Painting wicker furniture? Do or don't?

Laurie Harry
by Laurie Harry
I have three old wicker chairs that I want to clean up and make new cushions for an outdoor seating area I plan to make inside my carport. I thought I might want to paint them white, but am seeing comments that make me think twice - the wicker can't "breathe", it will crack, and you have to repaint them every year. Is there another technique to give the wicker a shine? These chairs will not be out in the weather, although they will be left outside year round (in the carport or porch area).
  8 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 26, 2016
    I would not pay attention to the comments that you have read. With proper preparation to the chairs,there should be no reason for them not to hold up. Worse case they get repainted.After your paint dries,use a gloss clear spray protector.
  • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on May 26, 2016
    Thanks. Should I choose not to paint them, would the clear gloss protector still be ok?
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 26, 2016
    I would it will protect the chairs better.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 26, 2016
    Wicker has been a routinely painted product for ages. I'd give your chairs a good brushing to clean them up and use Krylon Fusion spray paint.mseveral light coats should give you nice coverage. Then top it off with a clear finish spray in your choice of sheen.
  • Ann Ann on May 26, 2016
    I think it was Martha Stewart who painted a wicker furniture set years and years ago. But in her case she took them to an auto shop and had them use commercial grade auto paint! I think today's premium spray paints will do the job very well. Test your glossy sealer on an inconspicuous spot before spraying all over your new paint. Sometimes the sealer and paint react and blister.
    • Angela Angela on Mar 07, 2022

      Martha actually has a video showing her painting them herself now! Maybe she learned some new skills in prison?🤣😂 Just kidding, she's great!♥️

  • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on May 26, 2016
    Thanks everyone for your wonderful tips. I will give them a try.
  • William William on May 26, 2016
    Clean the Chair Start by vacuuming off the dust, and wipe off loose dirt and cobwebs. To get into the grooves and small crevices, cut off the bristles on an old paintbrush, leaving about 1" of the bristles remaining. The bristles will still be soft, but they'll be stiff enough to help dust the furniture. An air compressor also works well for blowing out dust. Use a wire brush with a scraper to remove old paint and rust from the solid portions of wicker furniture. After wiping off loose dirt, wash the furniture with a sponge and liquid detergent. Keep the sponge damp rather than wet, and use as much foam as possible. For mildewed areas, add 1 cup bleach to the water. Wear latex gloves to protect hands from splinters while washing the furniture. When finished, rinse the furniture with a spray bottle filled with clean water. Avoid soaking the wicker: if you do, you'll have to wait quite a while for it to dry before you can repair it. When the furniture is dry, check for areas that need to be repaired. Most loose wicker can be repaired with hot glue or carpenter's glue. Spray Paint the Chair Now that the furniture is prepared, begin painting with spray paint or a power sprayer. It's preferable to paint indoors, where no dust or insects will spoil the finish. But paint outdoors if the ventilation isn't adequate inside. Use a good enamel paint suitable for wicker furniture (most paint labels list the surfaces the product is suitable for). Hold the spray can 8" to 10" away from the furniture, and spray back and forth for the most even coverage. If you're spray-painting indoors, use a respirator-type mask: the fumes can be fairly strong. After painting, don't allow anyone to sit in the chair for 48 hours. This will give the paint time to cure and prevent it from stretching.
  • Diena Cameron Diena Cameron on May 26, 2016
    Hi Laurie Harry, I love wicker furniture and have several pieces. Some are painted and some not. I believe if you seal them properly either with a sealant or paint and then a sealant, it will protect your furniture for generations to come. We just moved to the central coastal area of Coos bay/North bend, Oregon, so going from very hot and dry weather to damp weather means ( i think ) i should put a marine grade sealant on them. I don't have a covered patio or deck at the new house and i want to protect them as much as possible. I believe if your furniture is not an actual antique, then go ahead and paint it. If though, it is an antique, i would only seal it so the value isn't ruined. Every one else had very good tips on painting and prepping. Hope this helps, after all, go with your gut feelings and if you want them painted, then paint away dear ( :
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    • Diena Cameron Diena Cameron on May 27, 2016
      Yes it is a very small world ( : Funny thing about moving here is we left our old home where it had been 105° for weeks and i was just sick of it so was so anticipating the move, the cool air, the RAIN......... that we hadn't seen for so long but the day we pulled up to the new home, it was 81° that day !! and it stayed in the 70's for at least 3 weeks ! ! But it was beautiful, so clean smelling and fresh. We bought a beautiful 1907, three story, five bedroom, three bath home with no air conditioning !! Who has air conditioning on the coast in Oregon, hahaha ?? So on those beautiful warm nights, we suffer ( : with a fan ! Be sure and post pics of your chairs while you beautify them. I need to get to work on mine also. Have a great one ( :