Wicker Furniture Resurrection

Wicker Furniture Resurrection

When we think about wicker, we tend to think about days gone by. Each piece is somewhat of a timeless item so you simply can’t stomach the idea of getting rid of.  Quite literally, wicker is timeless; it dates back to ancient Egypt, Rome, and China.  With roots that deep, how can we just toss a damaged piece of wicker furniture to the curb?  Not possible! Which brings us to our next question: if we can’t bear to part with it, then how can we breathe new life into our favorite old pieces?  Here are a few tips on how to bring that damaged wicker furniture back to life!

Re-Wrapping the Legs:

If the wrapping around the legs of your wicker furniture becomes unraveled, this is not the end of the piece.  With a little water, glue, wicker caning and time you can have the legs back in working order.  Most craft stores will sell the wicker canning needed to repair the legs.

Here are the quick steps to managing your DIY wicker repair:

  • First you will cut the size of canning you would need, leaving an extra few inches to work with, which will be snipped off later.
  • Prior to using the caning, you will need to soak it in the water for around 30 minutes to make it flexible and easier to work with.
  • Once it has been soaked and is able to bend without breaking, you are ready to go.
  • Add a dab of wood glue under the old wrapping and glue it down.
  • Slip the new wrapping under the glued piece and secure it with a small tack.
  • Now, wrap the flexible new cane around the leg until the damaged area is covered.
  • At the end of the wrapping add another dab of wood glue and secure it on the leg with a small tack.
  • Snip off any extra canning.
  • If the caning needs to be painted or stained you can do that once the glue and wicker have dried.

This is a straightforward repair that can help keep wicker in great shape and fully functional.

wicker furniture pool

Re-Weaving the Reed:

To repair a damaged reed, be it on the arm, the back or in the seat, you will need a few tools to assist in this delicate repair. Sometimes a small pair of needle nose pliers will work, or a paper clip bent into a wire tool with a hook can be used to help guide the wire in and out of the already woven piece.

You will also need to purchase new, replacement reed.  Most new reeds are sold in lengths of 36 inches or more, which is typically all you will need to repair any one piece of damaged wicker on the chair or whatever it is you are repairing.

Steps for Re-Weaving the Reed:

  • First, you will need to cut and remove the damaged reed with wire cutters or a tool that will give you a smooth cut.
  • Make sure to leave 1-2 inches of the original reed tucked down under the surface – the longer the length you can leave the more securely it will stay put.
  • Next, soak the new reed in water for at least 15 minutes to become flexible.
  • Take the flexible reed and weave it over and under the original reeds at least four times to help secure the new reed.
  • Keep weaving until the damaged area is covered, using your wire tool or pliers to assist in pulling the reed in and out of the weave pattern.
  • Be careful to not leave it too loose or pull too tightly – try to match the original weave pattern.
  • Securely tuck in the ends underneath any intersecting pieces, preferably facing opposite from the surface.
  • Snip the excess reed off to complete the weave step in the repair.
  • Repeat this process with all damaged reeds.


Painting or Staining:

The finish of the furniture will determine how you finish the repair. If your piece is painted you can generally use a spray paint of the same color and touch-up the repair to have it blend in.

To paint wicker:

  • Make sure to wait on this step until the glue and wicker have dried completely.
  • Apply a thin layer of spray paint to evenly coat and blend with the surrounding area.
  • If needed, you can repaint the entire piece.
  • After the paint has dried you may want to use a can of clear acrylic spray paint to seal the repaired area.

If your wicker furniture is not painted you will want to match the stain to cover the repaired area.  When staining you will want to follow the same procedure as painting.  Make sure all glue is dried, apply a thin layer of stain evenly and blend in.  Add more stain as necessary.  You may wish to seal stained furniture as well.

Of course, if your wicker is natural and untreated you won’t need to paint or seal it.

The new piece of reed will generally have the same longevity as the original.  In repairing the furniture you may find loose spots where the wicker did not hold as tightly as you had hoped, this is ok.  It is better to have a loose area on your furniture then leaving it unrepaired.

And voilà your damage wicker is back to almost new, with minimal investment or time. With just a little elbow grease and dedication, your furniture is ready for Spring days and long summer nights.  Pat yourself on the back for resurrecting your furniture that originally dates back to ancient times!

If your repair needs a little more TLC than you are ready to provide, then feel free to give us a call at any time. Our team at Guardsman is highly experienced and ready to help you breathe new life into your old favorites.

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Open the door to Guardsman On-Site Care and Repair, and let us show you what we can do to keep you living on your furniture with pride.
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