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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 7/12/2007

Dress Up That Wicker

BY TRESA ERICKSON

For sunrooms and porches, wicker is often a popular choice. It wears well, even in the sun and rain. Over time, though, the finish of wicker will fade and may even rub off in some areas. In most cases, wicker can be refreshed with a quick coat of paint or stain. If you have wicker that is starting to look its age, don't throw it away, Whip it into shape with a new coat of paint or stain and gussy it up with some decorative details.

When you envision wicker furniture, you probably see pieces that have been stained or painted and have cushions. Did you know, however, that you can stencil on wicker and add other decorative touches for some really unique pieces? Here's how.

First, you need to look at the weave of the wicker. If it is fairly tight, this will provide a fairly smooth surface for motifs and patterns. If the piece has bold, directional weaves, larger patterns might be better.

Think about the design you would like to stencil onto the wicker. Perhaps you'd like to add moons and stars to your toddler's rocker, polka dots to your teen's desk and roses to the chairs in your sunroom. The sky is the limit, and you can stencil almost any design onto wicker.

To get started on your masterpiece, collect these supplies:

Vacuum

Scrub brush and toothbrush

Bleach

Clean cloth

Fine-grade sandpaper

Tackcloth

White spray primer

Spray paint in colors desired

Stencil

Craft foam and knife

Artist brushes and acrylic paints

Spray varnish

1. Vacuum the wicker and clean it with a scrub brush in a solution of bleach and water. Wipe down with a clean cloth and let dry.

2. Smooth out any flaking or chipping paint with fine-grade sandpaper and remove dust with a tackcloth.

3. Spray with white primer and let dry.

4. Spray paint a base coat and let dry.

5. Add a second layer of base coat paint if needed and let dry.

6. Trace the stencil onto the craft foam and cut it out with a craft knife.

7. Position the foam stencil on the wicker where desired and spray-paint each color required. Allow to dry.

8. Repeat until piece has been stenciled entirely.

9. Add desired highlights and details to the design with artist brushes and acrylic paints.

10. Apply a coat of varnish to the wicker.

These instructions will work for most designs. They are not set in stone, however, and may need to be adjusted from time to time. If you decide to create stripes, for example, you may need some additional supplies like a ruler and masking tape, which you can use to mask off the stripes. If you are accustomed to painting by hand, you may not even need a stencil.

Whatever you do, don't be afraid to be creative and have some fun. Remember, you can always paint over anything you create that you do not like.



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