Wicker furniture is timeless and can be an attractive addition to any home, whether you plan to use it as indoor or outdoor furniture. BUT how long does wicker furniture last?
It also offers many benefits over other hardwood materials, and if you care for it correctly, you can expect it to stand the test of time and last for many years.
But it’s also important to check out the quality of what you purchase if you want it to last for decades. Cheap wicker indoor or outdoor furniture may look good, but you can’t expect it to last long without showing signs of wear and tear.
And it’s important to understand the impact of weather on wicker patio furniture.
Here’s what you can expect.
Traditional wicker furniture was associated with outdoor usage, but now that wicker furniture has become trendy for use inside the home, it’s important to know just how durable it is before deciding on making a purchase.
Wicker furniture is a good choice as it is low on maintenance. Due to its protective coating, you can easily clean it, and you’ll have no problem removing dirt or dust with a vacuum or soft cloth. So with proper care, you can expect it to last for decades without looking tired and worn.
Of course, how durable it is, depends on whether you choose natural wicker or synthetic wicker furniture. They will both last for a very long time, but we believe that rattan is the best choice for indoor furniture as it is a lot more durable than synthetic wicker or any other natural materials.
And as it ages, you can always pep it up by replacing the cushions, which will give it a new lease of life.
Generally speaking, you can expect natural wicker furniture to easily last 20 years, while synthetic rattan-like resin wicker will likely last only 10 to 15 years.
When it comes to outdoor wicker furniture, each type of material has a different life span. So you need to be aware of whether you’re looking at natural or synthetic all-weather wicker. It’s also important to know how much durability you can expect from your chosen outdoor furniture.
Rattan is a fibrous climbing vine that is found in south-east Asia. It’s an extremely durable material that is woven together to make wicker patio furniture.
The vines replenish after being picked so they can be continually harvested without killing the plant. As the forest stays intact, there’s no worry about causing deforestation. This means that rattan is environmentally friendly and sustainable.
And rattan furniture is the best choice when it comes down to durability, as it will withstand rains, sun exposure, and snow far better than even all-weather wicker patio furniture.
Well-made rattan patio furniture can last for over 20 years with the right amount of regular care and maintenance.
Seagrass reed, which has a tough, smooth, shiny exterior, is normally found in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It’s flexible enough to form a sturdy, tight weave, so it is an extremely durable material.
And, as it’s resistant to stains, you’ll have no problem maintaining your seagrass furniture.
However, it’s not suitable for making the frame structure, and the woven material won’t last as long as rattan patio furniture.
Paper rope is a man-made, chemically treated product produced from twisted kraft paper. As the natural paper cord is unbleached, it is known to be eco-friendly.
However, I wouldn’t expect paper rope outdoor furniture to offer as much durability as other wicker materials.
Synthetic resin wicker is also a man-made material. It’s made from high-density polyethylene plastic that replicates the natural look of wicker.
As it’s not a natural material, it’s also not biodegradable. Synthetic wicker furniture may be durable and need little maintenance, but resin wicker is not considered eco-friendly.
It’s also important to note that synthetic wicker furniture might be marketed as all-weather wicker, but that doesn’t mean that the color will resist fading or show other signs of sun damage.
Water hyacinth is similar to rattan since it’s extremely fast-growing and can be used in its natural state. But it has the advantage of being softer and less brittle, which can make it easier to bend and shape into specific designs.
Its stems and dried leaves are woven to produce strong wicker furniture that will last a long time, but when it comes to outdoor use, it doesn’t provide as much durability as rattan.
Bamboo also resembles rattan, but it can’t be bent or curved because of its hollow center. If it’s not treated properly, it will split easily, so it may not be the sturdiest material. You’ll often see bamboo used for the frame structure combined with seagrass wicker.
But as it grows quickly with no need for pesticides, it is seen as an eco-friendly material.
Aluminum frames are lightweight, strong, and durable, and they have the huge benefit that they won’t rust over time.
On the other hand, cast iron is heavier, which can make for a much sturdier base for chairs and tables.
You’ll often find iron materials on cheap all-weather wicker furniture, but you have to keep in mind that it will rust, and that can significantly reduce the lifetime, even when the iron has protection in the form of powder coating.
Depending on the material you choose, you can expect wicker furniture to withstand approximately ten years of normal wear and tear, but with added protection, your furniture could last you much longer.
So let’s look at what you can do to prolong its life.
You should paint your outdoor furniture with specially formulated paint every three to five years.
After the paint has dried, you should apply two coats of varnish to help protect the wood from scratching.
Alternatively, if you want a natural look, you could apply the varnish directly without using paint. Of course, this isn’t an option for synthetic all-weather wicker, where you’re likely to start noticing a worn look in less than ten years.
You can purchase polyurethane as a water-based or oil-based product. But, as there are different products for using indoors and outdoors, be sure to choose the correct one.
It’s best to use the brush technique to get in all the corners, but leave the first coat to dry for about 8 hours before applying a second coat.
To protect your furniture from the elements without losing its natural look, you should consider using spray-on diluted tung oil.
An alternative to this is linseed oil which will restore the natural look of the wicker when it is rubbed in. But if you’re looking to restore the wicker fibers, lemon oil is your best bet.
These are not options for synthetic wicker as it won’t absorb the oil, and it could just end up being a mess.
It’s best to store your wicker furniture in the garage during the winter months to avoid extreme weather conditions damaging it in any way. This is even the case with all-weather wicker, as constant exposure to the elements will cause the color to fade.
It can be left outside the rest of the year, but you should always have furniture covers available for rainy and particularly hot days. It’s also best to keep them covered when not in use to prevent any damage and to avoid bird droppings accumulating.
Even with synthetic wicker and all-weather wicker furniture sets, the acids in the bird droppings can cause lasting damage.
As rattan can be continually harvested without killing the plant, it is one of the most sustainable materials that is used for wicker furniture production.
It has a completely natural look that is extremely attractive. This is due to the slight imperfections that you’ll always find on the rattan grain.
And as for durability, it will last longer than products made from hardwood like maple, oak, or ash. It also has the further advantage of not rotting if you treat it with the right care.
It even has better durability than all-weather wicker. While this type of resin wicker doesn’t require as much care, it tends to fade within five years.
Now you know exactly what to expect from the different types of wicker materials, both natural materials and synthetic, it will be easier to find the right product that will hopefully live up to your expectations.
If you decide to purchase natural wicker furniture, be sure to follow our tips to keep it looking good for a very long time.
It’s a far better choice than resin wicker if you want your furniture to last as long as possible while still looking as great as it did the first day.
And if you need inspiration for some new wicker furniture inside and outside your home, then browse our online store for the greatest range of American-made wicker furniture.