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How to Color Your Rattan Furniture

Elle Smith

Rattan furniture is a common sight on porches, gardens and parlors. Depending on the room in which you use it, rattan furniture can lend an air of informality or elegance.

Fresh paint can transform rattan furniture to suit any mood.

Rattan needs little care when kept inside, but if your furniture is exposed to the elements – or you just want to change its color – fresh paint and some new cushions can dramatically alter the look of your furniture.

  1. Place a tarp on the floor to protect it from old paint chips and oil-based paint.

  2. Remove any peeling paint with a stiff brush. Brush with enough force to lift away the paint, but not so hard as to scratch or damage the rattan. Sand rough spots with medium-grit sandpaper.

  3. Remove dust and paint chips with hand-held vacuum. Wipe any remaining debris from cracks and crevices with a clean cloth.

  4. Put on your latex gloves. Prime the furniture with a coat of oil-base wood primer. Allow the primer to dry, then apply another coat. Painting the furniture with a spray can product is quicker, but you use more product – and make more of a mess – because of the furniture's open weave. Save the spray can for nooks and crannies later.

  5. Turn the furniture upside down. Paint the legs of each piece with oil-based paint. Allow the paint to dry, then apply a second coat. When the second coat is dry, turn the furniture upright on its legs and apply an even coat to the table top, chair back, arms and seat. Spot-apply matching spray paint on small, hard-to-reach areas as needed. Allow to dry fully.

  6. Apply a coat of clear varnish or shellac to the painted rattan. Allow several days for the furniture to dry before use.