Caring for Antique Wicker Furniture
One of our most frequently asked questions is about taking care of wicker, hope some of the following helps.
In dealing with antique wicker furniture it is best to always have it in an area where it is not constant wet and then dry. Covered porches are great, even if it is not glassed in. Wicker that does not have pressed cane seats or curls does better on porches where the humidity changes dramatically. The seats tend to loosen and tighten and curls can spring. Wicker furniture stored in attics becomes brittle and in damp areas can become spongy. After saying all this, if your wicker furniture is painted it will last several years outdoors unprotected but it seems a shame after surviving a 100 years or so.
Cleaning:First determine if you furniture is made of wicker or paper (tightly twisted sometimes over wire) if it is wicker, vacuum or dust (blow the dirt out with the vacuum) and use mild soap and wash gently. Check an area that doesn't show first
Painting:We recommend using an air gun with compressor. If you don't have one talk to your auto body shop or a house painter. We generally use kilz primmer and then the top paint. We like Rustoleum for white and often use Ben Moore for colors. Our dark green is Essex green. Make sure you have blown out all the dust first and that you are not going to over spray items around you. If your item has a makers tag, tape a piece of paper over (remove paper later) to protect the label. If you do use spray cans, shake well and then shake more to get even color. Make sure you have removed flaking paint first and smooth rough surfaces.
Repairs:Many stores that carry basket making supplies may have the material you need to fix your piece. Take a small part of the broken piece with you to get the right size. We often get materials from H.H. Perkins http://www.hhperkins.com/ or Franks cane and supply. http://www.franksupply.com/
Hope this helps for now and as more questions appear we will post more answers.