Wicker furniture has long been popular for its unique look and ability to withstand a decent amount of wear and tear. The furniture consists of lightweight pieces of wood, usually cane, which weave together to create a pattern of interlaced wood that is lightweight, but sturdy. People often use cane chairs outdoors as patio furniture because it does not warp or dry out as fast as other woods do. However, even cane chairs are not invincible and eventually owners may need to restore them. However, by following some simple instructions anyone can restore their cane chairs at home and make them look brand new.
The woven patterns on the chairs easily collect dirt and dust that builds up substantially over time, especially if the chairs are outdoors. To clean the chairs up, use a stiff paint brush to break up the dirt in all the nooks and crannies. If it is available, blow out the loose particles with compressed air. If not, a vacuum can do the trick as well.
Next, use the brush and a sponge along with soap and water to do a deep cleaning. However, be careful not to get the chair too wet because this could damage the wood, especially if it is dry and brittle. Dry it off completely when done.
Often some strands of wood come loose or completely break off as they weaken. Examine the cane chairs for any loose or broken pieces. If there are any loose pieces, tuck the strand back into the frame and use super glue to tack it in place.
If a strand is broken, remove it by pulling it free from the frame. Next, purchase a new strand of cane wood and soak it in water for about an hour to make sure it is flexible enough to work with.
Next, measure the new strand of cane and cut it 10 cms longer than needed. Then weave it into the chair by matching the existing pattern. When done, trim up the wood to the exact size needed and glue the ends into the frame.
After a while, the woven strands of cane may start to stretch out and cause the seat of the chair to sag. To fix this, turn the chair upside down and use a damp rag to moisten the wood. Leave the chair there until it is dry. As the wood dries, it shrinks back up. However, be careful not to get any water on the frame.
If the sun has faded the wood, a good way to freshen up the chairs is to paint them. Be sure to wear old clothing for this project and cover up the nose and mouth with a mask. Wearing eye protection is also a good idea.
Next, spread out sheets of paper or an old sheet to set the chairs on. This prevents the paint from getting onto the ground.
Take a hand-sized piece of emery cloth or fine grit sandpaper and start to rub off any existing paint, varnish, and dirt. Be aware that this creates a lot of dust so it is a good idea to have vacuum on hand. When the chair is down to bare wood, wipe it down with a damp rag to get rid of the dust. When the cane chairs are clean, they are ready for the primer. Get a paint primer and follow the instructions that come with the product. Sometimes people have to mix the primer with a thinner. When ready, dip a paint brush into the primer and wipe off any excess to prevent dripping on the wood. Paint the whole chair and be sure to get inside all the cracks and crevices. Let the primer dry for at least 24 hours. The next day, apply a second layer of primer in the same way.
Now use 180 grit sandpaper to lightly smooth out the primer and then wipe the chairs down again. When the chairs are dry, start painting. Be sure to mix the paint with thinner if the product specifies to do so. Let the chair dry for 24 hours again and then apply another coat of paint. When the second coat of paint is dry, apply a layer of varnish to protect the paint and wood from sun damage.
Cane chairs are lightweight, durable, and stylish. They can last for years and even longer if their owners learn how to restore them. Putting on fresh varnish or paint re-seals the wood and helps prevent it from drying out and cracking. It also freshens up the chair so that it does not look worn down. You can find new or used cane chairs on eBay as well as the supplies that you need to restore a used one. You can also find daily specials on the eBay Deals page. Visit the Deals page often because there are new sales every day.