How To Whitewash Wicker And Bamboo Furniture [7 Easy Steps!]

Bamboo and wicker furniture is one of the best ways to add rustic charm to your home. However, whitewashing it can give a completely different feel to the piece of furniture. If you're interested in learning how to whitewash wicker furniture, we have consulted DIY authorities for a few tips that will guide you on this journey. 

You can whitewash your wicker and bamboo furniture by following these steps:

  1. Scrub the surfaces and make sure every groove is free from grime and dirt
  2. Wash your furniture with soap and water
  3. Dry the furniture
  4. Sand the furniture
  5. Apply a primer 
  6. Apply whitewash
  7. Wipe the area after every whitewash application

Whether you want to whitewash wicker and bamboo furniture or any other type of furniture, there are a few steps you need to follow in order to achieve a great-looking finish. Read on to learn more about whitewashing wicker and bamboo furniture, and how to get the best results.

Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach, Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach, How To Whitewash Wicker And Bamboo Furniture [7 Easy Steps!]

7 Easy Steps to Whitewash Wicker and Bamboo Furniture

Some of the steps in this process are optional, depending on the condition of your furniture. You may skip a step or two according to your own discretion.

The terms "whitewash" and "paint" are sometimes used interchangeably in this article because a whitewash is a type of paint.

Wicker chairs with throw pillows and a gray throw

1. Scrub the surfaces and make sure every groove is free from grime and dirt (optional)

Wicker furniture has grooves which are ideal places for grime, mold, and mildew to collect. Make sure that you use a brush to clean every nook and cranny of it. These hard-to-reach places and corners can be very time-consuming to clean.

If you’re looking for some help with getting the grime out of your wicker furniture, simply get an old toothbrush and a bottle of vinegar. Put them both in a bowl or other container. You want the toothbrush to be moistened first with vinegar.

Then, simply rub the bristles over every inch of the furniture and let it sit there for at least a few minutes.

2. Wash the furniture 

Washing the furniture is important to ensure that no dirt remains on the surface. You don't want it to affect the paint job later.

If you have any kind of residue on the furniture, it will be difficult to apply the paint evenly, or you will have an issue with the primer adhering properly.

It doesn't have to be squeaky clean, just enough to free your furniture from any grime and dirt. You don't have to buy anything fancy to get this done. Soap and water will do just fine.

3. Dry the furniture

Once you have washed the furniture, wipe it and let it dry. There are several ways to dry furniture. If you have a fan in your home, use it to blow the air around the furniture.

Dark colored bamboo furniture

Another way is to use a hair dryer. If you're not in a hurry, you can leave it to dry naturally. Make sure that the furniture is completely dry before you move on to the next step.

4. Sand the furniture

Most wicker and bamboo furniture is varnished, so it is important to sand it down to ensure the primer will stick to the surface.

In fact, if the furniture is sanded adequately, you can even directly proceed to apply paint without the need for a primer. Use 120-grit sandpaper for this step.

See this sandpaper on Amazon.

5. Apply the primer coat (optional)

Once you have finished cleaning the furniture, it's time to apply the primer coat. The primer coat will seal the surface and provide a stable base to help the paint adhere better. Some DIYers skip this step and directly proceed to the next step.

Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach, Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach, How To Whitewash Wicker And Bamboo Furniture [7 Easy Steps!]

However, there is an advantage to applying primer before whitewashing it. The primer coat acts as a barrier between the wood and the paint, preventing your furniture from prematurely absorbing any moisture from the paint, which could cause warping, dry rot, and mildew. It also makes the paint last longer. 

6. Apply the whitewash

The last thing you need to do is to apply the paint. For bamboo and wicker furniture, use a spray gun.

Obviously, a spray gun is more effective in applying the paint evenly to the grooves of the furniture than a paintbrush. This is because it can cover a larger area at once through its atomized spray pattern. 

However, if you don't want to spend extra money, you can use a brush instead. You will want to make sure that you are painting in the direction of the groove or grain of the material. Otherwise, you will be able to see brush strokes in the end result.

7. Wipe the area after every whitewash application (optional)

The purpose of this is to create that worn finish effect if you're whitewashing using a mixture of paint and water. This is ideal if you are aiming for an aged look to match a classic theme for your home.

You can skip this step if you're whitewashing using kalsomine or lime paint. Watch the video below to see it in action.

Why Should You Whitewash Your Furniture?

The answer to this question is entirely dependent on the kind of whitewashing you want to do. There are actually two types of whitewash paints: kalsomine or lime paint and a mixture of a white latex paint with water on a 1:1 paint-to-water ratio

Outdoor dining with bamboo furnitures and white round tables

Whitewashing using kalsomine or lime paint helps in sanitizing the furniture surface and in getting rid of bacteria that may be present on the surface of the furniture. The end result is a stronger, more durable, and healthier finish for your furniture. 

On the other hand, whitewashing using a mixture of latex paint and water will give your furniture that classic antique look, which is perfect for adding character to your living space.

What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Wicker Furniture?

A gorgeous bohemian and Mediterranean themed living room

The following paints can be used for wicker furniture (this includes bamboo, rattan, and cane):

  • Any oil-based paint
  • Chalk paint
  • Urethane
  • Mineral paint
  • Milk paint

Do You Really Need to Prime Wicker Before Painting?

As mentioned earlier, this is optional. But it really gives you an extra boost to your painting. If you want your furniture and paint to last longer, then it's your best bet. It certainly sounds like a lot of work, but it’s so worth it in the end! 

Lovely nature toned living room filled with vibrant plants and bamboo furnitures

Zinsser Cover Stain primer for wicker furniture is one of the top recommended primers. 

Click here to see this Zinsser cover strain primer on Amazon.

Top 3 Spray Guns

Haven’t found the right spray gun for you? Below is a list of the top 3 spray guns available on the market today. 

1. Homeright Electric Spray Gun

No more brush marks. No more streaky spray paint! The Homeright electric spray gun offers even coverage and smooth finishes with its precise output at a wide range of adjustable settings. 

The ergonomic and comfortable handle makes painting a breeze, while the convenient trigger controls allow for effortless and safe operation. The unique brass spray tip technology ensures no drips and no overspray.

This is your perfect spray gun for any type of wall painting, furniture, wood, or metalwork.

Click here to see this Homeright's electric spray gun on Amazon.

2. Yattich Spray Gun

The easy-to-use Yattich spray gun is perfect for hobbyists and professionals alike. The powerful 700 W motor makes this the perfect tool for anyone looking for great performance at an affordable price.

With an easily adjustable flow control knob, you can quickly fine-tune the power, output, and range of your spray. The innovative adjustable nozzle allows you to change the angle and length of the spray to perfectly match the surface being painted.

This sprayer provides consistent application of paint at a wide range of distances. The Yattich spray gun is easy to clean and maintenance-free. 

Click here to see this Yattich's spray gun on Amazon.

3. Wagner Paint Sprayer

The Wagner paint sprayer has a fast-moving airflow that covers the surface of the object quickly and efficiently. The paint gun has dual-speed settings, allowing you to quickly switch between a fine mist and a stronger stream.

In other words, you can adjust the spray pattern at will to give you the best coverage possible. With a powerful motor, this sprayer is perfect for painting walls, ceilings, and woodwork.

Click here to see this Wagner's paint sprayer on Amazon.

In Closing

Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach, Brown wicker furniture's, hardwood tables at a view deck for a beach

In this article, we have covered the basics of the whitewashing process and how to choose the right tools to get it done. We hope that you learned something new and can take the knowledge with you into your next whitewashing project. 

Before we part ways, take a look at these articles for further reading:

How Long Does Outdoor Wicker Furniture Last?

How to refurbish a wicker chair?

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