How to care for wicker garden furniture
Wicker furniture is a lovely addition to any garden and as a naturally derived product feels more in keeping with the great outdoors than steel, aluminium or plastic furniture. However, as a natural product, this type of furniture requires a little extra care and attention to keep it looking its best.
Wicker furniture supplied in the UK is mostly made from cane or bamboo and can come untreated, varnished, lacquered or painted depending on personal choice. Regardless of how it is treated there are some prudent measures you can use to keep your wicker furniture looking beautiful for years to come.
Firstly, when you take delivery of your furniture, spray it with an outdoor, water-shielding product. This will give a level of resistance to water damage and will help to prevent mould, mildew and rotting of your furniture.
If your furniture gets wet, dry it with a towel, cloth or dry sponge and if possible allow it to completely dry off in the sun. If you spill something on wicker furniture it is wise to wipe it up as soon as possible and then clean the area with a mild mixture of washing up liquid and warm water. Once completed, dry it off with a cloth or dry sponge and again, if you can, leave it out in the sun.
However, to avoid fading or bleaching of colour don't leave your wicker furniture in the sun for too long, and in the winter months avoid keeping it out in the rain, snow or frost.
Dust your wicker furniture each month to two months. Use a vacuum cleaner for thicker dust, using the brush attachment for ease. Once completed, use furniture polish to give further protection from moisture.
Restoring your furniture
If you want to bring your wicker furniture back to its original glory after years of enjoyment, invest in either lacquer or spray enamel paint. Start by removing any soft cushions or covers and gently sand the wicker with a fine sandpaper. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as this will lead to split canes or bamboo fibres.
When you have finished sanding, sparingly apply the paint or lacquer in an even layer over the visible surface. Once complete, this process will enhance the condition of your wicker furniture or, should you fancy a change, give it a new colour or shade.
With a simple cleaning process like this there's no fuss or bother involved in keeping your much -valued furniture in good condition. However, make sure you use any polish, lacquer or spray in a well-ventilated space to prevent any negative reactions to the fumes.
Choosing the right spot for your furniture
After cleaning, place your dust-free, elegant wicker furniture on a patio area ready for a barbeque, in a shady spot by a pond, or on a grassy area for a relaxing lunch with friends. This type of furniture creates the picture perfect country look and will look stylish and comfortable in any corner of the garden.
Indeed, wicker furniture may be a natural product but that doesn't mean to say it won't work against a more manmade backdrop - whether that's outdoor matting for events and parties or the many types of artificial grass for sale that are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional lawn.
With a perfect look and finish for any type of garden area, wicker really is one of the best types of furniture for relaxing and enjoying time in the great outdoors.
Photo credit: Philip Mason