Tsue ~ That's What She Said: Home DIY: Repairing Wicker Furniture

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Home DIY: Repairing Wicker Furniture

When we first purchased our home, I immediately had a vision of what I wanted to do with our screened, covered porch.  Located off our family room with sliding door access and adjacent to the pool area, I knew immediately this would become the haven of our outdoor entertaining spaces.  With expansive windows on every side lending to the feeling of connection to our other outdoor living areas, yet still a degree of separation, my first task was to outfit the area with comfortable seating.

With all manner of home remodeling projects underway, both in the interest of saving funds for other projects as well as for the challenge, I collected a number of wicker chairs, in varying designs and conditions, to pamper back to beauty.  Although wicker is quite capable of holding its own outdoors, many of the pieces were in good need of cleaning.

DIY Projects, Wicker Furniture Repair, Outdoor Furniture Repair
Cleaning Outdoor Wicker Furniture
Collect and keep an assortment of bristled tools, such as old toothbrush, old nail brush and narrow and wide paint brushes.  Paint brush bristles can be trimmed down to provide the stiffness you'll need to remove dirt.  Brush away dirt as possible before using any liquid solution to clean.  Mix up a solution of warm water and any mild detergent and gently scrub areas in need of attention.  Tilt your wicker furniture piece to allow water to drain off, rather than soak and saturate the wicker.  Use the minimum amount of water necessary to complete your task, blotting the piece dry with an absorbent towel when you are finished.  Allow your piece to air dry at least 24 hours before use.

Binding Cane
Although each of my new to me wicker pieces were in relatively good shape, as is not uncommon, many of the chair legs' canning had loosened.  Having inspected the pieces for damaged areas, I measured to determine the width I needed for my work ahead.  There are a number of good resources for ordering chair canning supplies and one can easily find the type of cane needed in a wide variety of widths and types to match your projects needs.

DIY Projects, Easy DiY Projects, Wicker Chairs

Before using your binding cane, you'll need to soak it in a bucket of water overnight to soften it as it is quite stiff and difficult to bend when dry.  This is a project I enjoyed working on outdoors and if the weather is balmy, I recommend leaving the cane you are not currently working with in your bucket until use as it will dry quickly in warmer weather.

Binder Cane, Wicker Chairs, DIY Projects

  Re-Wrapping Wicker Chair Legs
The tools needed for re-wrapping and minor repairs to your wicker chairs are simple and easy to work with.  I used a small headed hammer, short, headed finishing nails and a utility knife or scissors.  If using utility knife, having a small board or kitchen cutting board for DIY projects can be convenient, especially when working outdoors or away from your workbench.  The process of wrapping is simple and steady work but requires time and patience.  Having company, music or an audio book will help you keep pace and pass the time.

DIY Projects, Wicker Chair Repair

The Process
Re-wrapping your wicker chair legs is fairly simple.  
  1. Trace the loose strand back to where it is still connected and trim.
  2. Layer the new piece of binding cane over the old piece, secure with  finishing nail.
  3. Follow the existing wrap pattern, matching the angle as closely as possible.  
  4. Secure with a finishing nail on the inside of the leg to reduce visibility every 4-6 layers.
  5. Secure the binding cane at the base of the leg one three sides, however take care to not wrap beyond the leg pole or you will soon be wrapping your legs again!
  6. From the base of the leg, wrap back up the leg 3 - 4 times, to reinforce, trim and secure with finishing nail.
Rewrapping Wicker Chair Legs, Easy DIY Projects, Decor DIY Projects
Binder cane can also be used to make minor repairs to other loose or broken weave on your chair, although depending on the weave design of your piece, novices such as myself may find it best to trim and secure loose cane rather than take on a project beyond our ken.

When working with an eclectic mix of wicker styles and designs, painting them the same color and adding matching or coordinating weather resistant cushions can add cohesion to your space.

Learn how easily you can add a new look to your sun room, porch or patio from Plow & Hearth and enter to win a gift certificate to shop for new cushions or whatever may strike your fancy!

What DIY projects are you tackling this year?
What is your outdoor or seasonal room decor style?
Tell me in a comment below!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Pam said...

I need you to come to my house. I have so many diy projects that need to be completed!

Heather Smith said...

I looked at some wicker furniture at a consignment shop the other day... but it needed TLC ... I'll have to head back and see if I can get a good deal and try out your project tips!

Jai M. said...

This is a really good article. My Grandma has a lot of old wicker furniture and it just never crossed my mind that it could repaired/restored at home. TY!

Crystal Threeprncs said...

I'm with Pam. When you coming to visit me?? I'm not to good with DIY projects. I would love to learn though

Beeb said...

Great tutorial! As for what project I'll be tackling this year...EVERYTHING!! LOL!

Turning the Clock Back said...

you are ambitious! I am going to get my fall garden in next week...that is about all I am tackling this month!

Grace Hodgin said...

Such great tips and you are such a wealth of knowledge. I always learn something when I come here to read your articles. Thanks again.

Daisy TrendyMomReviews said...

What a great idea and tutorial!

Show Me Mama said...

You know I was actually curious how you would repair Wicker items or chairs. My mother has two of those and I remember some of them had holes and she had to ask someone to repair them. I will let her know about this tutorial. Thanks for sharing

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