Rattan wicker furniture is often used in sunrooms, patios, and placed around pools. The material, which is a paper-like fabric weave, is lightweight, which makes it great for areas where you will want to move the furniture on a whim, and it is easy to adjust the seat cushions to update the look and feel of the furniture set instantly. However, one question you need to answer is whether wicker rattan chairs are all-weather and what you should do with the furniture if they are to be placed outside. So, whether you have recently purchased a wicker rattan chair, a rattan lounge chair, a rattan wicker sofa or a variety of wicker furniture pieces, here is what you need to know regarding wicker and whether it can be used outside throughout the year.
The answer to this question comes down to whether or not you're looking at natural rattan wicker or synthetic wicker. Natural rattan wicker furniture is weaving tree fibers to create the piece of furniture. It isn't all that different from paper fibers strung together to make the furniture. This helps maintain the furniture's lightweight nature while ensuring it is also durable and strong. However, the problem with natural wicker is it can't sustain extended exposure to the elements. Because it is a natural material, prolonged exposure to the elements will cause the fibers to break down. The sunlight can cause the wicker to dry out, and rain and snow will lead to the wicker softening and other problems. This is why untreated, natural rattan furniture is best used in a sunroom, or if you do want to use the furniture outside, you need to bring the furniture in during the off-season. Now, on the flip side, synthetic rattan furniture shares a similar look to organic rattan (there have been significant improvements in the overall look and feel of synthetic wicker, which has helped the material take on a similar look and feel). However, because synthetic wicker isn't made from trees and a paper weave, the material can hold up against the natural elements. You can use synthetic wicker outside throughout the year without worrying about taking it inside during winter. Learn more about is rattan furniture good for outdoors. on our blog.
While wicker on its own isn't all-weather, you can weatherproof your rattan furniture and protect it from the elements without much work. While you should still take some precautions during the winter, waterproofing the furniture will minimize the possible damage and extend the life of the furniture, even if it is left out during the cold or snowstorm hits. The best way to waterproof your wicker furniture is to paint the furniture. This gives the wicker an added layer of protection from the elements. Painting wicker isn't difficult, and you can easily do it with a spray can or brush. However, if you decide to paint the furniture, pick out paint made specifically for wicker. This kind of paint will protect the wicker without causing damage. It will also flex with the fibers, which in turn helps reduce flaking and the paint chipping away. You can find this kind of paint at your local home improvement store (and if you don't find the color you're looking for, there are all kinds of options found online). Once you have finished applying the paint (and given it time to dry), apply a clear marine varnish on top. This is a fantastic way to add another protective layer to the furniture. This marine spray is typically used on boats, but you can use it on wicker. And, because it is designed for water (and even salt water), the varnish is perfect for protecting your furniture. If you would rather not paint the furniture (perhaps you like the look of naked wicker, or you enjoy the current color), apply three or so coats of marine varnish over the top. On the flip side, if you don't like the idea of painting or using marine varnish on your furniture, you can instead opt for tung oil. This will help you maintain a natural, organic look to the furniture (you can also provide a stain, which is great if you want to lighten or darken the furniture without painting over the fibers). The tung oil is a bit more temporary, though. You will need to apply more tung oil annually (whereas, if you paint and apply the marine varnish spray, you will only need to do this once every three years or so).
Even if you decide to paint or use tung oil on your wicker furniture, it is still a good idea to protect your furniture during the winter months. Placing a cover around the furniture will reduce possible damage sustained during the colder winter months. This is far easier than bringing the furniture inside the house, where you might not have the available space. Protective covers can also help prevent critters from harvesting fibers and using the weaving for their nests.
Whether you are interested in synthetic wicker rattan chairs, wicker coffee tables or wicker sectionals for year-round use or you would like to purchase traditional rattan wicker furniture and simply want to protect the furniture during the colder months, your next piece of wicker furniture awaits at the Rattan Wicker Furniture Company. Whether you're looking for an entirely new set or you simply want to spruce up your sunroom with a new chair or love seat, there's never been a better time to go shopping for new wicker furniture than today. So feel free to look through the rattan wicker furniture collection. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our design team for help with all your furniture buying needs.