Wicker furniture can wear out over time and get covered with dirt and debris. Refurbish the wicker by first cleaning it and then stripping paint or finish from it. Then apply a new coat of paint or a clear coat of finish. Refurbishing wicker can breathe new life into your furniture and lengthen its stay in your home.
Brush the entire piece of wicker furniture with a brush that has medium stiff bristles or use a handheld rotary tool with cleaning accessories. This step will remove most of the built-up dirt and debris from in between the reeds. Work until the wicker appears clean or until the dirt no longer comes off.
Add 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap to 1 gallon hot water.
Dip a scrubbing brush into the water and shake it so that the brush is slightly damp.
Brush the entire piece of furniture until it is completely clean. Apply more soapy water as needed, but don’t soak the wicker.
Rinse off the soap with a water-dampened cloth and let the furniture dry completely for several days. The wicker might appear very soft, but it will stiffen as it dries.
Dip a paintbrush into wood stripper and brush it over the entire piece of furniture, if it is already painted. Use a drop cloth under the furniture to prevent the stripper from damaging your workspace's floor. Let the wood stripper sit according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
Brush the entire piece of furniture with medium-bristle brushes. Work with small brushes to remove the flaked paint and the stripper residue. Reapply more stripper to areas where the paint is still attached to the wicker. Work until the entire piece is clean and all of the paint is gone.
Let the wicker dry completely for 48 hours.
Paint the wicker with a pigmented paint or a clear finish. Use a spray application so that you can get the paint into the small nooks of the wicker. Choose lacquer paint or a lacquer finish rather than polyurethane, which may crack when the wicker bends under pressure. Choose an exterior paint or finish if you'll be using the wicker furniture outside. Paint one thin layer and let it dry according to the manufacturer's directions, before painting another thin layer. This strategy will achieve the smoothest and most even results.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear gloves and goggles when working with stripper; it is extremely toxic.
- The handheld rotary tool with cleaning accessories is particularly useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of the furniture.
Things You'll Need:
- Scrubbing brushes
- Handheld rotary tool
- Cleaning accessories
- Liquid dish soap
- Wood stripper
- Lacquer spray paint
- Lacquer clear finish
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