There is a reason why wicker furniture is such a popular option for patios and other outdoor living spaces. It is durable and has a timeless charm that can be modern or traditional, depending on how it’s styled. However, wicker outdoor furniture can be an investment, and if it isn’t properly maintained, it can end up looking terrible. Who wants to spend that much money for something that will be an eyesore in a matter of a few years? Fortunately, outdoor wicker furniture protection is not very complicated. By learning how to protect wicker furniture outdoors, you can ensure that your set lasts for many years to come.
The first step in determining how to protect outdoor wicker furniture is to determine what kind of wicker furniture you have. If someone were to ask you what material your wicker furniture was made of, would you think that was a pointless question? It’s made of wicker, right? Actually, it is not! In traditional wicker, the material used to build it is rattan, which is a vine. The term “wicker” refers to the weaving method used to turn that rattan into sturdy furniture. Wicker furniture, then, can be made of any material. Today, synthetic wicker is a popular option. Typically made of high density polyethylene resin, a type of plastic, this wicker is more durable than rattan wicker, and it can also be less expensive. Even better, learning how to protect outdoor plastic wicker furniture is even easier than taking care of rattan.
When you are caring for natural wicker furniture, you will need to protect it from the weather. To do this, you will need to clean it regularly, using the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. At the end of the season, the furniture should be cleaned more thoroughly, with warm water and an oil-based soap meant to be used on wood. If you are packing away your furniture for the winter, make sure it is completely dry before you store it.
You can paint or varnish your furniture to make it more weather resistant. This can be done with a paint specially formulated for outdoor wicker furniture, painted on every surface of the furniture, followed by two coats of marine varnish to protect the paint. If you don’t want to change the color of your furniture, you can skip the paint and apply three coats of varnish. This should be repeated every two to three years. You can also make your wicker furniture more resistant to water by applying tung oil. This won’t work if the furniture is repeatedly exposed to deluges of water, but if the furniture is in a covered area, it helps keep out dampness. Apply tung oil before you first put the furniture outside, then reapply each season when you put it away. This prevents the fibers from softening and stretching until the furniture is no longer functional.
You can also protect your outdoor wicker furniture by covering or storing it. There are pre-made and custom-fit furniture covers you can purchase to protect your furniture from sun, rain, and winds, but to fully protect the furniture they must go all the way to the floor and fully cover the legs. Keeping the furniture in a covered area can also help shelter it on rainy days.
In the off season, it is wise to bring the furniture inside, to protect it from snow, frost, and ice. It's important to protect natural wicker furniture in the winter, because materials like rattan, bamboo, and other grass elements are extremely susceptible to damage from the elements. When furniture made of these materials gets damp, mold and mildew can grow in the crevices, causing it to sag and lose its shape. Extreme cold and dry air can be damaging too, causing the furniture to become brittle and prone to breakage. When you bring it inside, you can use your furniture indoors, or store it somewhere safe, like a shed, garage, basement, attic, or storage unit.
If you can’t bring it inside, make sure to properly protect your furniture during the winter. First, remove the cushions, cleaning, drying, and storing them separately. Clean the furniture thoroughly and secure it with heavy weights or stakes driven into the ground to keep it from blowing away in heavy winds. Cover it with heavy-duty, water-resistant, breathable fabric and make sure the fabric is secured in place.
Of course, there is another solution, and this is to purchase weatherproof furniture. This is one reason that synthetic wicker furniture is so popular. Even though it looks very much like natural wicker, synthetic wicker can much more easily withstand rain and other weather elements. Not only can it stand up to heat, cold, and water, but it can also be exposed to salt without corroding. This is an important thing to consider if you plan on using your wicker furniture on the coast, where it will be exposed to salt water.
Another advantage of synthetic wicker over natural materials is that it is fade-resistant. While natural materials may lose their color in the sun, synthetic wicker will not, because the color is not on the surface, but is part of the material. To get the full benefit of this fade resistance in full sunlight, though, you must seal your synthetic wicker. Synthetic wicker furniture is more durable than natural wicker overall, because of its chemical makeup. It won’t corrode from being out in snow or rain, and it’s more likely to look good for longer without showing its age.
Caring for synthetic wicker furniture is relatively simple. It can be washed with warm soap and water, and should be wiped dry as quickly as possible after exposure to moisture. To protect your synthetic wicker against cracks, chalkiness, and fading, consider applying a non-tox sealer. If you are not going to use it for a long period of time, cover it or store it in a dry place.
Now that you know how to protect wicker outdoor furniture, you can confidently buy a set that’s perfect for you and will last for many years, from a company that treats its customers with care. At Villa Outdoors, we always strive to provide the gold standard in customer relations. From offering furniture made with the highest quality of materials to prioritizing customer service, we want to make sure our clients are 100% satisfied. Our pieces are designed and hand selected by our team, made with durable materials and trend forward design. Whether you are looking for traditional or modern outdoor furniture, or you need something custom designed, we can help you find the perfect pieces for your outdoor living space. What’s more, each of our patio sets is made with recycled materials, so you can enjoy your outdoor environment with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protecting the overall environment. Our furniture sets the standard in durability and weather-resistance, and we offer free, fast shipping, no matter what you need or where you need it delivered. Let us help you optimize your patio’s potential by calling us at (800) 765-5036 or contacting us through our website.