Turning indoor wicker into outdoor..How to waterproof

hamptonmeadowOctober 21, 2006

I have two chairs that I got a real deal on but they are indoor chairs. I want to waterproof them so I can leave them out under a covered porch which will get some rain if the wind is right. Tehy are wickerish.

Spar varnish? What should I do? Can this be done. I will have to make sure the paint goes into every nook and cranny. Slop it on? I don't seem to do well with can spray paint. It never turns out. So regular stuff with a brush is the only option for me.

Help please. Thanks!

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I don't think it's possible to make wicker waterproof. There will always be tiny points where water can get into the fibers. And once water gets in, it will cause the paint or varnish to peel off. Just sitting in the chair will cause the finish to crack a bit because the fibers are more flexible than the finish, and water will work its way into the fibers through these tiny breaks in the finish.

I made this mistake myself. I got a beautiful old wicker chaise (actually it had a rattan wrapped frame and woven cane seat and back). I cleaned it up and painted it with the proper type of paint and then put it out on the wraparound covered porch of our 1910 frame house. It looked great for a little while but soon started to peel and chip. Just a year later it was in far worse shape than when I got it.

The only kind of wicker you can safely put outdoors is Lloyd Loom wicker. It's not really wicker but is plastic (?) fiber wound around wire which is then woven into wicker "fabric", which is then put on a frame.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 6:10PM
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Thanks spanky. I thought the same thing. I guess one could dip them, but really that is impossible.

I guess I'll haul them in and out of the rain all the time then. What a pain.
Maybe I will try it anyway and just write them off when they go kaflooie.

What kind of paint did you use?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 9:51PM
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I probably used an exterior enamel but it was a long time ago and I don't really remember.

I was just sick when I noticed the damage on the chaise. I ended up wire brushing it and removing some of the decorative cane panels that didn't have a function, and then I primed and painted it again and put it in a consignment shop. I got ten times what I paid for it (which was only $10) but it came out to probably no profit at all when you consider all the work I put into fixing it up twice! Ugh.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 12:01PM
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Would it be possible to buy "marine" paint and spray the wicker to water-proof it ?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Would it work to buy "marine" paint and spray the wicker to water-proof it ?
I also have a chaise I would like to use on the deck....

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 11:14AM
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