HOW TO REPAIR RATTAN FURNITURE
- Clean the furniture to ensure dust and dirt does not get into the weave as you repair it.
- Apply small amounts of glue to pieces of rattan that are poking out and tuck them back under the weave.
- Repeat step 2, allowing for 30 minutes to let the glue dry.
- Glue the wrappings around the feet if they are loose.
- If parts of the weave can't be replaced then cut off the weave.
- Attach a replacement strand by weaving it into the furniture and securing it with glue.
- Add a layer of varnish to the set for extra protection.
Rattan furniture is popularly used in sunrooms, conservatories and as outdoor furniture. Lightweight and attractive, it’s excellent for use in summer and can last for years. Due to the wicker technique used, fraying can occur. Also, the weaving can unravel to make the furniture look worn and tired. However, this doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. If you want to repair rattan furniture, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s relatively easy to do. All you need is a little patience and the right tools.
Before you begin your repairs, make sure that you have all the materials you need and a suitable area to do the job. You’ll need some replacement wicker or rattan strands, wood glue, a large bowl, some strong scissors, olive oil, a clean cloth and warm water. You can also use varnish if you want to give the entire piece a refresh.
It’s best to repair the furniture outside, so make sure you choose a day with beautiful weather, and not too strong wind. Cover the surface you’re working on to avoid spilling any varnish or glue – use newspaper or an old sheet. Avoid back-ache by standing the furniture on something, so you don’t have to keep bending down.
- First, clean your rattan furniture using warm water and a clean cloth. Gently wipe the surfaces to remove any dirt which might otherwise get caught in the glue or varnish and leave an unattractive rough surface.
- Next, identify the areas in need of mending. Commonly damaged areas are the legs or arms of tables and chairs, the underside of the seating, and the backs of seat rest where they might scuff against walls or other surfaces.
- If you find loose ends poking out, these can be fixed easily by directly applying a small amount of glue and tucking them back into the weaving. Repeat this with any loose ends and allow the glue to dry for 30 minutes before continuing.
- Check for loose wrappings on the legs of your furniture. These are located close to the feet of the items and are there to hold the weaving in place. If the wrappings come loose, the rest of the weaving can come undone and unravel, leaving you with an ugly piece of furniture and extra repair work. Glue any loose wrappings back into place.
- Some sections of wicker might be too damaged to stick back in place simply.
- If so, cut them off neatly and prepare your replacement strands by soaking in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. This will ensure that they’re flexible enough to weave in to place. Once you’ve weaved them into the furniture, secure with glue and allow to dry.
- Once you repair your furniture, you can also choose to apply a layer of varnish. Not only will this hold the rattan in place, but it will also add a layer of protection against the elements to ensure the furniture lasts longer.
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