Make It Last: How to Extend the Life of Your Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is perfect for your outdoor living area. Wicker has a beautiful rustic charm, making it the perfect addition to your garden or patio. It's light, so it's easy to move around when you're chasing the sun or avoiding the wind. However, it isn't waterproof, and if you leave it exposed to rain, sun, smoke and dust, it can become shabby in just a few years.

This shouldn't be a cause for stress. Maintaining your furniture will extend the life of your wicker pieces without much effort on your part.

Clean your furniture regularly.

Dust and food particles can get ground into your wicker fibres, which will slowly weaken them. To avoid this, vacuum your furniture every few weeks. At the end of each summer, clean your wicker down with some oil soap mixed in warm water, and let it air dry completely before putting it away for the season.

Paint and varnish your wicker furniture.

You can do this every three years, and it will dramatically extend the life of your furniture. Paint them completely from top to bottom, including the underside of the armrests. Once that's dry, apply to coats of marine varnish. Marine varnish is a fantastic waterproofing agent, and will keep your pieces watertight for about two years.

If you'd rather keep the natural colour of your wicker furniture, you can skip the paint and apply three coats of marine varnish.

Cover your wicker furniture.

You can buy wicker furniture covers, have them custom made, or, if you're handy with a sewing machine, make them yourself. These can add a pop of colour to your furniture, and are especially good if the wicker is older and starting to look more worn. The covers should reach right down to the ground to protect the whole piece of furniture.

Move your furniture into a sheltered spot whenever you're not using it.

Dust and grit blown onto your furniture on windy days can wear down the fibres quickly, causing your furniture to degrade prematurely. Whenever your furniture isn't being used, move it into a garage or conservatory to protect it from the elements. If you don't have anywhere indoors to store your furniture, an enclosed courtyard or fenced corner can provide a lot of protection.

Protect your furniture from rain as much as possible by moving it inside when it's not being used, or place it under an awning on rainy days.

Wicker is a durable material as long as it's maintained properly, so with these tips you can enjoy long summers on beautiful, resilient furniture. For more information, see a website such as