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How to waterproof wicker

Updated February 21, 2017

Wicker adds traditional summer style to any outdoor living area, but it does require maintenance if you want it to be waterproof. If you live in an area where it's too cold to sit outside in the winter, store your wicker furniture inside. And if heavy, consistent rain is expected, cover your wicker furniture or store it inside until the weather clears up.

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  1. Vacuum your wicker furniture with your vacuum's brush attachment to get dust and dirt out of cracks and areas that are hard to clean. Wipe the furniture with a damp cloth, and then dry with a towel. Let dry thoroughly. Cleaning helps the furniture last longer.

  2. Place dust sheets on the area where you plan to apply the paint and varnish to the wicker furniture. Put the wicker furniture on top of the dust sheets to protect the ground, floor, or patio from paint spills. Paint the furniture with a paint designed for wicker. This type of paint comes in a wide variety of colours. It will adhere well to the wicker and will help preserve it. Do this every 2 to 3 years.

  3. Apply 2 coats of marine varnish to the wicker furniture with a clean paintbrush, letting dry thoroughly after each coat. This varnish is designed to stand up to rain and many weather conditions. Do this every 2 to 3 years.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Damp cloth
  • Towel
  • Dust sheets
  • Paint for wicker
  • Paintbrush and paint tray
  • Marine varnish

About the Author

Karen Sheviak has more than 10 years of experience as a writer, researcher and copy editor for "Canadian Living" magazine. She has worked as a freelance editor for other magazines including "Toronto Life." Sheviak has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the University of Toronto and a diploma in journalism from Centennial College in Toronto.

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