How to repaint wicker furniture – 5 steps to revive the retro staple

Wondering how to repaint wicker furniture? This is how to bring the bring your old pieces back into style

Blue and white tiled staircase
(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

There is no more appropriate time to know how to repaint wicker furniture than this season. This retro classic is a summer decor favorite – and it's back to offer a sense of nostalgia to your living room (and outdoor living room) for the months ahead. 

Whether you have an old chair in hiding in the attic or just picked up a tired (but promising) piece at an antique store, it's refreshingly easy to bring wicker pieces back to life with modern paint ideas

This is how to repaint wicker furniture quickly – so you can spend less time painting – and more time enjoying this ever-enduring interior design trend.  

How to repaint wicker furniture

wicker chair on a back porch

(Image credit: Andrew Suvalsky)

With an expert's help, you can ensure your tired wicker furniture looks as good as new. This is what the process involves.

1. Designate and secure your working space 

'To properly take care of your wicker furniture, you will need a space free from clutter and distractions,' explains interior designer Caroline Patterson from Foter. 'It is also important to ensure that your home appliances do not become stained while working.' Caroline suggests finding a comfortable place with enough room to spread out the protective material. A painting cloth [such as this one from Amazon] is most suitable for the job. However, you can use a sheet of cloth if you would prefer. 

2. Clean your wicker furniture thoroughly 

'As with painting other items, it is important with wicker furniture that it is clean before you begin renovating,' Caroline explains. She suggests using a brush with stiff bristles to clean the piece of debris before washing the furniture with soapy water and a sponge or cloth. You should then use the de-glosser to permanently remove any dirt or stains. 

'Remember to check the manufacturer's instructions for contraindications to this type of treatment,' Caroline says. She then recommends letting your furniture dry completely – possibly overnight if you used a lot of water. 

green wicker chairs in classical designed pink dining room

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

3. Prime and paint your wicker furniture 

'Now that the furniture is clean and dry, it's time to apply primer. Once you're gone priming, it is essential that the furniture is left to dry again,' Caroline says. Then, it is time to experiment with your paint – the most transformative step of all. 

'Remember to paint the furniture from every angle, so the color is applied evenly. The key is to use gentle movements,' she adds. 

4. Wait for the paint to dry

Your paint can dry in as little as one hour, but it can sometimes take longer, depending on your chosen room color idea. 'Evaluate if you have applied the paint evenly and that the furniture has acquired the correct color. If so, you can apply one more coat,' Caroline says. However, the process doesn't quite end there.  

Madeaux green and white trellis design wallpaper with striped rug and white wicker sofa

(Image credit: Madeaux by Richard Smith)

5. Allow the paint to cure 

While the paint can dry quickly, it is important to allow the paint to cure. This can often take around two days, but Caroline suggests checking your paint manufacturer's instructions to be sure before using your recently revived piece. 'After these steps, your furniture is ready for use,' she says. 

Knowing how to repaint wicker furniture will elevate your vintage piece in only one weekend – we're tempted to start as soon as possible. 

What kind of paint do you use on wicker furniture?

There is a range of paint finishes you can use on wicker furniture, including chalk paint, milk paint and oil-based satin paint and gloss paint. You can apply these paints by brushing them on, although spraying is quicker and can reach those areas that are harder to get to with a brush.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.