How to Attach Rattan to Wood

Rattan, a versatile and natural material, has long been cherished for its aesthetic appeal and durability in furniture making. Known for its flexibility and resistance to wear, rattan is an ideal choice for crafting elegant tables, chairs, and various décor items.

How to Attach Rattan to Wood

For DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike, understanding how to attach rattan to wood is crucial not only for creating beautiful furniture pieces but also for performing effective repairs.

This guide will provide a detailed, step-by-step approach on how to attach rattan to wood surfaces, ensuring a secure and lasting bond.

Whether you are refurbishing an old piece of furniture or embarking on a new DIY project, these instructions will help you achieve professional-looking results.

By mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to enhance the durability and beauty of rattan-wood combinations, resulting in functional and stylish items.

Preparing the Rattan and Wood Surfaces

Proper preparation of both rattan and wood surfaces is essential to ensure a strong and lasting attachment. Skipping this step can lead to weak bonds and premature failures.

By taking the time to prepare both materials, you ensure that the adhesive can form a secure connection and that the rattan will sit properly against the wood.

Steps for Preparing the Rattan:

Submerging the Rattan in Water

Soaking: Start by submerging the rattan in water for an adequate amount of time, typically around 30 minutes to an hour. This soaking process is essential as it makes the rattan more pliable, allowing it to conform easily to the contours of the wood surface.

Flexible rattan will also minimize the risk of cracks or breaks during attachment.

Drying: Once the rattan has soaked and become flexible, it is crucial to let it dry thoroughly before attempting to attach it to the wood. Lay the soaked rattan out in a dry, well-ventilated area to remove excess moisture.

The drying process might take a few hours, depending on the thickness of the rattan. Ensuring the rattan is completely dry will help the adhesive bond more effectively and reduce the risk of mold or deterioration over time.

Tips for Preparing the Wood Surfaces:

Sanding: Begin by sanding down the wood surface to create a smooth and even base for the rattan. This step helps eliminate any rough patches or uneven areas that could impede a secure attachment.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand the wood until the surface feels uniformly smooth. Sanding not only enhances adhesion but also prepares the wood to look polished and professional once the rattan is attached.

Cleaning: After sanding, clean the wood surface thoroughly to remove any remaining dust, dirt, or debris. A clean surface is vital for promoting strong adhesion between the wood and the rattan.

Use a damp cloth or a gentle cleaning solution to wipe down the wood, ensuring that all contaminants are removed. Allow the wood to dry completely before applying any adhesive. This step ensures that the adhesive adheres directly to the wood fibers rather than to a layer of dust or grime.

How to Attach Rattan to Wood

Choosing the Right Adhesive

Selecting the appropriate adhesive is critical to ensuring a strong and lasting bond between rattan and wood. The following are some of the most suitable adhesives for attaching rattan to wood, each with its advantages and specific uses.

Wood Glue

Wood Glue is a Popular Choice

Wood glue is a popular choice for attaching rattan to wood due to its strong, durable bond. It is readily available, easy to use, and generally dries clear, making it an excellent option for permanent attachments that won’t be subject to extreme conditions. Wood glue is ideal for indoor furniture and items that won’t be exposed to moisture or significant stress.

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin offers superior adhesion and is highly resistant to water and environmental factors, making it perfect for outdoor or high-moisture environments.

This two-part adhesive consists of a resin and a hardener, which, when mixed, form a very strong bond. Epoxy resin is excellent for projects where the rattan needs to withstand significant stress or immersion in water, such as outdoor furniture or items placed in humid areas.

Contact Cement

Contact cement is another effective adhesive for bonding rattan to wood, known for its quick and reliable hold.

It is applied to both surfaces and allowed to dry before the rattan is pressed onto the wood, creating an immediate bond. Contact cement is ideal for fast and easy applications where immediate handling or use is desired.

Considerations for Selecting the Appropriate Adhesive

When choosing the right adhesive, consider the specific requirements of your project. Wood glue is an excellent choice for indoor applications where strength and durability are paramount.

Choosing the Right Adhesive

For outdoor projects or items exposed to moisture, epoxy resin is preferable due to its water resistance.

However, Contact Cement offers convenience and reliability for quick fixes or immediate results.

Evaluate the conditions under which the rattan-wood combination will be used to make an informed decision on the best adhesive for your needs.

How to Attach Rattan to Wood

Applying Adhesive and Attaching Rattan

Once you have prepared your rattan and wood surfaces and selected the appropriate adhesive, the next step is to apply the adhesive and attach the rattan to the wood. Follow these detailed, step-by-step instructions to ensure a secure and lasting bond.

Steps for Applying Adhesive and Attaching Rattan:

Applying Adhesive:

  1. Dispensing the Adhesive: Begin by dispensing the chosen adhesive onto the prepared wood surface. Applying the adhesive in a thin, even layer is crucial to ensure uniform coverage. Use a brush or a spreader to distribute the adhesive evenly for wood glue or epoxy resin. If using contact cement, apply it to both the rattan and the wood surface, adhering to the product’s specific instructions for drying times.

Positioning Rattan:

  1. Placing the Rattan: Carefully position the soaked and dried rattan onto the adhesive-coated wood surface. Take your time to align the rattan correctly, ensuring it covers the desired area. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles to achieve proper coverage and avoid air pockets that can weaken the bond.
Align the Rattan Correctly

Pressing Firmly:

  1. Applying Pressure: Once the rattan is in place, apply firm and even pressure across the entire surface. This step ensures maximum contact between the rattan, adhesive, and wood. You can use a roller or a flat piece of wood to press the rattan evenly. For larger pieces, consider using clamps to maintain consistent pressure until the adhesive sets.

Allowing to Dry:

  1. Drying Time: Allow the adhesive to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The drying time will vary depending on the type of adhesive used, so refer to the product label for guidance. It’s essential not to disturb the rattan during this period, as movement can compromise the bond. Ensure the area is well-ventilated to facilitate proper drying.

By following these steps meticulously, you’ll achieve a strong and durable attachment between the rattan and wood surfaces.

The time and care invested in the application process will pay off in the form of a professional-looking result and enhanced longevity of your project.

Securing Rattan with Nails or Staples

In addition to using adhesives, securing rattan with nails or staples can enhance your project’s stability and reinforcement.

These methods are particularly useful for high-stress areas or when additional support is needed to ensure the rattan remains firmly attached to the wood surface over time.

Below are detailed instructions on how to effectively use nails and staples for this purpose.

Using Nails

Hammering Small Nails

Hammering small nails or brads into the rattan and wood at regular intervals is an effective way to add physical reinforcement to the adhesive bond.

  1. Selecting the Nails: Choose small, thin nails or brads to minimize splitting or damaging the rattan. Ensuring they are long enough to penetrate the rattan and wood securely.
  2. Positioning the Nails: Evenly space the nails along the attachment line, typically every 2-3 inches, to distribute the holding strength uniformly. Begin nailing at one end and work towards the other to prevent misalignment.
  3. Hammering the Nails: Carefully hammer the nails through the rattan into the wood surface. Apply steady, controlled force to avoid bending the nails or damaging the rattan. If available, use a nail set to countersink the nail heads slightly below the rattan’s surface to maintain a smooth finish.

Using Staples

Another effective technique is to use a staple gun to secure the rattan to the wood. This offers quick and reliable reinforcement.

  1. Selecting the Staples: Choose staples that are appropriately sized to penetrate both the rattan and the wood without causing splitting. Typically, 1/4 to 1/2-inch staples work well for most rattan projects.
  2. Positioning the Staples: Place the rattan on the wood surface and, starting from one end, use the staple gun to drive a staple into the rattan and wood every 2-3 inches.
  3. Stapling Technique: Ensure the staple gun is held perpendicular to the work surface to drive the staples flush with the rattan. Press down firmly on the staple gun for a secure hold. Adjust the staple gun’s pressure setting if needed to avoid over-penetration or insufficient drives.

These additional methods of securing rattan to wood surfaces will contribute to your project’s overall durability and stability, providing a professional and lasting finish.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

Ensuring a clean, polished appearance and maintaining the durability of your rattan attachment are crucial final steps. Here’s how to achieve and maintain a professional finish:

Trimming Excess Rattan

After securing the rattan to the wood, inspect the edges for any protruding or uneven ends. Use a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to carefully trim these excess pieces.

Ensure the cuts are smooth and even, following the natural lines of the attachment to achieve a polished look.

Sealing and Protecting

To protect the rattan from moisture and wear, apply a clear sealant or varnish to the entire surface.

This coating will help to prolong the lifespan of your project. Use a brush to apply an even layer of sealant, making sure to cover all areas thoroughly. Allow the sealant to dry completely as per the manufacturer’s instructions before using the item.

Regular Maintenance

Periodic maintenance is essential for keeping your rattan attachments in top condition.

Regularly inspect the rattan for signs of wear or detachment. Clean the surface with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the rattan. By addressing any issues early and keeping the rattan clean, you can ensure the longevity and appearance of your project.


In conclusion, mastering the process of how to attach rattan to wood involves several meticulous steps, each critical for achieving a durable and professional result. It begins with thorough preparation of both rattan and wood surfaces, followed by the precise application of adhesive to ensure a strong bond.

For additional stability, nails or staples can be used to reinforce the attachment, particularly in high-stress areas. Lastly, careful trimming, sealing, and regular maintenance are essential for protecting the integrity and appearance of the finished piece.

We encourage readers to apply these techniques in their DIY projects or repairs involving rattan and wood.

Successfully attaching rattan to wood not only enhances the durability of furniture pieces or décor items but also brings immense satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Creating beautiful and lasting items with your own hands is incredibly rewarding, and these guidelines make it achievable for anyone to learn how to attach rattan to wood effectively.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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