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How to Paint Wicker Furniture with Chalk Paint: 5 Easy Steps

Do you want to revitalize your wicker furniture? Learning how to paint wicker furniture with chalk paint can give your wicker chair or table a chic new look. Read on to find out why using chalk paint is the best paint to use for this project.

How to Paint Wicker Furniture with Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint

Painting furniture has always been quite a specific and sometimes tricky process. Choosing paint and making sure it suits the material, purpose, and space. Then chalk paint hit the market, and suddenly there was paint for all occasions, so to speak.

Chalk paint is specifically decorative paint that has a chalky appearance. It can be used on just about any surface and can easily be distressed so that the furniture has a shabby chic look. Chalk paint can also be added to water and used to dye fabric.

Preparing Your Wicker Furniture

Before painting wicker furniture with chalk paint, you will need to prepare the wicker properly. The surface has to be smooth so the paint can adhere to it properly.

The first thing to do is clean the furniture thoroughly. If it is very dusty, you may need to wash it with soap and water. if it isn’t very dusty, you can use a soft cloth to wipe down the furniture.

To get rid of any small particles or flakes of old paint, it is necessary to scrape the wicker. You can use a kitchen scrub to do this effectively. If the flakes are a little stubborn, then you can sand them with fine-grained paper.

Cleaning Supplies

Use a soft paintbrush to brush off any dust and particles. Make sure you get the bristles into each nook and crack.

Take a cloth that is slightly damp and wipe down the furniture, just to make sure it is thoroughly clean.

Allow the piece of furniture to dry completely before carrying on with the painting. Chalk paint is water-based, so the wicker should not at all be damp.

Preparing the Space

When you’ve prepared the piece of furniture, you’ll need to set up the space correctly.

Choose a space that is well-ventilated to work in. Paint fumes can be quite intrusive, so you should avoid them getting into the whole house. This is especially important if you use spray chalk paint.

In your work area, spread a few layers of newspaper, some cardboard, or a sheet of plastic on the floor under the furniture. This will protect the floor and means you will have an even surface to work on.

Applying the Paint


It’s not usually necessary to use a primer when using chalk paint to paint wicker furniture. If you do choose to prime it, though, use a shellac-based primer.

You can either apply the primer with a brush or as a spray. Spraying a primer is usually quicker and gives a thin, all-over cover. With wicker furniture, spraying will also get into all the cracks quite easily.

Spray Chalk Paint

Spray painting wicker furniture with chalk paint can make the process easier because you can get into all the small gaps and in between the weaves.

When you spray, you’ll need to be quite patient because you must be prepared to apply separate coats and let them dry properly before applying the next one.

Too much spray paint applied at a time can create blobs and drips, which are unattractive and not always easy to even out.

Painted wicker chair

Remember that spray paint will only work if the can is at a vertical angle. Rather than trying to change the angle of the can too much to reach all the necessary surfaces, move the furniture so that you can keep the can as vertical as possible.

Make sure that you only spray a light coat each time. For each coat, change the direction from which you spray. You should need to apply four or five coats before the painting is complete.

Brush Chalk Paint

Applying chalk paint with a brush can take longer, but it also means that the paint is evenly spread.

When using chalk paint to paint wicker furniture, don’t apply the paint using the same technique as a smooth surface. The weave creates a lot of small crannies and holes.

If you simply take a brush and make long strokes across the surface, it is likely that you may not get the paint into every small crack. You may also apply the paint unevenly, which will cause blobs of color, which is not necessarily attractive.

Green Chalk Paint

Put the brush into the paint, making sure that you don’t pick up too much, which will prevent the paint from dripping as you apply it. Apply the paint to the furniture, using short strokes in the same direction as the weave, to get the paint onto the top surface.

Take the paintbrush and dab the paint onto the surfaces that have not been touched. You will need to work the bristles of the paintbrush into the smaller corners and between the wicker strands to make sure that every part of the surface is covered with paint.

Leave the first coat to dry, which will take about one hour.

It’s usually best to apply more than one coat when you paint something. When painting wicker furniture with chalk paint, look carefully at the piece of furniture when the first coat is dry and decide if you are satisfied. If not, then apply a second coat, making sure you reach all the crannies.


For a more vintage look, try a distressing or blending technique while painting wicker furniture with chalk paint.

Quite simply, distressing paint means working on it to recreate the look the piece of furniture may have developed over time.

Wicker Table

Work out where the piece of furniture may have shown strain, according to how it is used and where it’s placed. Take a piece of medium-grain sandpaper and lightly sand the paint in these areas.

For a more authentic look, you can vary the amount of sanding or the pressure you use. This will create a truly vintage look.

Sealing the Paint

After painting wicker furniture with chalk paint, sealing the paint will mean that it is protected, particularly from any moisture that could get into it. The sealant should be applied after you have finished the whole job, including distressing the paint.

The most effective sealant to use is a clear coat of polyurethane. You will need to paint two to three coats of it over the whole piece of wicker furniture.

A sealant will give the furniture a certain shine or glossy finish. If you prefer a matte look, then you should leave this step out.

How to Paint Wicker Furniture


If you know your wicker furniture will remain inside, you could choose to leave it unsealed. However, don’t assume it will not be exposed to water, so sealing it may be the best option.


If the wicker furniture you have painted stands outdoors, then the chances are that it will be exposed to different temperatures and to moisture, if not rain. To prevent any damage to the paint, you should seal the paint.

Wicker Chairs


Do I need to seal my wicker furniture when I paint it with chalk paint?

Chalk paint is water-based, so you should try to keep it from getting wet, or from water being pooled in any crack. It’s safer to seal the chalk paint to avoid any damage.

Why do I need to prepare the surface before I paint wicker?

Essentially, paint is an adhesive that must adhere to the surface that is being painted. To achieve this, the surface should be as even as possible and should be prepared before painting.

Blue Wicker Chairs

Wrapping up How to Paint Wicker Furniture with Chalk Paint

Don’t get rid of wicker furniture when it may have passed its ‘sell-by date’. Don’t leave your wicker furniture with an old look when you change other aspects of your home. Simply reinvent and reinvigorate your furniture by painting wicker furniture with chalk paint.

Now that you know how to paint wicker furniture with chalk paint, check out our top picks for the best chalk paint for furniture.