How to Keep Rattan Furniture Safe from Water Damage

Rattan garden furniture has become a beloved choice for many UK homeowners. Its warm, earthy tones and intricate woven patterns exude charm and style. But despite the undeniable beauty of this material, it’s susceptible to water damage.

In this blog, we’ve put together effective strategies to protect your investment from it. Read on and unlock its secrets to its longevity and enchanting appeal!

The Vulnerability of Rattan Furniture

BillyOh Milan 6 Seater Rattan Corner Sofa Set
BillyOh Milan 6 Seater Rattan Corner Sofa Set

The structure of natural rattan contributes to its susceptibility to water damage. Its porous structure in furniture allows water to penetrate easily. This also makes it prone to various forms of harm.

When exposed to water, rattan can undergo warping. For one, the fibres absorb moisture and expand unevenly. This can result in a distorted shape and compromised structural integrity. Moreover, water can cause discolouration. This can lead to a faded or stained appearance that diminishes the furniture’s appeal.

Moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew, to add. Such growths can thrive on the organic fibres of rattan. This can affect the furniture’s appearance and pose potential health risks.

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Transitioning to synthetic rattan furniture, while designed to be more resistant to water damage, isn’t entirely immune. Meaning it can still experience some water-related issues if not properly cared for.

Preparing Your Rattan Furniture for Water Exposure

To prepare your rattan furniture for potential water exposure, consider the following tips:

Evaluating the location

Carefully select the placement of your rattan furniture. Avoid positioning it in areas prone to direct rainfall or excessive humidity. These can include uncovered outdoor spaces or near sprinkler systems. Instead, opt for sheltered spots or covered patios to minimise water exposure.

Using protective covers

BillyOh Premium PVC Bench Cover
BillyOh Premium PVC Bench Cover

Invest in high-quality waterproof covers specifically designed for rattan furniture. These covers act as a shield, preventing water from reaching the surface of the furniture. Ensure the covers fit properly and are securely fastened to provide optimal protection.

Elevating the furniture

Place your rattan furniture on raised platforms to create a barrier. This elevation helps prevent direct contact with damp surfaces. As a result, it reduces the risk of water absorption. Utilise options such as furniture risers or rubber pads to lift the furniture off the ground.

Applying Waterproofing Techniques

Close up shot of a rattan garden chair with cushion

(Image Credit: Pxfuel)

To apply effective waterproofing techniques to your rattan furniture, follow these tips:

1. Use sealants

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the rattan surface with a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Once clean and dry, apply a suitable rattan sealant. Use a brush or spray to evenly coat the furniture, paying attention to all nooks and crevices. Allow the sealant to dry completely before using the furniture.

2. Apply protective coatings

Consider using protective coatings specifically formulated for rattan furniture. These coatings create a barrier that shields the rattan from water absorption. Choose coatings that are water-resistant, UV-resistant, and designed for outdoor use. Apply the coating following the instructions provided.

3. Regular maintenance

Over time, the effectiveness of sealants and coatings may diminish. To maintain optimal protection, periodically inspect your rattan furniture. Moreover, reapply sealants or coatings as needed.

Cleaning and Drying

To clean and dry your rattan furniture effectively, try out these techniques:

  • For routine cleaning, use a soft brush or a cloth dampened with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Gently scrub the rattan surface, removing any dirt or stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the material.
  • After cleaning, ensure thorough drying to prevent moisture retention. Wipe the furniture with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water. Place the furniture in a well-ventilated area or under a gentle breeze to air dry completely.
  • In the event of spills or accidents, act quickly to prevent water damage. Blot the affected area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the liquid and cause further damage. Allow the area to air dry completely.

Seasonal Storage Tips

Keep these tips in mind to protect your rattan furniture during the winter or rainy seasons:

Off-season storage

BillyOh Portland Apex Metal Shed Including Foundation Kit
BillyOh Portland Apex Metal Shed Including Foundation Kit

If possible, store your rattan furniture indoors during periods of harsh weather. Choose a clean, dry, and temperature-controlled area. This can be your basement, the garage or a storage room like your garden shed. This protects the furniture from extreme temperature fluctuations.

Indoor storage options

Alternatively, use furniture covers to shield the furniture from the elements. Ensure the covers are waterproof and securely fastened to prevent moisture buildup. If you have space, you can also create a designated storage area to provide some level of protection.

Maintaining ideal humidity levels

Rattan furniture is sensitive to humidity. Thus, store it in an environment with controlled humidity levels. Excessive moisture can lead to mould or mildew growth. Use dehumidifiers or moisture-absorbing products to maintain a dry storage area. Ensure the storage space is well-ventilated to allow for proper air circulation.


Safeguarding your rattan furniture from water damage helps preserve its beauty and durability. With the tips and measures outlined in this blog, you can prepare it for potential water exposure. And with proper care, your furniture will continue to grace your outdoor space for years to come!

Rattan Garden Furniture