How To Repair Wicker Furniture

What Do Antique Wicker Repairs Cost? Your restoration person will probably give you a repair cost estimate and an approximate time needed to complete to repair your antique wicker furniture for you. It may take days or months to completely restore your wicker piece depending on severity of damage, shop scheduling and other factors, but ask for an estimate on turn-around time. Ask for a receipt, a work order, or job order, something proving you left the item in their care. Here are some step-by-step pictures on how-to repair wicker furniture, to give you an idea of the process. If woodworking repairs must be done before the wicker repairs, many wicker restoration specialists or refinishers are also terrific woodworkers. Find your refinisher or woodworker here. National Furniture Repair Directory-Refinishing-Experts™ Or if they don’t do woodworking, probably can point you to someone that does. The same applies for painting wicker, some shop owners do their own, but many farm that expertise out. Ask your repair expert who they use and recommend to paint their antique wicker furniture.how to repair wicker furniture 1Wicker Furniture Appraisal Service If your wicker repair shop does appraisals ask them what qualifications and certifications they have to back up this service. For a competent and valid appraisal, the person giving it should be a certified antique wicker appraiser. Their certification proves that they have done the research, taken the classes, and past all the tests, which also means they should be compensated monetarily for their expertise. Also ask what you will get in return for paying for their appraisal. Although I have been in the business of wicker restoration and sales since 1975, I am not certified to make appraisals on wicker furniture, and will not honor the requests at this time. However, I highly recommend Richard Saunders as a certified antique wicker furniture appraiser. He’s located in Savannah, Georgia and has been a certified wicker furniture appraiser since 1983. He’s also written six books on the antique wicker furniture industry is advertising his services on my National Furniture Repair Directory™, Wicker Experts section. For online appraisals or to do your own research, check out the websites I’ve listed on Wicker FAQ or do your own online research.how to repair wicker furniture 2Preserving and Caring for Antique Wicker Furniture “Once Antique Wicker Is Gone, It’s Gone Forever! You can’t make an antique and if you try, it’s simply a reproduction.” Try everything you can to care for wicker and preserve those fine antique pieces; repair, restore and refurbish. Sometimes all you need is to paint your wicker furniture or to clean it up; treasure your family heirlooms and flea market finds! And remember, you can’t make another antique to take it’s place, a reproduction is just that, a reproduction. For answers to your most pressing questions about wicker furniture care, how-to paint wicker, remove urine smell, or perhaps learn do-it-yourself repairs, check out the Wicker FAQ or Wicker Frequently Asked Questions page.how to repair wicker furniture 3Wicker in good condition can be maintained by regular vacuuming. Wipe it afterward with a cloth dipped in mild household detergent that is safe for woodwork.Scrubbing with a bristle brush dipped in the same solution will remove grime from stubborn areas. A spray-on cleaner can also be used.When exposed to sunlight for extended periods, wicker dries out, causing the fibers to become brittle and sometimes split.Spraying the piece with water and allowing it to dry in the shade is the accepted way to avoid cracking. But to avoid damaging fibers and glue joints, this should be done only when necessary, at most once or twice a year.Humidity, when there is no direct sunlight, can foster mildew on wicker.Stains and odor caused by this fungus can be removed by washing the piece with a solution of one-quarter cup household laundry bleach to one quart of water, or by using a commercial mildew remover (available at hardware stores and many supermarkets) that is safe for wood.This treatment can lighten some wicker fibers, so you might have to wash the entire piece to keep its color uniform. When using bleach or mildew remover, wear goggles and rubber gloves with cuffs.Mildewed cushions should be washed or professionally cleaned, and aired frequently in sunlight to prevent mildew from recurring.When wicker with a clear finish (lacquer, shellac or varnish) becomes dull, you can usually restore its luster by rubbing with a soft cloth dampened with furniture polish or lemon oil.Minor scratches can be disguised by rubbing with a wax-stick scratch remover, available at home centers and some furniture stores.Unfinished wicker needs protection from humidity and should be kept indoors; over the years, shrinking and swelling of fibers will shorten the lifespan of a piece.But it can be prepared for outdoor use without sacrificing its unfinished appearance by brushing it with penetrating waterproofing sealer. The sealer will darken the fibers but not coat them with a shiny glaze. To get an idea of the effect, dampen an area of unfinished fiber with water. Sealer will produce approximately the same results.Worn spots in clear-finished lacquer can be touched up with lacquer or varnish, either sprayed on or applied with a small paintbrush, to avoid clogging the weave. Painted wicker can be treated the same way, but if many spots require attention, you may have to repaint the entire piece to camouflage the touch-ups.To refinish or repaint wicker, first clean it thoroughly. Then brush on a liquid sanding preparation (sold in paint or hardware stores), which will remove grease and oil from the surface and soften the existing finish to enhance bonding with the new.how to repair wicker furniture 4The word “wicker” actually refers to the “act of weaving” with pliable fibers. Or, it’s the final woven end product such as a wicker table, chair, couch, lamp, or buggy, but it is not an actual weaving material. There is no such thing as a true material or plant called wicker. Frequently any type of round plant material such as willow or round rattan reed is referred to as having a “wicker weave” though. RELATED: Materials Used in Antique Wicker Furniture Heywood-Wakefield wicker chair Most antique wicker furniture is totally woven using either rattan reed or paper fibre rush on hardwood steam-bent frames.how to repair wicker furniture 5Aren’t Wicker and Cane the same thing? This kind of antique totally woven wicker furniture is not to be confused with “cane” seat chairs like the one pictured here. This chair is made entirely of wood with a handwoven hole-to-hole cane seat applied to the frame. It is frequently referred to as a  “wicker seat” by the general public, but in reality should be referred to as a handwovencane seat chair. These primarily wooden furniture pieces with woven seats or backs are named after the pattern design and type of material used in the weaving, rather than the generic term, “wicker.” RELATED READING: Seatweaving #101 For the remainder of this woven wicker information resource page, we will concern ourselves with antique wicker furniture from the 1870s-1940s, made using primarily rattan reed and paper fibre.how to repair wicker furniture 6Find an Antique Wicker Furniture Repair Expert   There are very few antique wicker repair experts left across the nation, so when you do find one, be prepared to go on a waiting list for the appointment. To find out the quality of the work these experts perform, ask to see some recently completed pieces. Most antique wicker furniture repair experts will have a few samples of their work or have customer’s pieces with work in process that you can examine. Or ask to see their “before and after” photo album, or ask to speak with some of their customers directly.how to repair wicker furniture 7However, I highly recommend Richard Saunders as a certified antique wicker furniture appraiser. He’s located in Savannah, Georgia and has been a certified wicker furniture appraiser since 1983. He’s also written six books on the antique wicker furniture industry is advertising his services on my National Furniture Repair Directory™, Wicker Experts section.how to repair wicker furniture 8Full Answer Purchase new wicker canePurchase new wicker cane from a craft store. Try to match the diameter and material used for the old cane. Buy enough length to cover the damaged area, plus a few extra inches. Remove damaged wicker Clip the ends of the damaged wicker, leaving a smooth opening. Soak the new cane in waterPlace the new cane in a bowl of water. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes to soften the fibers and make the cane more pliable.Weave the new cane through the wickerWhile the cane is still wet, trim the end to a sharpened point and weave it through the wicker. Use the needle-nose pliers to pull the cane through. Try to match the weave pattern. Glue down the endsOnce the hole is filled, apply wood glue to the ends of the new cane. Press the ends firmly onto the old wicker. Hold for a few minutes until the glue dries. Learn more about Furniture Sources: articles.chicagotribune.com diynetwork.com

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