HOW TO REFURBISH OLD WICKER FURNITURE

One of my great joys in life is finding some beat up old item with good bones at a flea market or garage sale, rescuing it, and bringing life back into its weathered form. Something about the history of the item stirs me to want to preserve that piece of the past for future use and enjoyment, and when you get it for super-cheap it’s all the more exciting!

sofa

I got this wonderful three seat wicker sofa for only five dollars! That’s right five whole bucks. My friend knew I had been wanting some outdoor wicker furniture for my deck, but with the cost of a sofa like this being so high, it was definitely not in the budget. The cheapest one I could find was around $800. (Ouch! That’s painful to even say, or rather, write.) She sent me a pic from a yard sale of this piece and said “Maybe a good fixer upper? It’s only $5.”

Well that just set my little heart into overdrive. I woke Chuck up and said “I know we were planning to sleep-in this Saturday morning, but…we’ve got to get up and go get this wicker couch before its gone.”  He’s such a wonderful man that he willingly got up from his peaceful slumber and went bargain hunting with me.  (I think he secretly just wanted to see if he could find some cheap books. That man loves to read, a lot, but he still gets all the brownie points for this one.)

We came home with the find above, and several books of course, and now it was time to get to work. I recruited our beautiful daughter, Julieanna, who loves a good project, to help me.

First thing we had to do was clean it up. This is an outdoor piece so it had little bit of mildew on the back and was pretty dirty. It’s best to use a warm, mildly soapy water mixture for most of the cleaning.  As for the mildew, you need to make sure you kill it or it will come back, so we used bleach wipes for that. Make sure you wipe down the entire bleached area with water after so no residue is left. Let it dry well before the next step.

The sofa was spray painted unevenly and had a few spots that needed to be rewoven, but other than that it was in great shape.

sofa2

Most wicker is wood reed or industrial strength paper tightly woven around metal wire, so weaving any pieces back in is pretty simple. You can just weave and tuck it in, and if it needs a little more staying power, a dab of glue from a high-heat glue gun will do just fine to secure the ends. You will also want to check for flaking paint and sand any rough edges lightly before you move on to the next step.


Now come the fun parts, choosing a color and spray painting. We liked the idea of red, but we wanted a deeper red color, so we went with dark maroon. You will want a good, outdoor, all-weather, spray paint and primer in one. We did a base coat over the light areas first and let it dry. Next we painted the back and underside, making sure that we used even strokes so there would be no spotting and keeping about six inches away so we didn’t have any drips. Once you have an even coat, flip the project over and do the top sides and front, making sure you cover every inch, nook, and cranny. Wait and let the paint dry before you apply the next coat. Just follow the directions on the can for the brand of paint you purchased. We wound up painting three coats on our project, because while it looked great after two, I decided that a third coat would protect it even more, since this would be an outdoor piece. All in all I used five large cans of spray paint, which cost about fourteen dollars.


After I let it dry for twenty-four hours, I added a half-inch board I had laying around to the bottom seat area and an outdoor fabric, Swiss Cross pattern cushion and pillow set, which cost me twenty-dollars. Grand total I spent forty-four dollars on this and invested about three hours of work. (I should take the $750 I saved and go have a spa day, I’m sure Chuck won’t mind. Who am I kidding, it will go to pay the bills!) I really love how it turned out and love the patriotic colors for summer time. Did I mention it is super comfy and a new favorite place to sit with a big glass of sweet tea over ice, and my Bible. I just sit there enjoying my time with God, listening to beautiful bird songs, and breathe in the fresh morning air. In fact, I’m going to do that now. Hope this encourages you to get out there and create something!

-Christine

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