicks are filled and flawless.
Step #4: Painting
White is the most common color of wicker furniture and helps maintain that cozy, cottage-feel ambiance.
You can paint your furniture any color you like, however. Just keep in mind the colors of your cushions and overall outdoor décor and the colors you wish to bring into your sitting area.
Once you have chosen the color you want to use, you can begin the final part of your wicker restoration. Spray paints work the best and, when applied correctly, they will make your furniture look brand new. Follow the directions listed on the spray paint to ensure proper application.
After applying an even coat of paint to the wicker furniture, allow it to dry completely and finish it off with a second coat. Once the second coat has dried completely, you are finished restoring your wicker furniture and can be proud of your work!
Optional Step #5: Decorating
- New or recently restored wicker furniture makes a beautiful accent for patios, porches, sun rooms, sitting rooms, and just about any other area where you wish to add an elegant sitting area.
- With wicker furniture, you can create a comfy, cottage feel by adding blues, whites, pinks, yellows, and other light colors. If you want to create a warm, sophisticated area, consider painting your wicker a darker color such as mocha, black, or brown.
- Finish it off with creams, browns, dark reds, dark oranges, and golds. These colors give a warm and relaxed feel that is inviting but still very appropriate for sophisticated areas such as offices and entry ways.
- You can also make wicker more fun by painting it other colors to match your décor. These days it's not uncommon to see wicker painted in reds, teals, blues, and other bright, fun colors to lighten up any spot.
- You can also spruce up your furniture and make it more comfortable by adding cushions, throw pillows, or throw blankets. These items will add color, style, and comfort and make the area more inviting.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
What Are Your Thoughts On Restoring Wicker Furniture?
Rosey on June 19, 2019:
This article does not answer any of my questions. I have edge pieces I would like to tie in and glue, but I don’t know what glue, or how. I have been lightly power washing, letting it dry, and using spray cans. But I need to know how to use a paint sprayer, and what paint. Is there a paint that can be brushed on?
Lisa Bean from Virginia on December 12, 2018:
This is interesting! We've lived in both overly humid and now an overly dry climate and both have done quite a bit of damage to our wicker furniture in out backyard.Thanks for the tips!
Jeanette Stewart on September 21, 2018:
By the way the artical was great, encouraged me to fixing my two chairs
Jeanette Stewart on September 21, 2018:
Love the idea on restoring Wicker Furniture. For $10 now that is debatable when the cost of the kit is $18 plus. I have two children’s chairs they are not badly damaged but I’d like to repair what is & paint them white to fit in my play area for when my grandchildren come to visit. Are there other places where I can get the whisker to repair the chairs?
Shirdun on December 29, 2017:
What type/sort of glue would stick wicker?
Mary Dadds on October 14, 2017:
I have some wicker that is in bad need of restoring and repainting.I have put it off,but this article has been very helpful.Now I plan to get to work and I know it will look good.Thank you.
Catherine on June 07, 2017:
This was very informative. Thank you. I have a lot of wicker and I use it throughout my house. I always paint it white. I do refresh the color about every two to three years beacause it tends to become dull. I love wicker and I Make sure all my cushions are very cozy.
sandy on April 10, 2017:
Just received a free chair and it has a hold in the back wondering how to fix it/
Pam on November 23, 2016:
I am going to use this info to restore a Lloyd Flanders rocker. Thought about cleaning with Murphys oil soap. It's old but in very good shape. Just needs cleaning and painting.
Jan on September 03, 2016:
Very helpful I have 2 beautiful vintage chairs I do not want to let go of now I can restore them.
Andi on July 19, 2016:
I really appreciated the information on the wicker furniture, I will get started on the morning:)
DYoung on October 19, 2015:
Very helpful. Thanks
msvick on September 13, 2015:
Going to attempt to restore a older set of wicker to it original state thanks for the advice think I will enjoy this project
tmrdivy2 on July 25, 2015:
Thanks for the post. I plan on using it to restore the used set I just bought.
ryangflo on August 08, 2013:
Very useful information, thank you!
anonymous on July 23, 2013:
That was really well covered, thanks. I have 3 chairs that need 'fixing' up, and just inherited a beautiful old wicker table that needs work. I am so excited. -but- I'm not as 'handy' as I'd like to think I am...so we'll see how it turns out..
ScottMckinzie on October 26, 2012:
Although I have not restored any wicker furniture, I really enjoyed reading your Lens. Very interesting:)