How to Restore Outdoor Wicker Furniture
Wicker describes any furniture that is woven. Outdoor wicker furniture is the most commonly preferred choice for patio furniture. Wicker furniture is usually made from a wide variety of materials such as rattan, cane, bamboo, and reed. Although wicker furniture is beautiful, it is not that easy to clean and is easily damaged by exposure to sunlight and rain.
Step 1 - Examine the Furniture and Assess the Damage
Start with a thorough examination of your furniture. Remove the cushions if any, place it where there is an ample amount of light and check what exactly is damaged. Assess the damage and then decide if the furniture just needs cleaning or something more extensive like a coat of paint. Check to see if there is damage in the frame and also check where the wicker weaving is damaged or loose, especially in the legs.
Step 2 - Clean Wicker
Once you are done with the assessment, start off with cleaning. For cleaning, use a stiff bristled brush that can reach the nooks and crevices. You can make use of a normal paint brush by just cutting the bristles of the brush in half or you can use a toothbrush. Scrub off the dust and grime off the wicker using the brush.
Alternatively, by using the vacuum brush attachment, you can vacuum clean the furniture. Make a solution of warm water and dishwashing soap and use a soft sponge to clean the furniture. Next, wipe the furniture using a rag and clean water. Do not hose or use excess water soaking the furniture as this will damage it. Allow the furniture to dry completely before using it.
Step 3 - Glue Loose Strands
Check for loose strands around the leg and other regions. Use an epoxy glue or super glue to secure it back in place.
Step 4 - Replace and Weave Strands
If the strand is found to be shredded and cutting through the frame, you may have to replace it with a new strand. You can buy wicker strips for this purpose from your manufacturer or from a craft store. Soak the wicker strips for ½ an hour in water so that it is easy to work with.
Pull the old strand and cut it just above the damaged region. Measure the length of wicker that needs to be replaced. Add 2 inches to the desired length and cut it using a utility knife. Now, weave it back to the same pattern; use needle-nosed pliers for a tight weave. Use glue and tack down strands that cannot be cut.
Step 5 - Paint and Varnish
Spread an old sheet on the floor and place the furniture there. Stretch any bent or scratched frame before painting. Spray paint is the preferred choice of paint for this furniture as it covers the nooks and crevices. Finish off by coating it with lacquer for a finished look.
Alternatively, spray primer to the piece and let it dry for 24 hours, and then repaint with white paint. Finish off with a coat or two of varnish. This retains its authentic look.
Try not to expose your furniture to direct sunlight or rain to prolong its life.