All kinds of wicker furniture are extremely attractive and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage if cared for properly.
But one of the big questions with both synthetic and organic rattan wicker furniture is whether you can leave it standing outside in all types of weather conditions.
To help you get the longest possible time out of your wicker furniture, I’ve put together this guide to help you take the best protective measure.
Let’s look at some different materials to determine the question, “is wicker weatherproof?”
Is Outdoor Wicker Furniture Waterproof?
As wicker can be made from both natural and synthetic materials, it’s important that you are aware of what your outdoor wicker furniture is made from. Then you’ll know whether it just needs covering or has to be stored indoors during harsh weather conditions.
Natural wicker furniture was originally made from rattan which is a special type of vine found in southeast Asia. And later, bamboo, which is another natural material, also became popular for producing wicker furniture like a wicker sofa table or rattan wing chairs.
The difference between these two natural materials is that rattan is considered to be the strongest of the two. This is because the inside of rattan is solid while the inside of bamboo is hollow.
Neither of these materials is suitable for continual exposure to heavy rain or extreme weather conditions, as they could get damaged or rot.
But as they are water-resistant under normal weather conditions, there’ll be no problem if you forget to bring them indoors or cover them during a shower.
You will need to protect them during extreme weather conditions and shouldn’t leave them constantly exposed to rain.
Synthetic resin wicker is normally produced from PVC, which is a waterproof material. So you can expect synthetic wicker furniture to be far tougher than natural wicker furniture for weathering extreme conditions, even during the winter months.
Unlike with any natural material, there’ll be no need to run outdoors when that summer storm begins and then get soaked as you try to cover your furniture.
Neither will you have to watch the weather to be sure it’s stored indoors before a downpour starts.
Although it is waterproof, it does have the disadvantage that it tends to become uncomfortably hot if left too long in extreme heat. And it will also fade if left in direct sunlight resulting in ugly patches on the furniture.
Will Lots Of Rain Damage Rattan Wicker?
Rattan wicker is produced from dried plant fiber, and, as it is porous, extreme wet conditions may cause it to stretch or break down. And this could possibly cause a nasty accident.
And if your natural rattan wicker is left outdoors during continuous downpours for many weeks, there is also the possibility of it rotting. This could result in the material deteriorating if not correctly cared for immediately.
But if you’re not able to store your outdoor furniture indoors, you can avoid it getting damaged through rain by spraying it with a marine varnish or some other kind of sealant. You will need to repeat this regularly for the best long-term results.
On the other hand, all-weather wicker is more resistant to heavy rain.
Synthetic rattan wicker, which is all-weather wicker, is completely waterproof, so it can be left on your patio or in the yard without getting damaged during a heavy downpour.
But this doesn’t mean that it won’t become damaged if you leave it out in extreme conditions. If it’s not tended to immediately and continually left uncovered, it will soon start showing signs of wear and tear.
So synthetic wickers don’t really have such a great advantage over natural wicker furniture. If you want to keep your furniture looking good and prolong its life, you’ll still need to take as much care of it as you’d need to with rattan wicker.
How To Protect Wicker Rattan?
Suppose you are worried about your wicker patio furniture becoming damaged. In that case, you might consider purchasing waterproof shield covers that you can slip over the furniture for protection when not in use.
These covers have the added advantage that they will keep your wicker patio furniture clean and dry. And they’ll also protect them from natural wear and tear that’s to be expected.
For further protection, you should clean your wicker furniture regularly. But before you start, it’s important to remove dust from the weave. You can either do this using a brush or by vacuuming it.
Once that’s done, all you’ll need is a soft cloth and warm soapy water. But be careful to clean the furniture with only small amounts of soapy water as rattan is porous. After you’ve finished cleaning it, you should rinse it over with warm water to remove any surplus soap.
Then to finish the job, leave it outdoors in the sun until it’s absolutely dry before using it.
But regularly cleaning it is not the only important thing to protect it. You can either apply tung oil or shellac to it, as these are the best products to use as a protective sealant. It’s also essential to give it a wood protection coating once a year as this is an extra form of waterproofing.
Another option is to give your rattan furniture two coats of water-resistant paint and then spray marine varnish as a topcoat. This will help it to withstand heat and also protect it from summer showers.
What Should You Do With Wicker Furniture In Winter?
There’s no problem with keeping wicker patio furniture outdoors for long periods during the summer months. But during the harsh winter months, it’s better to store it in a dry place to avoid it becoming damaged.
Whether it’s natural or all-weather wicker, you can’t expect it to weather well in bad conditions such as continual rain, heavy storms, or even snowstorms. So it’s best to store all kinds of wicker furniture in a dry place as soon as temperatures begin to drop.
Ideally, in the winter months, you should move it into a dry garage where it’ll be protected from moisture. If it’s not protected, it’s possible that moisture will cause mildew to form on the wood. This is most unpleasant and could even turn out to be harmful to your health.
And if you don’t have a garage, you could consider clearing out your garden shed to make place for it or even finding a place for it indoors.
But before you store your furniture, don’t forget to remove all the cushions and store them separately in a completely dry place. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to give the furniture a good clean. Doing this will also help avoid mold from forming on it in the months that it’s stored away.
The last point to remember is that covering the furniture with well-fitting covers will then stop dirt from building up and clotting the wicker weave.
So, if you don’t already have them, it’s advisable to purchase suitable protective covers which will help preserve the color and the look of your furniture, and they’ll last you for many more years.
Make Your Wicker Furniture Last Longer
If you want your wicker patio furniture to last despite a lot of outdoor use, all-weather wicker such as synthetic resin or some other kind of synthetic wicker is a good choice as these weather extremely well.
But as natural rattan is also water-resistant, you can expect it to be just as durable as all-weather wicker by giving it a regular waterproofing treatment of marine varnish or tung oil. And it has the advantage of being more attractive and eco-friendly.
We have a vast selection of indoor and outdoor furniture to offer you that will be suitable for your patio, on the deck, or in your yard.