How to Paint Resin Wicker

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Synthetic wicker offers a more durable, outdoor-friendly version of wicker furniture and decor typically made of woven plant fibers. But even synthetic resin wicker may fade or become dirty or discolored over time, especially if the furniture is left outdoors. Freshen up that faux wicker with a spray paint specifically designed for plastics and resins; regular paints and spray paints don't adhere to resin very well, if at all.

How to Paint Resin Wicker
(Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media)

Whether the resin wicker item is brand-new or has sat out in the sun for a few seasons, a thorough cleaning helps the paint adhere better. If you're working with large items such as faux wicker patio furniture, hose off each item, using the jet spray setting to knock debris out of the textured resin surface. Add a few squirts of a mild dish soap to a bucket of warm water; then sponge the resin down with the soapy water, rinsing it again afterwards. For smaller faux wicker items such as a plant pot, wash the piece in a sink or wash tub if it is new or fairly clean, using mild dish soap once again. If the item is dirty, hose it off outdoors instead. For dirty, grungy wicker, use a gentle scrub brush to remove dirt from the resin texture, rinsing it off with a hose as you work. If the resin looks shiny or greasy, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol or an ammonia-based cleaner; then rinse it again.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Sometimes resin and plastic pieces have seams that stick up or burrs that result from sliding a resin chair along a paved patio. Inspect the resin wicker items thoroughly, rubbing them down with your hands to find every imperfection or snag. Sand the flaws away with a fine-grit sandpaper; then wipe the dust away with a soft cloth. If the item contains stickers or price tags, remove those with a citrus-based sticker remover or rubbing alcohol; then wipe the area down with a damp cloth. Place the item in the sun for at least a couple of hours, and allow the piece to dry completely before painting.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Resin and plastic are notoriously difficult to paint, if the wrong paint is used. Regular household paints such as latex, acrylics or even spray paint won't adhere directly to these synthetic substances. Instead, resin requires either a primer designed for plastic or a paint designed for plastic. The most efficient option is a spray paint specifically designed for plastics and resins that requires no primer at all. Otherwise, spray the piece with a plastic spray primer; then use any standard spray paint over the dry primer.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Select a work area outdoors on a non-windy day if possible; if you can't work outside, pick a well-ventilated space to avoid breathing in paint fumes. Set the project piece atop sheets of newspaper or a plastic tarp. Shake the spray can for a minute or so; then hold the can approximately 12 inches from the project piece. Begin each blast of spray before reaching the faux wicker and end it after the end of the project piece; then go back and overlap the previous paint line slightly with each pass. Several thin coats are better than one heavy coat, as the paint may run if it is too thick.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

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