There’s an effective way to restore your worn-out outdoor rattan garden furniture and it can be as simple as adding a layer of paint.

If you own a piece of rattan furniture that’s been with you for years now, its condition is likely to be a bit dull and shabby. In this case, you might be thinking of getting rid of it and buying some new outdoor furniture.

But did you know that you can bring your old wicker and rattan pieces back to their former glory with a fresh coat of paint? In this article, we’ll give you some tips and a short step-by-step guide on how-to paint your set.

Ready your paint brush and grab some quality paint, and let’s bring your outdoor pieces back to life!

Key takeaways:

  • The amount of paint colours and paint sprayer types and choices on the market is overwhelming. So make sure to choose the best one for your rattan piece (we’ll give you a hand!).
  • Spray paints (e.g. canned spray paint) is the best way to achieve a smooth, even finish.
  • If synthetic garden rattan furniture starts to look worn, it can be rectified by a good application of paint.
  • Whether you’ve got a big, small, short or long garden, you can give it a new lease of life by adding in a piece or two of rattan furniture.

How to Paint Rattan Garden Furniture

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Furniture Painting Projects: Rattan

The beauty of rattan furniture, particularly synthetic, is they it’s robust and built to last. So even if it does start to look old, you can restore it with a good paint job.

If you’re looking to paint rattan furniture, simply choosing the colour is an excellent place to start. Deciding the colour will depend on many factors, including:

  • Personal preference
  • The surroundings and colour schemes of your garden
  • The theme you’re going for
  • Practical issues such as availability

Bold colours, such as striking reds or maritime blues, are usually the standard for rattan furniture colour makeovers. But others might opt for a brilliant white cream paint to revive an older, faded piece of rattan furniture.

For one, think chalk-based paint. Chalk paint is considered one of the best options when painting rattan projects. Oil-based paint is another popular pick as it works for both indoor and outdoor pieces. A paint sprayer or spray paint cans are also usually included for the sake of convenience.

But a paint sprayer (or cans of spray paint) is an excellent choice for coating if you want to achieve a perfect finish.

Top tip: Bold colours can offset a touch of muted elegance from softer toned or patterned all-weather cushions. And if you plan on keeping your entire set of furniture outside, you’ll want to choose a colour specifically made for outdoor furniture.Top tip: Bold colours can offset a touch of muted elegance from softer toned or patterned all-weather cushions. And if you plan on keeping your entire set of furniture outside, you’ll want to choose a colour specifically made for outdoor furniture.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can give your garden sets a well-deserved second wind.

Painting The Furniture Surface: A Guide

Adding paint colours is the quickest and most effective way to spruce up any furniture. Be it through a paint sprayer or an oil-based paint; you can give a new lease of life to your outdoor pieces like bamboo & rattan furniture.

White is an excellent choice of colour for a garden furniture colour makeover. Soft, muted greys, blues and greens work wonders for beautifying cane and bamboo for a zen garden theme.

As for the cushions on your rattan sofa, classic stripes and botanical prints can help give off a natural and tropical outdoor style. Whereas black, charcoal grey, and deep reds are ideal for a modern vibe.

What you’ll need:

  • Cleaning mixture or product such as sugar-soap solution or liquid detergent
  • Sponge and clean cloth (e.g. soft cloth, wet cloth, cloth towel)
  • Soft bristle brush and colour paint brush
  • Vacuum
  • A pressure washer
  • Acrylic/undercoat primer
  • Paint sprayer (or any spray paints in your choice of pigment)
  • Drop sheet

Note: The list of the things you’ll need may vary a bit depending on what type and method of painting you’ll go for. But you can use this guide as a reference to form your list of materials.

How to Paint Rattan Garden Furniture

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Step 1: Clean your furniture

Before you begin applying coats of paint, you need to have a good clean first. The basic cleaning starts by vacuuming off any dust and wiping off loose dirt.

To get into the crevices, use a brush to remove the grime from hard-to-reach places. An air compressor also works well for blowing out dust much easier.

Suppose your rattan chair has been coated with old varnish or pigment; use a wire brush with a scraper to remove it. Then wash the furniture with a sponge and liquid detergent. Use a pressure washer on a light setting for quick rinsing.

Keep the sponge, or wet cloth damp rather than wet, and use as much foam as possible. An alternative way to wash each piece is by using a sugar-soap solution and then leave to dry completely.

How to Paint Rattan Garden Furniture

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Step 2: Apply undercoat

Your next step will be applying a layer of undercoat or acrylic primer. This method will help create an even surface as well as reduce the amount of coating needed.

While a spray-on primer is convenient, a standard acrylic one applied with a soft brush will do the trick.

How to Paint Rattan Garden Furniture

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Step 3: Apply spray paint (with a paint sprayer) or your choice of painting method

Once the primer is completely dry, you can begin with the painting steps. Make sure you’re working on a well-ventilated and not-too-windy area.

Place the drop cloth or sheets over the ground and put the piece at the centre. Then you can start applying a coat of paint colour.

Apply the first layer in a gentle, sweeping motion. To achieve an even finish, it’s best to spray or brush the wicker garden furniture several times with light coats to prevent drips from forming.

Top tip: Reapplying the coats differs by brand. We recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of the length of time to leave between coats.

How to Paint Rattan Garden Furniture

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Step 4: Let it dry

Once you’ve achieved a smooth, even finish, you can leave your newly painted rattan or wicker furniture to dry. Make sure to allow it to be fully absorbed and dry overnight.

Check the whole surface the next day and see if there’s any missed areas or uneven patches. Then do the necessary touch-ups.

And you’re done!

The Bottom Line

Older pieces are likely to have gathered some spoilage over the years. You need to get rid of the dirt to ensure a perfect finish.

Thus, cleaning preparation is a must! Don’t even start applying the first coat if the furniture is not thoroughly cleaned.

With some brushwork, remove any loose dirt and grime from all the surfaces. Be firm to ensure as much grime is lifted as possible.

Don’t forget to brush off the nooks, crannies and harder to reach spots. Use a gentle sugar-soap solution and a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the entire piece down and let it thoroughly dry out.

Applying an undercoat is also your best chance of achieving a smooth and even finish that you desire . It can also help cut down on the overall amount of paint you need to use on each piece of furniture.

Spray on primers are a handy and stress-free option. You can get just as good a final result by applying a standard acrylic primer with a soft brush.

And to give your furniture an even, consistent and smooth finish,we recommend using spray paint to carry out the task . Don’t begin spraying until you are sure that the undercoat is completely dry.

Another thing! Make sure that you are working in a very well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of inhaling paint fumes.

The ideal scenario to carry out the job is outdoors or in a protected space that’s not impacted by the wind.

Also, ensure that you protect your surroundings and floor area with sheets. This is where you place your rattan furniture piece.

Some handy tips from the experts

Apply the spray paint using a slow, methodical sweeping motion over each part of the surface. For a more even finish, apply multiple light coats, as opposed to one thick covering.

This method ensures you don’t get unsightly drips running along the surfaces. Allow drying time in between coats, following the manufacturers guidelines.

After you’re satisfied the final coat has been applied, leave the furniture to thoroughly dry for at least for 24 hours in a dry location.

Once fully dried, you have yourself some newly painted rattan garden furniture suite to enjoy for years to come!


What paint do you use on rattan furniture?

Spray paint works best on rattan garden furniture. To give your furniture an even, consistent and smooth finish, we recommend using spray paint to carry out the task.

Can you spray paint rattan wicker?

Yes, you can. Other than rattan furniture, you can spray paint resin wicker chairs and other outdoor decor items including:

  • Resin
  • Resin wicker
  • Synthetic plastic

What is a good colour to paint wicker/rattan furniture?

Back and stylish grey are the common colours of rattan sets you’ll find on the market. But when it comes to repainting them for a quick makeover, you can choose a colour that can fit into your garden scheme (e.g. for a wildlife garden or a sensory garden theme).

Bright white shades are some of the most popular choices. This colour suits a place well with antique white and ivory settings and flowers.

So there you have it – if you were looking to re-paint your shed as a maintenance task or just to spice up the colours, now you know how. And why not head over to our blog now to see what some of our other customers have done to personalise the design and colour schemes of their BillyOh buildings?