Wicker is traditionally made of plant material and is the oldest furniture-making method dating as far back as 5000 years ago. The popularity of wicker furniture grew in the 19th century, with the United States enjoying its first manufacture by Cyprus Wakefield in 1850. Wicker furniture continues to remain timeless. However, there is a growing curiosity about How To Keep Wicker Furniture Outside.
The best way to keep wicker furniture outside is to ensure that you protect this timeless beauty from the harsh elements of nature, like sunlight, rain, and wind. Waterproofing is an option if setting the wicker furniture under a patio is not possible. Regular cleaning is also necessary.
Although wicker furniture can complement any outdoor setting, it can lose its original beauty if not properly maintained over time. Join me on a journey of exploration as I provide a guideline on how to keep wicker furniture outside.
Guidelines On Keeping Wicker Furniture Outside
Since the Victorian Era, wicker furniture has gained momentum for its strength and durability. The ability to be more sanitary than upholstery furniture and the adaptability to many styles is why many choose to use wicker furniture outdoors.
The key to retaining that pristine condition is ensuring you take the necessary steps to maintain it well. You might want to consider the below.
Keep Wicker Furniture Covered
Daily exposure to sunlight, water, and wind can be detrimental to your wicker furniture unless adequately covered. Wicker furniture tends to retain its original color when it is covered; hence it is advisable to place your wicker furniture under an awning.
If you are not in a position to erect an awning due to space constraints, then you might want to consider a retractable cover. This cover gives you the flexibility of only extending over the furniture on a rainy day or when facing direct exposure to sunlight.
Alternatively, you can consider custom-made water-resistant wicker covers extending from the top to the bottom of the chairs. In this instance, it might be an option to remove the covers when entertaining. The downside is that you end up concealing the beauty of the wicker.
Waterproof Wicker Furniture
The disadvantage of using wicker furniture outdoors is that it can trap moisture easily, damaging the fibers from the inside out and getting under the finish. If you have your heart set on enjoying your wicker furniture set outdoors, the good news is that you still can without having to stress about moisture retention.
You can eliminate moisture retention by painting wicker furniture with two coats of paint. Follow with a single layer of clear satin spray varnish. The varnish provides a barrier to seal out moisture. To maintain that pristine, durable, water-resistant finish, you must follow through with the process every two to three years.
You want to ensure that you use the appropriate spray varnish. In this instance, I would suggest Minwax Helmsman Clear Satin Spa Urethane for indoor and outdoor use. The product is available on Amazon for about 10 dollars.
An application of Tung Oil with a microfiber cloth is also known to eliminate water retention. Apply the tung oil once at the start of the rainy season and after the season has ended.
Clean Wicker Furniture
Windy weather can cause dust particles to settle on the wicker furniture. Failure to clean the furniture regularly can result in dust particles settling in the crevices and causing mildew.
The onset of mildew can lead to the breakdown of the fiber and eventually lead to decay. The chances are that you are probably dealing with some significant entertaining if you have your wicker furniture on the outside. With entertaining comes spillage of liquids and food. Failure to clean immediately can also result in mildew.
Before you start the cleaning process, you need to identify if your patio furniture is natural wicker or resin wicker, as the cleaning process somewhat differs. Here are the cleaning methods that you should follow.
Natural Wicker Furniture – To remove the dust from natural wicker, vacuum regularly using a brush attachment, failing which you can use an old toothbrush with warm water and a light detergent to remove the dust from the crevices. Once completed, wipe off with a microfibre cloth.
Ensure that the furniture is completely dry before resuming seating. Sitting on wet wicker furniture can cause it to sag. Wet wicker can also cause mildew.
Resin Wicker Furniture – Resin wicker furniture tends to get quite dusty in the windy season; basic vacuuming will not suffice. Hence you will have to hose down and wash with a soft brush and a mild detergent. Ensure that it dries out completely before use.
Move Your Wicker Furniture During Adverse Conditions
Investing in a good wicker patio set means protecting that investment. Although you can keep wicker furniture outside, the weather conditions can adversely affect their long-term sustainability.
The icy cold weather can cause wicker furniture to become brittle, while the sun’s harsh rays can make them elastic. Rainy weather can also result in mildew. Excessive exposure to these elements of nature can result in premature aging of the furniture. You might consider moving the furniture to a less exposed spot during this period.
Improve The Aesthetic Appeal
Throwing on some waterproof cushions improves the aesthetic appeal of your wicker furniture and protects it. Bright, bold color cushions will compliment the outdoor scenery.
Additional Tips When Keeping Wicker Furniture Outside
- Regular cleaning and maintenance will make your outdoor wicker furniture last longer.
- Avoid saturation of water on your furniture, as it can lead to the formation of mildew.
- Be mindful to avoid using harsh chemicals and cleaning utensils, as this could potentially remove the protective coating from the wicker furniture.
- You should attend to broken and damaged slats immediately by repairing them with wood glue. Only once the glue has dried should you proceed with cleaning.
- Note that wicker furniture can easily be damaged by pressing the slats too hard.
- You can rehydrate cracked wicker by the application of boiled linseed oil.
- Wicker ends that are curling can receive restoration by covering them in wet towels for 30 to 60 minutes.
Outdoor wicker furniture is susceptible to damage due to varying degrees of heat, cold, and rain. It is imperative to follow the proper care routine to ensure that your furniture remains in pristine condition.