When it comes to beautifying your outdoor space, which could be a porch, patio, or sunroom, getting a set of wicker furniture is not a bad idea. With wicker furniture, styling your outdoor space is pretty easy. They’re versatile and also add a relaxed tone that could mimic the peaceful feel of living in a cottage or lounging out on a beach in your outdoor space.
How to identify wicker furniture
Various types of materials are used in making wicker furniture, so it’s not limited to a specific material type. However, wicker furniture is made through the intricate process of weaving, twisting, or bending the materials used.
You may find wicker furniture designs made from natural materials such as dried grasses, bamboo strips, and thin wood types, such as willow branches. Ideally, these types of wicker materials are best used indoors as they will barely survive the severity of outdoor weather.
Outdoor wicker furniture pieces are made from synthetic materials designed to mimic the ardor of natural wicker materials but with improved functionality, and strength to survive outdoor weather. Common materials used in outdoor wicker designs include resins, vinyl, and synthetic PC plastics
Wicker furniture pieces made from synthetic materials, especially high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are highly durable and will give your space the same aesthetic appeal as furniture pieces made from natural wicker. You can trust it to withstand moisture, weather, sunlight, and other tough climatic conditions if maintained properly.
Steps To Protect Your Outdoor Wicker Furniture
Here are important steps to follow in protecting your wicker furniture.
Clean the wicker furniture properly and frequently
If you’ll love the best out of your wicker, ensure that you prioritize cleaning them. It’s possible to ignore your wicker furniture because they don’t appear dirty. Most synthetic wicker materials are designed to be highly resistant to UV rays, hence you’ll mostly find them in dark shades. The problem with this is that many users may end up assuming the furniture doesn’t need consistent cleaning because they’re no visible stains on them.
However, if it’s worth having on your patio, it’s worth consistent cleaning as well, even for your own sake.
- If you’re not sure how to go about cleaning your wicker furniture, wiping a damp piece of cloth to get the dust off is a good place to start, although that may not be sufficient after a long period of use. It’s important to adopt a method of cleaning your wicker furniture routinely.
- For deep cleaning, consider vacuuming or brushing off visible dust from its surface while focusing on corners that are hard to reach. You may also wash with a brush and soapy water mixed with ammonia. Try using a soft toothbrush to wash the crevices or tricky corners of the wicker furniture that the vacuum or brush may not reach. To get rid of grime, from prolonged use for dining and relaxing, use some mild oil-based soap and dilute with water to get rid of it.
- After thorough washing and rinsing, don’t forget to dry it off with a dry piece of cloth before leaving it to air dry. Remember, your wicker furniture is likely to have a metal frame holding it up and you don’t want to ruin it with water drips during cleaning. Afterward, ensure to leave the piece out in the sun to dry. If you have ample space, you can move away the wicker furniture from the wet spot it was washed, and turn it over to get it to dry completely.
- The best way to protect your wicker furniture is to get rid of spills immediately. Allowing it to linger or dry off on its own, or even waiting till later to attend to it may ruin your wicker over time. Depending on the nature of the spill—food, water, or wine—anything from a simple wipe with a soft clean piece of cloth to wiping with a damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water or mild detergent will do, to get rid of it. After rainfall or dewy weather, wipe down the wicker furniture and allow air-dry as much as you can.
Shield the wicker furniture from harsh weather
As a way of protecting the wicker furniture, it's also important that you get covers for it to shield it from unpalatable weather. There’s no telling how erratic the weather can get on certain days, even in regions with calm weather. Taking a proactive step to add an extra protective layer despite knowing that wicker furniture is designed to withstand tough weather conditions, can save you huge sums of money on repairs, should anything go wrong.
- You may consider getting covers for them or have them stored in a shed during such unfriendly weather days. Additionally, a follow-up on your local weather update can help you stay proactive and steps ahead of the weather in protecting your furniture. This makes it easy to store them up ahead of the weather situation. Covering them up, while in storage is a good practice to maintain as well.
- Even if you’re leaving them outdoors, covering them up is great to protect them, especially in windy areas, where dust can swirl across patios and lawns. You won’t have to deal with cleanups after each episode since your wicker furniture will be covered and protected. Getting cover for your wicker furniture will also be useful when you go on vacation for a few days.
- Another common option is to get cushions for your wicker furniture. Cushion designs in various colors are great to make an aesthetic statement, but beyond that, they are also great to protect your outdoor wicker furniture from harmful sun rays.
- Equally applying paint on your wicker furniture is another way to protect it from harmful sun rays. Some paints are made especially for outdoor wicker furniture; making use of such paints on the surface of your wicker furniture will shield it from damaging weather. The sides, arms, seats, bottom, and other parts should be painted. You can repeat the painting at an interval of three years for effectiveness.
Application of wicker furniture oil
One common way to take care of your furniture is to oil it.
- Lemon oil is known to be of great advantage to wicker furniture. This lemon oil does not just cleanse wicker furniture, it also polishes it and keeps it looking bright, sparkling, and with a fresh scent for decades!
- You only need to dampen a piece of clean cloth or use a brush dipped in lemon oil to apply on your wicker furniture. The process can be repeated twice or three times a year after thoroughly cleaning or washing your wicker furniture and leaving it in the sun to dry out properly.
- Also, since wicker furniture can last for decades and be passed down to other generations, you can apply a coat of varnish or polyurethane as a way of extending the life or accentuating the quality of the wicker furniture. This can be done every few years or decades. It will make the wicker furniture remain in great condition for future use.
Waterproof your wicker furniture
If you have a set of natural wicker furniture that you’re repurposing outdoors for the dry season, it’s important to still make it waterproof, so you can always have it available when needed. The good thing is, even if you have a set of outdoor wicker furniture that you use all year round, your indoor wicker set can be a beautiful summer addition to your patio, and serve as extra seats for guests.
- To protect them, you may add two coats of marine varnish to your wicker furniture and leave it to dry to make it waterproof.
- Again, as a way of making your wicker furniture water-resistant, consider applying tung oil to it. This will make it waterproof by preventing it from staying damp. Dampening easily ruins wicker, as its fibers become weakened and stretched, thus making it unsafe for prolonged use. Apply tung oil on natural wicker after you bring it outdoors, so the weather doesn’t catch you unawares. Also, ensure to reapply it again in the off-season before the wicker furniture is put away.
- At best, to ensure your wicker stays waterproof, consider investing in outdoor wicker furniture. This saves you the hassle of doing any DIY waterproofing.
Treat the wicker furniture a right
Caring for your furniture is one step, how you use is another step that determines the overall outcomes when it comes to the functionality of your wicker furniture. That they’re tough and durable is not a reason to handle them roughly. Avoid placing heavy objects on your furniture as this weakens the structural integrity of your furniture, don’t carelessly place fluids on it, rather use your side tables for that purpose. Equally, when you notice a break or a part of the weave coming off, do not ignore it; attend to it promptly. Usually, a simple DIY fix is just fine, or you could get a professional to help with it.
If you think about the worth of investment that went into purchasing your wicker furniture, protecting your outdoor furniture shouldn’t be a challenge. This helps to maintain its beauty and appeal even after many years of use.