Step 1: Find an Old Wicker Set to Make Over
Step 2: Secure Table Leg
Step 3: Fix the Cane Spiral
Step 4: Stabilize Wicker
Step 5: Re-Attach the Chair Brace
Step 6: Glue and Tidy the Cane
Step 7: Brush Off
Step 8: Paint the Wicker
Written by Merrilee Fleeting
This wicker setting in our chair had been kept outside for a few years. It was falling apart and the small table was so brittle that it crumbled to the touch. The chair was in slighter better condition and, although still sturdy, needed some careful fixing.
The plan was to use it as sunroom or garden decoration (somewhere for the cat to snooze), rather than a full weight-bearing role, so the wicker didn't need to be 100% restored.
If you're revamping a similar setting, it takes about two hours for repairs, an hour-and-a-half each coat of paint and half a day drying time.
Secure any legs that are out of place with fiberglass packing tape. Apply exterior glue over any he old nail joins. Hold rogue legs on firmly with fine stainless steel tie wire (1/32-in.).
If any cane spiraling has snapped off during handling, glue it back into position and hold it in place with masking tape until the glue is dry.
If you find the wicker missing in some spots, or unraveled in others, brush over it with diluted exterior glue to soften the wicker and let some pieces be retrained and others to fill gaps. Hold these pieces in places with masking tape until dry.
In our chair, the thick cane chair braces had come away from the rusty nails and had broken at the nail entry point. If that's the case with your chair, hold the braces in position with brass framing nails (which are slim, strong and not prone to rust), and use a dab of exterior glue for extra support.
If the cane binding the joins together has unraveled in a few spots or broken in some places, apply exterior glue, with masking tape to hold in position until dry.
After all the glue is dry, prepare for painting by brushing over the wicker with a banister brush to remove dust, old bits of paint and flaking varnish. Some parts of the cane legs may need sanding with fine-grit sandpaper.
The setting was painted with a self-priming acrylic — we chose low sheen exterior self-priming pink paint. Paint two coats if the wicker is very dry. The paint will help to stabilize and strengthen the wicker.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.