Best way to paint wicker?

Lake_GirlApril 26, 2013

I need to paint my wicker furniture on my front porch. I've done it a couple times over the past 14 years. I've spray painted with cheap spray paint, and brushed on white paint. Does anyone have a preferred way to paint wicker? Does the name brand spray paint perform better than cheap Walmart brand? What gloss should I use? I am on the fence about painting it black instead of white, but Dh says pollen will show up more. Any suggestions?

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If you want a really good paint job, I would purchase or rent a good sprayer. I've never had great success painting wicker, no matter how many layers applied, with a brush or regular spray paint in the cans.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:55PM
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If you're trying to change the color, just buy new wicker. I kept and repainted my mom's wicker set for sentimental reasons. It was a nightmare. Wicker has multiple layers, and you can see into it, so the white innards will almost always show up after you've painted the outside dark.

I didn't try a professional sprayer but I doubt that would help. The spray would not be able to provide full coverage of the interior anyway.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Good point. I'll probably just keep it white. Atleast it won't take as much paint to cover as it would to change the entire color. I'd love to buy all-weather wicker, but I don't won't to spend the money at this time. It seems like brushing paint on is better, since it's thicker, but the ease of spraying is so much better. I wonder if a better brand of spray paint will hold up better.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:10PM
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I have painted wicker for years...that should tell you something :( I have used the special most expensive Rustoleum paint for wicker. It works OK if the wicker is in good condition and you are going to use the same color and you are planning on redoing it at least every other year. It will flake off eventually. It takes a LOT of paint so it costs a lot. You must wear a very good vapor mask from Lowes to use spray paint ! please...I repeat this on here all the time and folks respond that they are doing it outside...sigh..that means nothing. if you can smell the paint you are getting it in your lungs and doing permanent damage. So if you are going to spray please spend the $30 and get the mask with the heavy duty filters.

I like high gloss as it seems to do the best. I have old antique wicker now and the pieces that someone use a brush and canned paint on are intact and they couldn't flake off it they wanted to so it is way better to put it on with a brush...but this was done too heavily and I thought I would be able to get it off with stripper and re-do it so I bought it ...luckily I didn't pay much. But stripper works..sort of...but it would take weeks of work and I don't have the time or energy that I want to spend on that. So use canned paint if you want it to last..Rustoleum is the best...and use a light hand with the brush and use high gloss. Also...wear a mask with brushed paint too !! Remember if you can smell it you are putting yourself at risk. c

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Lake Girl-

I've had good luck spraypainting wicker using spray paint, cans are OK, but a sprayer has much better application, is cheaper and with less waste (no aerosol bottles to dispose of).

Here is the process I follow:

Wash all wicker with soap and a hose, really spray it with as much force as your hose will muster. Let dry really well, like for several days. Keep inside or cover to keep clean. I then use the air hose (we have an air compressor, I know everyone doesn't, if you don't, just use a miracle cloth) to spray the dust off.

Turn all furniture up side down, place on a dropcloth or cardboard in the middle of the lawn or driveway on a calm day and spray two coats on the underside. There will be overspray, so take care that you remove things in the path, like your car (ask me how I know).

After two coats on the underside and the required drying time of 1-2 hours between coats, turn the items right side up and apply two coats on the top side. Depending on the item you may need to turn and spray the sides in the same manner.

Once you have two full coats on all sides, review to see if the old color is peeking through (it probably will be) and start the process over again.

I have black spray painted wicker on my porch chairs and IIRC it took 5 coats to give it the rich, glossy black I wanted. The good news is the if you buy or rent a spray gun, it covers well with a minimal amount of paint, the coats are lighter than if you brushed them.

Good luck-


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Thanks for the tips! I agree that brushing the paint would give the thicker coat, but spraying is quickest (with a mask - thanks trail). Sandyponder - what brand of spray paint did you use, or did you rent a sprayer? I have washed and scrubbed two chairs and the little table, but not the loveseat. I do have an air compressor with hose to blow it off with also.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Ah..yes if I had a compressor sprayer that is definitely what I would use. Never thought to rent one and not sure DH would have let me :) Lots of thin layers is the way to go ...just no spray cans..they don't do well at all. Hope you will post pics !!

sandy..what did you do about the car ?:) c

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Lake Girl-

I have a cheapie sprayer from Tractor Supply, $30+- on the sale table, and for my purposes it worked fine (all that texture on wicker is actually very forgiving!), I used BM Aura cuz that's the best paint available locally, and tho the paint counter woman said I might have to thin it, I didn't and it worked fine.

And, yes, the car, well, in my defense, it was my first time with the sprayer and there is a learning curve, luckily we don't drive nice cars, so it was fine, mr. sandyponder's old green van had a tinge of purple to the left rear area, I thought it gave the old POS a certain je ne sais quois, but others disagreed....


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Our wonderful Handy Guy painted an antique desk with a sprayer. It was white, and we changed the color to a pale pink. It came out beautifully!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 7:42PM
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What a pretty desk. That's it! I'm getting me a "Handy Guy"!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Well, you can't have mine! He just spent a week here getting the backyard ready for our mothers' day celebration....pressure washing everything from patio to furniture and cushions, reprinting deck and railings, hauling off collapsing adirondack chairs from the pond bank, cleaning the tops of the outdoor ceiling fans, repainting the black lanterns, umbrella stands, the backs of the deck stairs, bringing two truckloads of flowers and palms from our local nursery and DIY store, and on, and on and on... We could not live here without him, literally!

1 Like    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Don't forget you may have to remove some old paint to get the weave to show if it's very caked on. How? Tack hammer. Yes, if it is layers thick you can carefully tap it with a tack or other pointy hammer until the paint crumbles falls loose. I have "stripped" a number of pieces using this method but it's not for the faint of heart. If your wicker is paper fiber be very careful or you may have to order more and reweave, which I'm about to do. Apparently the many coats of paint will stabilize old fiber wicker, and I was surprised to find that the back of a rocker I had restored split open after all the work. The wire inside the craft paper fiber will eventually rust and weaken the weave, and the paint I tapped off was helping hold it all together. Don't be too quick to get rid of old paint if it's in pretty good shape. Use a good oil-based primer or stain-killing one on unfinished areas before repainting.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2015 at 7:14AM
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Well, I've done it and lived to tell about it, although my right index finger was numb for three weeks (seriously) after I sprayed one chair! After that, I always use ine of those spray attachments that make using a spray cans so much easier. Another suggestion is to first to use a spray primer in a color close to the color your painting the chair. And, make sure that you are painting in a place with good light and where you can turn the chair different ways, including upside down, so that you can look for places that you've missed. . . . which is inevitable!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 25, 2015 at 7:55AM
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