Skip to Content

The Complete Guide to Repairing Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture has long been admired for its timeless beauty and intricate detailing. It is a favorite choice for both indoor and outdoor spaces due to its natural, earthy allure and inherent sturdiness.

However, over time, wicker can become susceptible to wear and tear, leading to the need for repairs.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to repairing wicker furniture and restoring its original charm.

A person staining a wicker chair, one step in repairing wicker furniture

Understanding Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is typically made from two types of materials: natural wicker and synthetic wicker.

Natural Wicker

Natural wicker is constructed from organic materials such as rattan, reed, bamboo, or willow. These materials are tightly woven together to create a strong, yet flexible structure.

Natural wicker furniture is known for its durability, but it is also more susceptible to damage from exposure to moisture and sunlight compared to synthetic counterparts.

Synthetic Wicker

Synthetic wicker, also known as resin wicker or all-weather wicker, is made from materials like polyethylene or PVC.

These man-made materials imitate the look of traditional wicker but provide increased resistance to the elements, making them ideal for outdoor use. Synthetic wicker furniture is highly durable and can last for many years with proper care.

Initial Preparations

Before starting any repair process, it’s essential to prepare the wicker furniture properly. The first step is to clean it thoroughly. To do this, use a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to carefully brush away all loose dust and dirt from the wicker surface.

Now, it’s time to clean it using a mild cleaning solution. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water. Gently wipe down the furniture’s entire surface using a soft cloth or sponge. Be sure to wring out the cloth or sponge frequently to prevent water from pooling on the wicker.

White wicker basket with supplies to clean wicker furniture

In cases where stubborn stains or mildew are present, a stronger cleaning solution of one part bleach and four parts water may be required. Apply the bleach solution to the affected areas using a sponge or cloth, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean, damp cloth.

It’s crucial to test the bleach solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the wicker furniture first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

After the cleaning process is complete, allow the wicker furniture to air dry completely for at least 24 hours.

Repairing and Re-Weaving Wicker Furniture

The first step to repairing wicker furniture is assessing the damage and determining the appropriate materials needed.


One common repair involves fixing broken or frayed strands. Carefully remove the damaged strand by cutting it close to the frame. Then, soak a new strand in water to make it more pliable and easier to work with. Be sure to select a wicker strand that closely matches the original color and thickness of the damaged furniture.

Weave the new strand into the existing pattern, following the original design while maintaining even spacing and tension. Apply a small amount of wood glue to secure the ends in place.

To reattach loose or detached sections of the wicker, apply wood glue to both the detached section and the area on the frame where it should be attached. Gently press the wicker back in place, wiping away any excess glue. Once secure, consider using a staple gun to provide additional support and ensure a lasting repair.

To repair a larger section of the wicker furniture, it’s essential to create a sturdy framework by adding wood dowels or splines to the existing frame. After proper preparation, weave the new strands of wicker, ensuring tension is maintained throughout the process.

Minor repairs like a small tear or hole can be done using wood filler. After cleaning the area, apply a small amount of wood filler to the tear. Once it dries and hardens, gently sand the area until it’s smooth and blends with the surrounding wicker.


Reweaving wicker furniture is a valuable skill when attempting to restore or repair damaged or worn-out pieces.

Prepare the replacement weaving material by ensuring it is pliable and easy to work with. If using natural fibers, soak them in water for approximately 30 minutes before beginning the re-weaving process. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, may require little to no preparation.

Begin reweaving the damaged area by working on one strand at a time. Follow the original pattern, inserting the new weaving material beneath or over the existing strands as needed.

Use needle-nose pliers to help tighten the weave and secure it in place. Maintain even tension to provide a seamless, clean appearance and prevent unwanted bulging or loose strands.

Pair of pliers on a wicker table

As you integrate the new weaving material, trim any excess material using scissors. The last step before refinishing your wicker furniture is to clean the repaired section.

Refinishing Wicker Furniture

Refinishing wicker furniture can bring new life to worn-out pieces and refresh their appearance.

Begin by following the steps above to prepare the wicker furniture for refinishing. Once the furniture is clean and repaired, gently sand the surface using fine-grit sandpaper. Sanding ensures the paint or varnish adheres to the wicker furniture properly.

Apply a primer specifically designed for wicker materials with a paintbrush, covering the entire surface. Primer acts as a base for the new paint or varnish and ensures better adhesion. Let the primer dry thoroughly before moving to the next step.

Next, choose a paint or varnish for refinishing. Oil-based paints are often recommended for wicker furniture due to their durability and longevity. Spray paint is another option, as it provides an even finish and reaches into the intricate details of wicker pieces.

Apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat. Remember to allow each coat of paint or varnish to dry before applying the next one.

After the final coat of paint or varnish has dried, seal the furniture using a polyurethane topcoat to protect the wicker furniture from wear, ensuring its new finish lasts as long as possible.

Maintaining Your Wicker Furniture

Direct sunlight can damage wicker furniture, causing it to become brittle and fade. Position your wicker patio furniture in a shaded area or use a cover to shield it from the sun. Resin wicker furniture is usually more resistant to sunlight, but protective measures are still beneficial.

Moisture damage is another concern for wicker furniture. When placing outdoor furniture, ensure that it is not exposed to standing water or excessive moisture by placing it on elevated platforms or rugs to help prevent mold and mildew growth.

Two off-white oversized wicker chairs with red, grey, and white pillows

Wrapping up the Complete Guide to Repairing Wicker Furniture

Now that you’ve learned how to repair, reweave, and refinish your wicker furniture, it’s time to take a break and relax in your new sitting area.

Want to keep your furniture looking great? We have an easy guide with cleaning tips.