Many people enjoy the look of wicker furniture on their porch, patio or pool area. It has a distinctive summer look and can spruce up an area with its tropical feel. If you are thinking about purchasing reed wicker outdoor furniture of your own, simple upkeep needs to be done to keep it looking its best. Here are some maintenance steps to take to keep your wicker pieces looking great year-round.
Consider The Type
When purchasing wicker to be used outdoors, reed wicker or resin wicker work best as they are able to stay out in wet weather for short periods of time without becoming ruined. Reed wicker furniture is made from rattan, bamboo or willow. Paper rush wicker is artificial and should never be placed outdoors as it is made from twisted paper that will become ruined when it gets moist.
When cleaning your reed wicker furniture, start by using a brush vacuum attachment to suck up any dust or loose particles that are embedded within the woven pieces. Afterward, use a small paintbrush to brush out dirt toward the surface. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers to pick out any pieces trapped within the weaves.
To do a deeper clean of your furniture, mix water with a mild detergent in a bucket. Add a few tablespoons of ammonia. Dip a soft brush into the mixture and brush it across the fibers of the reed, making sure to get into crevices. Rinse using a garden hose using the misting setting so the water pressure does not hurt the delicate reeds during the process. Place the furniture in the sun to dry.
If your wicker furniture has an unpainted, natural appearance, brighten it by dipping a clean cloth into linseed oil and rubbing it on the reeds. Linseed oil is found in craft stores in the wood working section. Mop up any excess oil with a dry clean cloth and allow the furniture to dry for several days before using.
Bringing your wicker furniture to a covered area when wet weather is prevalent will help to keep it from deteriorating quickly.Weatherproofing wicker will help keep it looking better, longer. To weatherproof, use paint, marine varnish or tung oil to cover the wicker reeds. If painting, use an enamel paint in a spray bottle to add to the furniture. Allow it to dry for two days before using the furniture outdoors.
Marine varnish or tung oil can also be used by rubbing it on the furniture using a clean cloth. Add one to two coats for the best protection. Wait until the oil or varnish is completely dry before using. Store your wicker furniture inside during winter months as freezing temperatures can cause wicker to crack.