Wicker antique furniture is a perfect addition to a rustic home décor. Made of woven reed, willow, or cane, antique wicker furniture can include tables, chairs, couches, and lamps. This type of furniture is a perfect addition to a rustic home décor, but it needs regular maintenance. This guide will show you how to perform that maintenance on your own.
Assessing the Damage
Dust and clean your wicker furniture regularly. Keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Make repairs as soon as you notice a problem, because once damaged the weaving deteriorates quickly.
Let professional restorers handle any extreme damage. Extensive weaving and attaching of reeds can be difficult for a do-it-yourselfer. If it's only a few loose strands, though, you can easily tighten them up yourself.
When wicker is constantly exposed to the elements, it can get excessively dry, causing cracks to appear. In such a case, you can optimize the wicker’s flexibility by applying linseed oil, which will restore the wicker’s moisture levels. When applying linseed oil, make sure it gets into the cracks and the weave. Wipe off what doesn't get absorbed, because it might do more harm than good.
Weaves are easy to repair, however, you will always need a guideline to recreate the original weave. Therefore, on any piece of wicker furniture you repair, take various good photographs of the weave work. Work with small areas; do not try to do the complete repair at once, especially if it is a large area. When adding new wicker or cane reeds to your furniture, soak them for about 15 minutes so they soften up a bit.
Before applying any paint or finishing layer to your repaired wicker item, prime it with at least 2 coats of oil-based wood primer. Use a compressor sprayer or a bristled brush. When the primer has dried, apply oil-based, semi-gloss paint, which is flexible, durable, and able to stick to the primer easily. Avoid latex paint, as it flakes easily.
Do not use polyurethane finish on your wicker furniture; it cracks easily when the wicker twists or bends. This is a problem, because wicker furniture stretches with each use.