Wicker patio furniture is among the most beautiful and comfortable outdoor furniture available. There is something dramatic and romantic about it that makes wicker quite unique. It is a type of furniture that is in its own category.
If you are thinking of buying wicker outdoor furniture, then here are some pointers and tips. This will make it possible for you to buy and use wicker like a pro:
Considerations Before Buying
Natural wicker is not one of the stronger types of furniture. Therefore, natural wicker furniture is appropriate for adults that are less than 200 lbs each, and for families without overly rambunctious children. Except for these limitations, your natural wicker furniture will provide long service.
Those concerned with these limitations may wish to consider vinyl or plastic wicker. The frames are usually tougher because they use metal, not rattan as with natural wicker furniture, and vinyl or plastic wicker looks remarkably like the real thing.
Here are some pointers:
1) Where to place wicker furniture. Wicker is damaged by exposure to moisture and to excessive sunlight. Therefore, natural wicker outdoor furniture is best placed in a covered area. Good locations include a covered porch, patio, or deck, in a gazebo, or in a cabana.
2) Know how much space is available. Furniture should never be congested. Before buying patio furniture, first decide where you want the furniture to be positioned. From this you will be able to better estimate what size furniture will fit.
Be especially careful with larger pieces. If you want a dinning table with six chairs, make sure you have the room. The same is true with a chesterfield or sofa. It simply isn’t fun to manoeuvre around a patio with too much furniture and not enough walking space.
3) Only buy wicker furniture that is factory-assembled. Because wicker is not easy to work with, it is wise to buy all wicker furniture fully pre-assembled. If you assemble the furniture yourself, take special care with the joints. Most problems with home assembly usually involve instability because of poor joint connections.
4) Don’t forget to budget for covers for your new furniture. Wicker should be kept dry, so if wicker is placed in an uncovered area, it should be brought inside when it rains or completely covered. Covers for all sizes of patio furniture are easily available online.
5) Work out in your mind delivery and placement logistics. Thinking this through before delivery will save you time and trouble.
Wicker patio furniture will require some maintenance. Once a month, the wicker and cushions should be vacuumed using the vacuum’s soft brush, then wiped with a damp cloth.
At least once a year wash your wicker, cushions, and frame using a mild detergent in lukewarm water, use a sponge. Rinse well with clear water and dry with soft cloths. Allow to finish drying in the sun.
Mildew is a thin growth that is actually a plant. It is caused by very warm temperatures and humidity. Mildew on wicker is usually easy to control. A good washing will usually do the trick.
Using a mild detergent in lukewarm water and a sponge, wash your wicker, cushions, and frame thoroughly. Rinse well with clear water and dry with soft cloths. Allow to finish drying in the sun.
This will often be enough. However, if mildew stains remain I recommend one of two options:
1) Moisten the stained area with lemon juice, then rub salt into the stain. Do not rinse. Allow it to dry in the sun. After drying, rinse off the lemon juice and salt by rinsing well with clear water, then dry with cloths. Allow to finish drying in the sun. Test on colored cushion fabrics first.
2) In one quart of warm water, mix in two tablespoons of chlorine bleach. Sponge the solution onto the stain area, or dip the stain area into the mixture. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, and then rinse with clear water. Dry with dry cloths. Allow to finish drying in the sun. Test on colored cushion fabrics first.
Note: Never use chlorine bleach on wool or silk. Other wash-and-wear fabrics or fabrics with special finishes may be damaged by chlorine bleach. Look for a warning tag attached to the cushion. (Bleach action can be stopped quickly by soaking the item with a solution of two tablespoons of vinegar for each cup of water.)
With these treatments you should have little problem with mildew.
If you need to repaint wicker furniture, completely clean your furniture first, dry with cloths. When completely dry, slightly sand only those areas that are needed.
Painting with a paint brush can be tricky and slow. It is best to use a sprayer or spray cans of paint to apply paint evenly and without drips. Only use paint in a well ventilated area.
Natural wicker patio furniture can be a beautiful addition to any patio or porch. With a little thoughtful care you can expect to enjoy your new wicker furniture for many years to come.