5 Of The Best Paints For Rattan Furniture

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Rattan furniture has a beautiful natural color when it’s in good shape, but painted ratan looks just as appealing. Sometimes, old antique store furniture needs to be updated or made to match the style of the rest of your furniture. The amount of paint types and choices on the market is truly overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve researched them for you so that you can make the best paint choice for your rattan furniture. 

Oil-based paint is the best option for painting wicker furniture. The 5 best paints to use if you want to paint rattan furniture are:

  1. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Oil-Based Paint
  2. KILZ Exterior Siding, Fence & Barn Paint
  3. Diamond Bright Oil-Based All Purpose Paint
  4. Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint
  5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint

Many solid paint options are safe and effective to use on rattan. But there is a lot more to learn about rattan and the process to paint it. Continue reading to learn about the rattan material, cleaning and priming your wicker furniture for painting, and some caveats with the whole process. 

A luxurious set of Rattan chairs and coffee table on the patio, 5 Of The Best Paints For Rattan Furniture

The Best Paints For Rattan Furniture

There are several qualities to look for when selecting paint for rattan furniture. Chalk-based paint is an option for painting rattan furniture. However, it is better for indoor furniture as opposed to outdoor. Oil-based paint is the best type of paint for rattan furniture and works for indoor and outdoor pieces. If you plan on keeping the piece of furniture outside, you will want to buy a paint specifically made for outdoor furniture.

All of the paints on this list are compatible with automated paint sprayers or old-fashioned paintbrush or sponge methods. We included spray paint cans on the list for the sake of convenience. Spray paint cans contain less paint and it may take multiple to finish a project. These paints should all be safe for use on both genuine and synthetic rattan. If not, we will state it in the item description. Here is more information on the various paints:

1. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Oil-Based Paint

This protective enamel paint gives a weatherproof and anti-corrosive coating to any surface, indoor or outdoor. The oil-based paint will take longer to dry but will provide full coverage to the uneven surface of rattan. The coating will be long-lasting and resistant to damage.

Click here to see Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint at Amazon.

2. KILZ Exterior Siding, Fence & Barn Paint

This is the perfect paint for pieces of outdoor only rattan furniture. Kilz uses an oil/water-based combination formula that makes wood and other materials resistant to the elements. One drawback is that it takes up to 8 hours to fully dry. 

Click here to see KILZ Exterior Paint at Amazon.

3. Diamond Bright Oil-Based All Purpose Paint

The Diamond Bright all-purpose paint is an enamel paint similar to the Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel in that it is also an oil-based protective enamel. You can use Diamond bright on both interior and exterior furniture and will last long on both. 

Click here to see Diamond Bright All Purpose Paint at Amazon.

4. Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint

You can use this Krylon spraypaint on multiple surfaces, including outdoor furniture. This paint covers outdoor rattan chairs perfectly. An advantage of Krylon is that it will dry much faster than the other paints on the list, but it may take multiple cans to paint an entire piece of rattan furniture.  

Click here to see Krylon Outdoor Decor Spray Paint at Amazon.

5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum is the standard brand for spray paints on the market. The Ultra Cover is the perfect spray paint for indoor and outdoor and the paint should leave a long-lasting protective coat on rattan. There are also a large number of colors to choose from in the Rust-Oleum spray paint line. 

Click here to see Rust-Oleum Spray Paint at Amazon. 

Cleaning Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture needs to be cleaned just like all other household items, regardless of it’s rattan, bamboo, indoor or outdoor. For indoor wicker, general cleaning can be done by taking a damp washcloth and wiping it carefully between every gap and hole. A mixture of dish soap and water makes an effective and gentle cleaning solution for wicker. 

How do I clean wicker furniture before painting? 

Two plastic rattan pattern outdoor chairs with white throw pillows

It is important to clean wicker furniture well before painting. If you do not clean before painting, dirt and other unwanted material may become stuck under the coat of paint. For an indoor piece, follow the dish soap and water method described above. Simply spray the piece of furniture with a hose if it’s an outdoor piece. Make sure to let it dry completely before painting regardless of the cleaning method. 

Do I need to prime wicker furniture before painting?

As with painting walls, we recommend that you use a primer when painting a light color over a dark one. Because of a stain or natural color, wicker furniture is often darker. Moreover, applying a primer might save you multiple layers of your final paint color.

Make sure to use a primer that is oil-based and safe on wood, just like with the paints. There are outdoor primers and indoor primers, so be sure to select the correct type when you begin your project.

Click here to see Kilz Interior Primer at Amazon.

Rattan Wicker Furniture

A set of rattan and wicker chairs placed outdoor with rattan coffee table on the center

Rattan is one of the more common basic materials used in the building of wicker furniture. Wicker is the process where plant material is woven into something useful for humans, such as a basket or a chair. Wicker furniture has become both a classy interior and exterior lawn and garden style of furniture.

What type of material is rattan?

Rattan is a southeast Asian plant whose vines grow on other trees, using them for support. Rattan is strong, durable, and light, making it a great component for making furniture. People harvest the stalks and make them into furniture and baskets. 

How do I know if my furniture is rattan?

Outdoor rattan chairs with white foams and white throw pillows on the patio

You can find wicker furniture made from rattan, willow or, bamboo. We can tell these three types of building material apart by their appearance and feel. Rattan furniture is made from the inside portion of the stalks and looks very different than bamboo willow. 

First, bamboo has a grainy appearance and often looks like chutes of bamboo. Second, willow has a more rugged, hardwood-like characteristic to it. And finally, rattan has smaller chutes and often carries the typical characteristic wicker styling. 

Even though it’s durable, malleable, and has all the other great qualities a furniture material should have, genuine rattan is not great with the weather. Consequently, synthetic materials typically make up the rattan in outdoor wicker furniture. Synthetic rattan reeds are more resistant to the elements and are better suited for outdoor use. 

So, the more important distinction is whether the rattan is natural or synthetic. This will play a large role in how you care for your furniture. Most importantly, always store natural rattan furniture indoors.

In Closing

Painting rattan or other wicker material furniture can be a fun DIY project that can bring new life to your furniture. So, whether you are painting an indoor or outdoor piece of rattan furniture, there are plenty of paint types and application methods to choose from. 

While you’re here, be sure to check out our other posts:

How Long Does Outdoor Wicker Furniture Last?

How to refurbish a wicker chair?

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