Nestled at the crux of casual and class, wicker furniture adds oomph to any household. Adding the atmosphere of a relaxing beach holiday, they’re the perfect centrepiece for your wind-swept patio – but the price of chill is hefty if neglected.
Wicker furniture requires a keen eye, attention and appropriate tender loving care. Traditionally, wicker is made from plants – from trees to vines, grasses and even seagrasses, the sturdy furniture can be woven from natural material of any origin. Common materials include cane, rattan (a climbing palm), rush, wicker (usually made from willow), splint (sourced from ash, oak or hickory) or bamboo. It’s also common now for synthetic fibres to be used.
Whatever material your furniture is made from, outdoor wicker furniture is porous and at risk of drying out and cracking over time if it’s not cared for correctly. If you’re dedicated to maintaining the luster of the outdoor wicker furniture adorning your patio, it’s vital to take precautions to weather-proof them and keep them classy. Here’s a list of actions you can take to ensure your care-free summer lounging lasts forever.
Buy waterproof furniture
It may seem obvious, but it’s notoriously overlooked. If you live in a region that experiences a great deal of rainfall or humid, wet summers, look no further than waterproof furniture. By investing in furniture that is weather-proof for your area, the chores of oiling, drying and maintaining your finishings are thrown out the window – all play, no work. Great choices for waterproof wicker furniture include polys and resin – these materials look almost identical to natural based wicker but have the added element of being waterproof. Another good option is oil-based hardwood like teak, which is a great buy if you’re dedicated to natural furniture.
Clean the furniture regularly
One of the best ways to prevent damage to your outdoor wicker furniture is to keep it clean. You can easily remove dust and dirt from your furniture by using the bristle brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. It can also be wiped down with a mixture of warm water and oil-based soap, but should always be dried thoroughly if you’re planning on storing it.
Paint your outdoor wicker furniture
Another great and easy way to protect your loved furnishings is to coat it with a paint that is specifically formulated to protect it. It’s important to coat the entire piece of furniture, including the top, bottom, underside, arms and seats. With proper paint, a new coat should be applied every three years.
If you’re aiming to waterproof the furniture too, a coat of marine varnish can be applied after the initial paint layer is dried. Side note – painting your furniture could change the colour, so if you’re looking to keep the natural colour of the wicker, skip the paint and opt for marine varnish only.
Oil the wicker furniture
Another way to make your outdoor wicker furniture water resistant is to oil it with tung oil. It should be applied with a soft cloth when the furniture is first exposed to elements, and should be reapplied if you’re putting the furniture in storage.