Treating Wicker Patio Chairs to Last

What You'll Need
Safety glasses
Work gloves
Wood glue
Fine grit sandpaper
Spray polyurethane sealer

Wicker patio chairs have a timeless appeal. Unfortunately, unless they are given the proper care and treatment, they may not last more than a few years. You need to watch out for fraying edges, broken weaves, and loose fasteners along with keeping the cushions in good shape. To keep your wicker patio furniture looking its best, follow any of the steps listed below that might apply to your particular situation.

Step 1: Weaves and Braids

Many types of wicker patio chairs use braided or woven designs. It is important that you check the material now and then to make sure that the weave is not becoming loose, or unraveled. When you do find such problems, reweave them. In some rare cases, you may need to use a small tack to hold a piece of material in place.

Step 2: Glue Loose Ends

Inclement weather can cause adhesive to release. If you notice any loose ends in your wicker patio chairs, use a clear wood glue to reattach them. Add a small drop of glue to the loose end, and another small drop where the end will be placed and allow it to set for 5 minutes. Stick the 2 drops of glue together, and brace or tape the area to keep it in place. Allow 24 hours for drying.

Step 3A: Apply New Finish

For woodworking enthusiasts, applying the finish is the indication of a completed project. For protecting a wicker patio chair, applying a coat of spray polyurethane also means protecting the chair from the elements, extending its usefulness. When you apply spray polyurethane, hold the nozzle 6 to 8 inches from the surface, and move the can in long, smooth strokes as you spray. Allow at least 24 hours drying time.

Step 3B: Painting

Painting works the same way as polyurethane, but has the advantage of being variable. You can change the color of the paint to suit a new patio style, or to cover a repaired area. In fact, painting may be your only recourse to hide repairs made to wicker, because it may be impossible to match the exact color of the replacement piece.

Step 4: General Maintenance

Wicker chairs need regular maintenance. Make sure that any hardware is attached properly, and replace any broken or missing pieces of wicker. Most craft shops will have wicker in many different sizes, so take a small sample with you to get the closest match.

Step 5: Cushions and Pads

The most vulnerable part of your wicker patio chairs will be the cushions and pads that adorn them. Unless the seat cushions are made of a water-resistant material, it is a good idea to always remove them between uses. Storing your cushions on a shelf in the garage will also prevent most mold and mildew that is associated with exposure to the elements, which in turn reduces the deterioration of the cushions.