How To Waterproof Wicker Furniture (7 Steps)


What is the best method of waterproofing your wicker furniture?

Answer: There are several ways to waterproof wicker, but the best way is with good marine spar varnish. 

Waterproofing wicker furniture is a great way to make sure it will continue looking good for years and years. 

There are many different types of wicker furniture, from porch swing seats to loveseats.

Therefore, knowing the best method of waterproofing your wicker furniture type will help keep your outdoor room looking great.

Wicker Furniture Seating

Woven chairs and sofas are probably the most common type of outdoor seating found in an average backyard. 

They can be expensive if you buy them brand new, but putting some time into refurbishing them yourself can save you money.

Plus, if you’re refurbishing something that’s already built with high-quality materials, then you know that all that remains is just making it look new again.

What You Need

A good wicker furniture spray and a plastic drop cloth. If you don’t already have it, try calling up a local hardware store and asking them if they carry the spray and what the brand is. 

Make sure that whatever product you buy is specifically designed for wicker furniture so that it will hold up both in the elements outside and with frequent use as well. Some products like paints instead of sprays work great as well. 

Make sure whatever you choose can withstand some moisture. This is because this type of furniture often gets wet at times from rain or dew settling on it during those early morning hours. 

Additionally, some painter’s tape may be helpful to protect other parts of your outdoor room while painting over the furniture.

Step by step guide on how to waterproof wicker furniture

Applying sealer and paint on wicker furniture for waterproofing and refinishing purposes is the first thing we must do before we start any painting project on wicker furniture. 

Of course, you don’t want your beautiful piece of garden or patio furniture ruined by water damage because it wasn’t sealed first.

Here are 7 steps on how to waterproof wicker furniture: 

Step #1: Sand Your Furniture Down First.

waterproof wicker furniture


Before we do anything else, it’s important to sand down your exterior wicker surfaces (wicker furniture is usually made of bamboo, rattan, or some other type of willow) down with 100-150 grit sandpaper. 

This is to provide a smooth surface for application. This step is important because it makes the wood porous and allows the sealer to soak in.

Sand your wicker furniture (especially if you’ve got any loose pieces, splinters, or damaged areas) down with medium-grit sandpaper first before moving on. 

You can also put on some rubber gloves and use an old rag dipped in paint thinner to clean out any small cracks, crevices, and gaps before sealing too.

Step #2: Wipe Down Your Furniture With Water And Soap


Now that your piece is all nice and sanded down, it’s time to wipe it down with soap and water. 

This is just another step that ensures any small particles don’t clog up the pores of your wicker furniture while you’re applying sealer. But make sure you wipe it down thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Step #3: Apply A Coat Of Stain Blocker

 Now that your exterior surfaces are properly prepped, apply a coat of stain blocker onto your surface. You can find this at your local hardware store or home improvement retailer in one-gallon containers for between $20 – $40 depending on what brand you buy. 

It’s really worth buying too because nothing will ruin your paintwork faster than water damage from rain or accidentally spilling a drink over your wicker furniture.

Just pour a small amount of stain blocker into a paint tray and apply it using a paintbrush. But don’t forget to wear some rubber gloves too.

Step #4: Apply A Coat Of Waterproofing Sealer

Now that the first coat is dry, apply another one after an hour or two just to be safe.

Make sure you’re applying your waterproofing sealer with a brush though because you could end up spraying too much onto your work surface which will cause drips to form on the side. 

And this would ruin your freshly painted exterior surfaces before the furniture has even dried out from the previous step.

You should only need to apply a couple of coats of waterproofing sealer on your wicker furniture and allow the coats to dry thoroughly (at least 24 hours between coats) before you paint.

Step #5: Apply A Coat Of Paint


Now that your exterior surfaces are prepped, it’s time for the fun part of the painting. Obviously, if this is a new piece of garden or patio furniture you’re refurbishing then you can skip this step entirely. This is because nothing needs doing before applying paint

But if you’ve got existing painted wicker furniture covered in chipped paint and rust, then we can begin restoring it back to its former glory with some new paint.

And just like when putting together an Ikea dresser or anything else really, I going to teach you How to Paint Wicker Furniture the easy way with some tips & tips to share.

Use a roller brush or paintbrush to apply one coat of exterior-grade primer on your wicker furniture first. 

This ensures that you can see all the little cracks, crevices, and gaps properly before applying two coats of exterior quality paint on top later.

Step #6: Apply A Coat Of Sealer Again

You’ve probably noticed by now that this article is called ‘How To Waterproof Wicker Furniture’ rather than just painting it. And the reason for this is that painting alone won’t always prevent water damage from occurring. 

That’s why you should also seal your painted wicker furniture too once you’ve finished painting.

Just apply a layer of exterior quality sealer over the top of your newly painted wicker furniture and you’ll be protected for another few years against all those elements.

Step #7- Apply A Water Repellent Finish On Top Of The Paint (Optional)


As we just discussed, it’s important to waterproof and seal your wicker furniture with paint and some kind of finish too before applying that final coat of waterproofing sealer. 

And this is really important because any little gaps or crevices where moisture can get trapped between coats of paint could lead to rust forming on your newly refurbished piece if you don’t do this step. 

But there’s an alternative way to go about this too which is to apply a water repellent topcoat over your newly painted wicker furniture instead of sealer.

And to be honest this process is much easier because you only have one step where you brush it on and another step where you wipe off the excess with a lint-free rag after an hour or two has passed. And that’s all there is to it.

Finishing Touches

Once you’ve applied the protecting waterproofing agent to your wicker furniture, let it dry for a day before placing back in your outdoor space. 

Sit back and enjoy your newly refurbished wicker furniture with family and friends—or all by yourself if no one seems like joining you outside. 

Remember that this is an inexpensive way to help keep up appearances around your home’s exterior, so trying not to skimp on the amount of protective spray product used as a little really does go a long way.

Wicker Furniture vs. Hardwood Furniture

Water-resistance is one of the biggest differences between wicker furniture and more traditional wood furniture pieces like cabinets or tables: Wicker resists moisture better than hardwoods but still requires protection from water exposure.

Benefits of a Waterproof Wicker Furniture Finish

Wicker furniture that isn’t waterproofed will soak up water and moisture that can cause the wicker to swell or warp, which can damage or ruin your wicker pieces. 

In addition, unsealed wicker is easily stained by exposure to various liquids such as coffee, juice, and condiments. 

These liquids seep into the wicker where they are difficult to clean out completely, leading to staining from leaks or spills over time. 

A good sealant finish keeps out moisture and resists stains from leaking liquids.

How to Waterproof a Wicker Patio Table

Waterproofing a patio table made of wicker requires a bit more work than many other outdoor wicker pieces. The simplest way to waterproof your wicker patio table is to coat it with exterior spar varnish or high-quality exterior paint, preferably in a satin or semi-gloss finish. 

These protective finishes will resist moisture damage and stains while preserving the natural beauty of wicker furniture.

Another option for sealing your patio table made out of wicker is to spray on flame retardant (FR) sealant or epoxy. Simply follow these steps:

1. Clean your table thoroughly before applying any waterproofing products to ensure that you get the best results possible; use soap, hand cleaner, vinegar rinses, bleach, and water as necessary depending on the condition of your furniture and how dirty it is.

2. Sand your table to roughen the surface and increase adhesion for a better sealer finish; use medium-grade sandpaper or a hand sander with coarse sanding pads. 

Don’t worry about scratching up your furniture if you accidentally make contact with a sharp edge of a piece of wicker – you can always touch up blemishes in the finish later on by brushing on another coat of sealant.

3. Use a tack cloth or lint-free rag to remove dust from the surface of your patio table after you have finished sanding it. Wipe away any overspray from power washing, too, which can block pores in wicker and cause unsealed surfaces to moisture and become dirty more easily.

4. Apply at least two coats of exterior paint or primer/sealer to protect your wicker furniture from water damage, followed by top-quality exterior paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish for maximum weather resistance. 

Projects made this way are typically finished within an hour, depending on how large the object is and how much time you need to let each coat dry before applying another one. 

Note: Test any sealant product on a small area first to make sure that it doesn’t stain your wicker furniture or cause other problems with color matching.



If your piece of furniture is brand new, or almost new, you’re lucky.

Your job is to keep it that way – if the furniture has been sealed with some type of protective product at the factory, you should use a similar one for further protection.

After all, wicker furniture is usually meant to be used outdoors.