How to make old wicker furniture look new

Revitalize your old wicker furniture

Wicker furniture, like other pieces of outdoor furniture, does show wear and tear after a number of years. Instead of retiring it to the shed or throwing it in the trash, it is possible to effect repairs quite easily. You don’t have to be an expert carpenter or furniture maker to do this and you can easily finish the job as a weekend project.

There may be a few spokes missing or a few strands of the wicker that has come unraveled. Most wicker furniture is made from cane, reed or rattan — all of which are pliable fibers. These are very commonly found in craft stores.


Step 1

Find the match for your wicker furniture

Snip off a piece of the wicker furniture that is damaged and take it to a craft store to match it up with one of the same type of fiber and color. In this way, you will be able to purchase the exact same size of strand for your needs.

Step 2

Clean the furniture

Before starting the repair project, scrub the piece of furniture with a soft brush. Use a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. Rinse off the furniture with the mist that comes from the spray of the garden hose. Don’t point the hose directly at the wicker furniture. Use a soft cloth to dry the furniture when you are finished.

Step 3

Prepare the replacement wicker

The wicker you are using to replace the damaged sections must be treated before you start to use it. Soak it in warm water for about 15 or 20 minutes. Take the reeds from the water and cut the tips so that they are pointy. Then you can start to weave them into place.

Step 4

Repairing a chair leg on wicker furniture

If the leg of a wicker chair is damaged and unsightly, all you have to do is turn the chair upside down and rewrap the wicker. To do this, use binding cane and secure it to the underside of the seat of the chair with a 1/2 inch wire brad.

Wrap the binding cane tightly around the leg from top to bottom. Cut it with a knife when you are done.

Secure the end of the binding cane with white glue and tack it in place with another 1/2 inch wire brad.

Things Needed
• replacement fibers of cane, reed or rattan to match that of your wicker furniture
• soft brush
• bucket of a solution of mild detergent and warm water
• garden hose that has a fine spray
• binding cane
• white glue
• 1/2 wire brads

Tips & Warnings
• Secure the end of the binding cane on the leg with masking tape until the glue sets.
• Try not to spray the furniture directly with the full force of the garden hose, as this may cause more strands to break.


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