Wicker comeback: Love it or Hate it?

Have you fallen for the wicker trend??  We’ve seen on Pinterest that wicker is making a comeback (aka Mandi is making it come back) but we aren’t sure yet if we love it or hate it.  We scored this $20 bench at a yard sale and immediately hated the top.  Because I live in a teeny tiny town (think Gilligan’s Island small) we have no stores except a pizza place and a truck stop.  The local Walmart is almost half an hour away and the fabric selection there is definitely not Riley Blake if you know what I mean! I have plans to recover it if I find the right fabric but for now the wicker stays.  Here is a quick tip on how to paint wicker!

Before | Lolly Jane

As you can see, the bench was black with the natural woven wicker top in mint condition. I knew this was the perfect piece for my small family room as it is kid-friendly (non sharp edges they won’t hurt themselves on and is very sturdy) so with a little elbow grease, it now fits right in.  Our Facebook fans don’t dig it.  That’s okay, we’re not sure if we do either!

How to paint wicker without spray paint

To make this bench fit my style, I separated the top from the bottom of the bench. I applied 2 light coats of Glidden paint (midwinter sky) in a flat finish then distressed the edges to accomplish this look for the base of the bench. I always, always buy paint + primer in one and almost always use a roller vs. a brush. It saves an insane amount of time and for us impatient DIY’ers, it has become a must (;

Painting the base

The top of the bench was another story. You see, I live in a teeny tiny town and our only “craft store” is the small section in Walmart, another town away. Although I am digging the look of wicker right now, I know eventually I want to recover the top in a more modern print (to match the rug and throw pillows) but until I can make a stop in the city, painting the wicker a fresh white will have to do… and by the time I have recovered it, the wicker trend will probably be dying out anyway (is it even in??)! LOL

So, how do you paint wicker without spray paint? First things first, make sure your wicker is clean! Because it is a natural fiber, any spots (like dust, dirt or oil) can show through the paint. Rinse it in warm soapy water and for tough spots, a bit of degreaser may be necessary. Make sure it is bone dry before proceeding! Secondly, prime. Because I use paint + primer in one, we can skip this step and start painting. Yay!

I used a $2 foam brush to paint the wicker. Yes, you read that right: foam brush. Because there are so many nooks and crannies with wicker, it is easy (when getting in between them with the brush) to lose bristles. I avoided that all together and got a better quality foam brush. Paint adheres to wicker quite well so the difference between a foam and bristle brush was very minor. Again, I just brushed on 2 light coats of paint, this time using Behr’s self priming interior flat in ultra pure white.

Paint for wicker | Lolly Jane

As you can see by my little helper, a quart of each is plenty! (; Notice that I painted heavily inside the grooves of the wicker. This makes the piece look more blended than spray painting, where the natural wicker shows through.

Painted wicker bench by LollyJane

To match the base, I lightly sanded again to give it the aged look. All in all, I didn’t spend anything more than the original purchase price since I had the leftover paint from the revamped couch table and two-tone kitchen barstools we shared with you earlier, and of course have a stash of foam brushes on hand. Not too shabby!

Lolly Jane how to paint wicker furniture

So tell us, do you think the wicker trend will last?

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  1. Nice wicker bench, of source, but I absolutely LOVE the floral pillow on the couch! Where did you get it, or the fabric you used to make it? Thanks!!!!

  2. Although I think your bench looks great, you do realize it’s not wicker, right? It’s rush.

    1. I thought it was rush, . Rush is used on seats. Wicker has a completely different texture.

  3. I have to say I do have a little wicker here or there. But I’m a huge fan of benches. Any kind. Wicker or not. Love the transformation. Popping over to say hello from Jen’s Party Palooza and so glad I did.
    Cheers to you and yours!

  4. I love the way it turned out…I would use this in my bathroom for sure to keep towels and other bath stuff handy..I think you did an amazing job and the distressing looks fantastic!! I would consider this a great garage sale find!!

  5. Oh my! I can’t believe you got this for $20. I LOVE it! But I’m a big fan of wicker. I found an almost mint condition wicker chair at a local Habitat for Humanity several years ago. I painted it black and put it in my bedroom and draped a quilt across it. It looks awesome.

    Your town sounds like mine…we do have a Wal-mart about 10 minutes away. But they did away with their fabric department to enlarge their linens. The nearest fabric store is about an hour away. So…I order almost all my fabric on-line. I too am a big Riley Blake fan.


  6. I’ve never owned anything wicker. I do remember the mother of my best friend in 3rd grade being really excited to get a wicker set! 😉 As always, you made it look TERRIFIC! And your little guy is way too cute.

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