How to Paint Indoor Wicker

Updated February 21, 2017

Refresh the look of your indoor wicker items, like nightstands, chairs, picture frames, ottomans and small tables, with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a colour that complements a seat cushion or a favourite throw pillow, or make the wicker item stand out in a room as an accent piece by using a contrasting colour instead. The fine mist of a spray paint most easily penetrates the crevices of indoor wicker, making quick work of your painting project.

Prepare a painting area in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or in a car-free garage. Mist from spray paint travels easily and can dust other items, walls, ceilings and so on. Protect the floor with a tarp or thick sheet. If you must paint indoors, set up a homemade spray painting “booth” using appliance-sized cardboard boxes and/or tarps hung from above.

Remove flaking paint by brushing the indoor wicker piece with a soft wire brush.

Lightly sand any rough edges with sandpaper to help the paint adhere.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck up the removed paint pieces from the crevices of the wicker item; you can also spray the item with a hose if working outdoors. Allow the item to dry completely before following the next step.

Put on the safety goggles and face mask. Turn the item upside down and spray primer onto all visible areas; then turn the item upright and continue spraying primer. This helps the paint get into all the nooks and crannies of the wicker. Allow the primer to dry completely before spraying another coat of primer or the paint. Use two coats of primer if you are changing the colour of the item from light to dark or from dark to light.

Spray two light coats of indoor or indoor/outdoor paint on your item following the same procedure you followed for the primer, spraying the underside of the item before turning it upright.

Allow the paint to dry completely between coats, following the drying time guidelines on the can.


Once a can of spray paint or primer starts emptying, it begins sucking air (instead of paint) when tilted at odd angles. Therefore, try to get at all the tricky angles of your wicker item first, while the can is still full.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft wire brush
  • Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
  • Hose
  • 80- to 100-grit sandpaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Face mask
  • Spray primer
  • Indoor/outdoor spray paint
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About the Author

Gail began writing professionally in 2004. Now a full-time proofreader, she has written marketing material for an IT consulting company, edited auditing standards for CPAs and ghostwritten the first draft of a nonfiction Amazon bestseller. Gail holds a Master of Arts in English literature and has taught college-level business communication, composition and American literature.