Apply a clear lacquer or varnish to your clean, dust-free wicker furniture to protect it from becoming cracked. Use a paintbrush to carefully give your furniture an even coating. Allow the furniture to dry on layers of newspapers for at least 24 hours before using the furniture.
Place your wicker furniture in a shaded spot that does not receive many hours of full sunlight. The sun's rays can dry out the wicker material, which makes it more prone to breakage.
Protect your wicker furniture by covering it when you are not using it. Use a painter's drop cloth or weather-proof tarp, available at home improvement and hardware stores, or a specially-made cover, such as those offered by Brookstone (see Resources). The cloth will not only protect your chairs from the sun but also rainy weather.
Store your wicker in your garage, shed or other enclosed area during the off-season. Rain and snow can cause brittle reeds to break and can lead to mildew.