How to Clean and Care for Outdoor Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is as beautiful as it is durable, with the proper care. The woven rattan, cane, or other materials made into wicker furniture give a porch, patio, or sunroom charming appeal. Best of all, wicker furniture is comfortable when outfitted with cushions, and it is an excellent choice over plastic or aluminum outdoor furniture that does not look nearly as stylish.

It is important to properly clean and care for outdoor wicker furniture if you want it to last a long time. Outdoor wicker furniture that is ignored will deteriorate in time. With the right care and when continuously keeping it clean, outdoor wicker furniture can last for decades, and spending a little time providing that care is definitely worth the effort.

Outdoor Wicker Furniture Placement

Direct sunlight and heat is the enemy of outdoor wicker furniture. The sun will dry out the wicker and cause cracking and breakage as will outdoor fireplaces and bonfires. Place the pieces in a shaded area if possible, or provide a canopy or a patio umbrella to protect it from damaging rays and the heat of the sun. Otherwise, store it in a shady area or in a shed or garage when not in use. Outdoor furnishings of high quality are expensive, but proper placement and care is the first step in making sure rattan, cane, or wicker will last for many years and while continuing to look as good as new.

Annual Maintenance and Care

Wicker becomes dry and thirsty, and it should be lightly misted with water approximately twice a month while in use. Allow it to dry completely since it can sag if it is used when wet. This is especially true for cane seating. In addition, be sure to store the pieces indoors during the winter months. Pieces left outdoors will age considerably and suffer damage from snow, ice, and moisture.

Repairing Sagging Cane Seating

One of the main problems with cane seating is eventual sagging, but a cane chair that is in otherwise good condition can easily be repaired. Turn the cane chair upside down, and mist the sagging seat with plain water. As the water dries it will naturally tighten the cane and help tighten the sagging seat. If this does not help, examine the cane carefully to look for broken sections causing the sagging. In this case it will have to be repaired or replaced.

Antiquing Wicker Furnishings

Outdoor wicker furniture can be protected with a layer of latex paint, and the paint can be thinned with water to provide an antique look. Mix two parts outdoor latex paint with one part water, and apply the paint and water mixture with a soft bristle paint brush. While the paint is still wet, wipe the wicker with a soft clean rag to give it an antique appearance. The paint will protect the furniture from the elements, and with proper care it can last for decades.

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