3 Telltale Signs You Need To Repaint Your Wicker Furniture and How To Get It Done

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Spring has sprung! That means it’s almost time to unbury the wicker outdoor furniture. 

Repainting wicker furniture may seem like a difficult task. But it’s not as bad as most people think. 

If the wicker is prepped and treated properly before it’s painted, it should last you through many more seasons of sunshine and rain!

Repaint Wicker Furniture Before

Does Your Wicker Furniture Need To Be Repainted? 

Before you set your furniture out for your future guests, ask yourself a few questions.

1. Is the paint stained or mildewy?

2. Is the paint chipping or scratched?

3. If the wicker is exposed, is it gray, rough, or dry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your wicker finish has begun to deteriorate, and you’ll need to repaint or refinish them.

If your painted wicker furniture is still in perfect condition but you’d like to paint it a different color, the following info will help with that too!

Prepping Your Wicker Furniture For Paint Properly Will Ensure a Finish That Holds Up Against The Elements

Don’t worry, you won’t need to break out those awful chemical paint strippers to prep your wicker furniture for paint. You can usually get away with just a thorough cleaning, a coating of deglosser, and some light sanding for the best adhesion.

Step 1: A Thorough Cleaning

This is one of the most important steps in any furniture restoration job. Not just wicker furniture. 

You can use a few different products to clean your wicker furniture, but my top choice would be Krud Kutter Cleaner and Degreaser

Depending on the products you use you can complete step 1 and step 2 (deglossing) at the same time. 

My favorite product for this is Krud Kutter Gloss Off Prepaint Surface Preparation. It is a cleaner and deglosser in one. 

As you can imagine, wicker furniture is pretty difficult to sand either by hand or with a power sander. So a deglosser is a MUST. This will ensure no glossy(shiny) surfaces remain, which is one of the top causes of poor paint adhesion.

Follow the instructions on the label to clean and degloss your painted wicker. If you prefer to clean first and then degloss, you can continue to Step 2. Otherwise, skip to Step 3.

Step 2: Deglosser 

Also known as Liquid Sandpaper, Deglosser roughs up the surface of your paint making it easier for the new paint to adhere. 

I highly recommend using Savogran’s Paint/Finish Deglosser for this. I’ve had much better results with only 1 application. Compared to Klean Strip’s Liquid Sandpaper which was applied several times and still left spots of glossiness behind, it’s an easy choice.

Deglosser for Painting Wicker Furniture

Pour the deglosser into a bucket or other container so you can soak your rag completely. Wipe it onto the wicker furniture being careful not to overwork it. 

Cover a small area with the deglosser, then use another clean rag to wipe it off immediately. Flip the rag to a clean side frequently to ensure you don’t spread the finish back onto the wicker.

If, like me, you don’t have a never-ending supply of rags, you can rinse your rag in water ever so often to keep from spreading the finish as well.

The surface of the paint should look dull once it has completely dried. Deglosser works great for preparing the painted surface, but it still does not leave a completely smooth surface as real sandpaper does. That’s why we will need to complete 1 more step before painting can begin.

Step 3: A Light Sanding

I know the surface of wicker is not easy to sand, at all. But you will still need to take a small sanding sponge, say 150-180 grit, and lightly scrub the face of the wicker. 

It’s impossible to get inside all of those little grooves, but the liquid sandpaper took care of all of those. We just want to smooth any rough spots or chipped paint down to get the smoothest surface possible.

Finally, use an air compressor, or vacuum, followed by a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust. Once the wicker has dried, you’re ready to paint it!

Repaint Your Wicker Furniture Prepped and Ready

The Easiest Way To Paint Wicker Furniture

I rarely recommend using a paint sprayer for painting furniture, but in this case, I’ve got to say it is by far the easiest way. 

At least for the first few coats, spraying just makes more sense. It would take about double the time if not more, to paint wicker furniture with a paintbrush alone.

And paint sprayers aren’t as costly as they once were. You can get one that works nicely with the compressor included for close to $50. A good investment if you plan on painting things like wicker, or large, oddly-shaped furniture pieces.

This is the paint sprayer that I used for painting these 8 wicker chairs:

Wicker Furniture Paint Sprayer

It is super lightweight, with a long hose for moving around your piece comfortably. The compressor isn’t super loud either compared to others I’ve heard. 

The only thing I will say if you get this paint sprayer, is to make sure the hose is warm when you unravel it. I didn’t think of this when I first got it and tried unraveling it cold. 

The hose ended up ripping, but it was far enough down that I could just switch out the ends. My hose is a bit shorter now but it works just fine for what I need. 

Otherwise, in the year + that I’ve owned this sprayer, it has held up everywhere other than the hose. Would confidently recommend it if you’re interested in purchasing a paint sprayer. 

The Best Paint For Repainting Wicker Furniture

You’ll want to make sure you use exterior paint on your wicker furniture. It will hold up much better against the elements.

My client requested a Benjamin Moore paint for her wicker chairs, so I went with their Element Guard Exterior Acrylic Paint which has Advanced Moisture Protection. 

Once cured, the paint’s hard protective coating allows water to bead off instead of pooling and seeping into the wicker.

Spraying Your Wicker Furniture With Paint

You will need to spray multiple coats on your wicker furniture to ensure full coverage. I applied 3 coats in total to these 8 wicker chairs. Followed by 1 last light coat with a paintbrush which I will explain shortly.

1 Coat was sprayed on the chairs sitting upright.

Repaint Your Wicker Furniture Close Up

1 Coat was sprayed with the chairs upside down.

Repaint Wicker Furniture Flipped Over

1 Coat was sprayed on the chairs after they were returned upright.

Repaint Wicker Furniture Before Final Brush Coat

You can start with your furniture piece upside down if you prefer, as long as your final coat is applied while the furniture is upright. 

This ensures you don’t miss any drips that will be visible in the furniture’s final position. But honestly, if you use your paint sprayer properly, you won’t end up with drips anywhere. 

Use a Paintbrush For Your Final Coat of Paint on Your Wicker Furniture

I wouldn’t even call it a final coat necessarily. More like a touch-up coat. 

Use a very small amount of paint — to the point you’re almost dry-brushing. And try to push it into all of the little cracks and crevices. Wipe back and forth until any discoloration disappears and you’re positive you can no longer see any of the old paint color or wicker. 

Check out the video below for help:

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/948365423

If done properly, this final “touch-up coat” won’t leave any brush marks. If you’re having trouble with brush marks, you’re using too much paint.

For Even More Protection, Spray on a Seal Coat

The Element Guard paint I mentioned should hold up outside without a seal coat, but if you want to be 100% sure, spray on a clear top coat like General Finishes Exterior 450 Water-Based Top Coat.

I recommend this top coat because of its UV absorbers and built-in additives that fight against fungal growth. Basically, it will keep your paint from fading in the sun as quickly, and it stops mildew growth as well. 

It is a tough one to master with a brush, especially on wicker furniture. So you’ll want to use your paint sprayer here as well. 

These 8 Wicker Chairs Came Out Beautifully

Hopefully you can feel confident repainting your wicker furniture this year!

It is definitely easier than it looks if you follow my steps you’ll end up with beautiful wicker furniture that your guests will think is brand new!

Thanks for reading!

Until Next Time,

KRay

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