How to weatherproof rattan furniture

Written by lizzy darnill
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How to weatherproof rattan furniture
Wood is a natural substance and reacts to the environment in which it is stored. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Lightweight and stylish, rattan furniture uses fast growing canes woven together to create chairs and tables. You can use the furniture indoors, in conservatories and summerhouses, or outside. Rattan furniture is sturdy and durable but a little maintenance will ensure that it will last for years to come. For the long term care of your furniture, move it indoors during the winter months and ensure it is not left in damp and wet conditions. Weatherproof your furniture to protect it from environmental elements and preserve its natural colour and strength.

Things you need

  • Soft cloth
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft toothbrush or paintbrush
  • Linseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons ammonia
  • Bucket
  • Varnish
  • Spray paint
  • Teak oil
  • Paintbrush

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    Cleaning and preparing

  1. 1

    Clean and treat rattan furniture at least once a year to keep it weatherproof. Clean the surface to remove any build-up of dirt. Make up a solution of mild dish-washing detergent mixed with water.

  2. 2

    Squeeze out all excess water and soap suds before wiping down the furniture so that the wood does not become too wet. Clean corners, niches or grooves with a soft toothbrush or a small paintbrush.

  3. 3

    Attend to stains immediately to prevent damage to the wood, using detergent and a soft cloth.

  4. 4

    Apply boiled linseed oil to put moisture back into cracks or damage to the rattan.Ensure that the furniture is aired and completely dry after cleaning.

  5. 5

    Treat spots of mould and mildew with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ammonia in a bucket of water. Place the furniture outside. Apply the ammonia mixture and then immediately rinse it off with water and pat dry with a cloth.

    Varnish, paint and oil

  1. 1

    Apply a coat of clear varnish to seal the wood once it is clean and dry. Begin painting the underside of the furniture first, allowing it to dry, before turning the furniture upright and coating the remaining surfaces.Apply a second coat if necessary. Leave to dry completely before using the furniture.

  2. 2

    Paint the rattan for a more durable protection and use spray paint for a finer and more even finish. Place the furniture outside or in a well-ventilated area. Spray the underside of the furniture before turning and spraying the top. Take care to stop the paint pooling and collecting in the grooves of the rattan.

  3. 3

    Apply a second coat of paint once it is dry, if desired. Follow this with an optional coat of varnish.

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