Before & After: Updating an Old Wicker Chair

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Turning an old, outdated wicker chair into a fresh, new, hip addition to your patio is about as easy as it gets! All you need is a few basic items from the hardware store. If you don’t have a wicker chair already, check out local flea markets, garage sales, and online listing and auction sites.

Turn an old wicker chair into this!
(Jessica Begum)

Things You'll Need

  • 3-4 cans colorful outdoor spray paint
  • High-pressure hose or flathead screwdriver (for paint removal)
  • Paint thinner or rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic for protecting the work surface
  • Scissors
  • Pile of old rags
Step 1

Do you have an old, outdated wicker chair sitting around you'd like to throw out? Well don't! Just transform it into something great! Begin by prepping the wicker for painting. Your wicker chair will be one of two types: Natural reed and plastic. This particular love seat is plastic.

Turn an old wicker chair into a fabulous find!
Jessica Begum
Step 2

FOR NATURAL REED: You’ll want to begin by removing as much of the old, chipping paint as possible. You can do this quickly with a high-pressure hose - just make sure to leave adequate drying time. You can also remove much of the chipping paint by scraping it off with a flathead screwdriver. Once most of the chipped paint is gone, wipe down the chair with paint thinner or rubbing alcohol. FOR PLASTIC: Clean the plastic surface with soap and water and allow to dry completely for about two hours. Once dry, wipe the surface of the wicker with paint thinner or rubbing alcohol. This will help bond the paint to the plastic.

Remove old paint and wipe the surface with thinner.
Jessica Begum
Step 3

Next, protect an outdoor work surface with plastic. Turn the chair upside down on the center of the plastic. Begin spraying the bottom of the chair with long even strokes of spray paint. Apply a thin, light coat of paint and then allow to dry for about an hour. The first coat will look blotchy and uneven. Once dry, apply two more coats of paint, with one hour drying time in between coats. When painting, angle the paint can towards the side of the wicker weave, so the paint reaches the tight spots between the weave.

Start with a light coat of paint.
Jessica Begum
Step 4

Once the final coat of paint is dry on the backside of the chair, flip the chair over and repeat the painting process on the front. Once the entire chair is covered, wait at least a week before using.

Paint 3 coats on chair.
Jessica Begum
Step 5

Then, simply add fresh new cushions and pillows and your once drab outdated chair has a whole new look!

Add fun cushions!
Jessica Begum
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