How to Paint Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture is popular for indoor and outdoor spaces due to its durability, lightweight nature, and natural aesthetic appeal. However, rattan furniture can become dull or damaged over time due to exposure to the elements or general wear and tear.

How to Paint Rattan Furniture

Painting your rattan furniture is an easy and cost-effective way to revive its look and extend its lifespan. In this guide, we will discuss the step-by-step process of how to paint rattan furniture and provide tips to ensure a successful outcome.

Understanding Rattan Furniture

Before you start the painting process, it is important to understand the material you are working with. Rattan is a type of palm plant that grows in tropical regions and is commonly used for making furniture.

It is known for its flexibility, strength, and lightweight properties. Rattan furniture consists of woven or peeled rattan vines that are typically attached to a sturdy frame made of wood or metal. The weaving process creates small crevices and gaps in the furniture, making painting challenging.

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Paint Rattan Furniture

1. Primer

2. Paintbrushes (small and larger ones)

3. Spray paint or regular acrylic paint

4. Clear topcoat spray (optional)

5. Sandpaper

6. Drop cloth or newspaper

7. Masking tape

8. Gloves

9. Protective eyewear

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Paint Rattan Furniture

Step 1: Prepare the Furniture

The first step is to prepare your rattan furniture for painting. This involves cleaning the furniture thoroughly with a mixture of mild soap and water. Use a soft brush to remove any dust or debris from the crevices, then wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.

Preparing the furniture beforehand will ensure that the paint adheres properly and gives a smooth finish. If your furniture has any damaged areas, now is the time to repair them with wood glue or filler and let it dry before proceeding.

Wipe It Down With a Damp Cloth

Step 2: Sand the Furniture

Sand the furniture’s surface using fine-grit sandpaper to remove any glossy finish and create a rougher texture for better paint adhesion. This step is essential for spray painting as it helps the paint grip the surface. However, this step is optional if you are using regular acrylic paint. While sanding, make sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves to avoid any dust or splinters.

Step 3: Apply the Primer

Priming is crucial in painting rattan furniture as it provides a smooth base for the paint and helps it adhere better. Depending on your preference, you can use either a spray primer or apply it with a brush.

Make sure to cover all areas of the furniture with an even layer and let it dry completely before moving on. While you can use a regular primer, it is recommended to use a spray primer as it can better reach into the crevices and gaps of the furniture.

Step 4: Paint the Furniture

Once the primer has dried, it’s time to paint your rattan furniture. Depending on your preference and budget, You can choose between spray paint or regular acrylic paint. Spray paint is convenient and provides a smooth finish, but it can be more expensive.

On the other hand, regular acrylic paint requires more time and effort to apply, but it is cost-effective. Whichever type of paint you choose, make sure to apply thin coats and let them dry completely between each layer. This will help prevent drips and give a smoother finish.

Step 5: Apply a Topcoat (Optional)

You can apply a clear topcoat spray to protect your newly painted rattan furniture and make the color last longer. This will act as a barrier against moisture and UV rays, which can cause the paint to fade or peel over time. If you are using regular acrylic paint, this step is highly recommended. While spray painting already contains a built-in topcoat, adding an extra layer can further enhance its durability.

Using Regular Acrylic Paint

Step 6: Let it Dry and Reassemble

After applying the topcoat (if using), let your rattan furniture dry completely for at least 24 hours before reassembling and using it. This will ensure that the paint is fully cured and ready for use. Make sure to handle the furniture carefully during this time to avoid any scratches or smudges on the newly painted surface. Let the furniture dry in a well-ventilated area to help speed up the process.

Following these guidelines will help you successfully paint your rattan furniture and give it a new lease on life. With proper care and maintenance, your newly painted furniture can last for years to come. Remember to always use high-quality materials and tools for the best results, and don’t be afraid to get creative with different colors or patterns for a unique look. Happy painting!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Paint Rattan Furniture

1. When using spray paint, make sure to shake the can well before starting and continue shaking periodically throughout the painting process. This will help ensure an even distribution of paint and prevent clogging.

2. To avoid drips and runs, keep the spray can at least 6-8 inches away from the rattan furniture while painting. A light touch is key for achieving a smooth and professional-looking finish.

3. If using a brush or roller, choose one with synthetic bristles for the best results. Natural bristles can be too soft and may not spread the paint evenly.

4. Before painting, lightly sand the rattan furniture with fine-grit sandpaper to create a slightly rough surface. This will help the paint adhere better and prevent chipping or peeling in the future.

5. If you’re painting large rattan furniture, consider using a paint sprayer instead of a brush or roller. This will help speed up the process and ensure an even coat of paint on all surfaces.

6. try using stencils to add patterns or designs to your painted rattan furniture for a more unique and creative look. This is a great way to personalize your piece and make it stand out.

7. Be bold and experiment with different colors and finishes. Rattan furniture can look stunning in bold, vibrant colors or soft pastel shades. You can also add texture using different techniques, such as distressing or layering.

8. As with any paint project, it’s important to prepare and protect your work area properly. Lay down a drop cloth or old sheet to catch any drips, and ensure the space is well-ventilated for proper air circulation.

9. Lastly, be patient and take your time when painting rattan furniture. Full coverage may require multiple coats of paint, but the result will be worth it. And remember to have fun and let your creativity shine through!

Following these tips and tricks will help you achieve a professional and long-lasting finish on your painted rattan furniture. With some patience and creativity, you can transform old and worn-out rattan pieces into beautiful and unique additions to your home decor. So go ahead and give it a try, and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a DIY project that’s both practical and visually appealing!  Remember to share your creations with friends and family and inspire others to take on their own rattan furniture painting projects. Happy painting!  

Using Stencils to Add Patterns

Things You Should Consider to Paint Rattan Furniture

1. The first thing you should consider before painting rattan furniture is to carefully examine the condition of the furniture. Check for any damages, cracks, or loose pieces that might need repair before proceeding with the paint job.

2. Next, choosing the right type of paint for your rattan furniture is important. You can opt for oil- or latex-based paints, depending on your preference and the type of finish you want.

3. Before painting, make sure to clean the furniture thoroughly with a mild soap and water solution. This will remove any dirt, dust, or grime that may affect the paint’s adhesion to the surface.

4. It is also recommended to lightly sand the rattan furniture before painting, especially if it has a glossy finish. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smoother finish.

5. When painting, it is best to use a high-quality primer first. This will ensure that the paint adheres well to the rattan surface and also helps prevent any stains or discoloration from showing through.

6. It is important to apply multiple thin coats of paint instead of one thick coat. This will prevent drips and uneven coverage, resulting in a smoother and more professional-looking finish.

7. Consider using a paint sprayer or spray paint for easier application on the intricate weaving of rattan furniture. If using a brush, make sure to use one with soft bristles to avoid damaging the delicate material.

8. Remember to let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next one. This will ensure that the paint sets evenly and helps prevent any smudging or clumping.

9. Once you have finished painting, it is recommended to apply a clear protective coat over the paint for added durability and protection against wear and tear.

10. Lastly, be sure to take your time and be patient when painting rattan furniture. Rushing through the process could result in a subpar finish, and it’s always better to take the time to do it right for long-lasting results. Remember to have fun and get creative with your paint color choices!

Following these considerations will help ensure a successful and satisfying paint job on your rattan furniture. Whether you want to revamp old pieces or add a pop of color to your outdoor space, painting rattan furniture can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Just remember to prepare properly, choose the right materials, and take your time for beautiful results that will last for years to come. Happy painting!

Apply Multiple Thin Coats of Paint Instead

Troubleshooting Common Challenges to Paint Rattan Furniture

1. Uneven Coating:

One of the most common challenges when painting rattan furniture is achieving an evenly coated surface. Rattan is a natural material with variations in texture and color, so getting an even layer of paint over the entire surface can be difficult.

To overcome this challenge, lightly sand your furniture with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas and create a more uniform surface. Next, use a primer specifically designed for wicker or rattan furniture to help the paint adhere evenly.

When applying your chosen paint color, use thin coats and allow each coat to dry completely before adding another layer. This will prevent drips and clumps of paint from forming on the surface. Using a paint sprayer can also help achieve a smoother and more even finish.

Using a Paint Sprayer

2. Paint Peeling

Another common issue with painted rattan furniture is the paint peeling or chipping off over time. This can be caused by improper surface preparation or low-quality paint before painting. To avoid this problem, make sure to clean your furniture thoroughly and remove any dirt, dust, or oils that may prevent the paint from adhering properly.

Also, use high-quality paint specifically designed for wicker or rattan furniture to ensure it can withstand wear and tear. Lastly, consider adding a protective clear coat over the painted surface to prevent peeling or chipping further.

3. Color Fading:

Rattan furniture is often used outdoors, where it is exposed to sunlight and other elements that can cause the paint color to fade over time. To prevent this, consider using high-quality outdoor paint with UV protection or adding a clear sealant with UV inhibitors over the painted surface. It’s also important to regularly clean and maintain your furniture to help preserve its color and prevent fading.

4. Cracking or Splitting:

Due to its natural properties, rattan furniture may experience cracking or splitting over time. This can be especially problematic when painted, as the paint can crack and peel off along with the material. To prevent this, make sure to regularly clean and moisturize your furniture with a specialized oil or wax for rattan.

Paint Can Crack and Peel

Also, avoid placing your furniture in locations with extreme temperature or humidity changes, which can cause further damage.  If you notice any cracks or splits, repair them promptly with a strong adhesive specifically designed for rattan.

Following these troubleshooting tips can help you achieve a beautiful and long-lasting paint finish on your rattan furniture. Remember to properly prepare the surface, use high-quality products, and regularly maintain your furniture to keep it looking its best. With these precautions in mind, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of painted rattan furniture for years to come. Happy Paining!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rattan Furniture?

Rattan furniture refers to furniture pieces that are made from a type of climbing palm plant called rattan. This material is known for its strength, durability, and flexibility, making it a popular choice for outdoor and indoor furniture. Rattan furniture is often used for chairs, tables, sofas, and other home decor items.

Why Paint Rattan Furniture?

Painting rattan furniture can give it a fresh new look and extend its lifespan. Over time, rattan furniture may become discolored or damaged due to exposure to sunlight and moisture. Painting can help protect the material from further damage and enhance its aesthetic appeal. Plus, it allows you to customize the color and style of your furniture according to your personal taste.

Can Any Type of Paint Be Used on Rattan Furniture?

No, not all types of paint are suitable for rattan furniture. Since rattan is a natural material, choosing a paint specifically designed for use on porous surfaces is important. Oil-based paints and spray paints may not adhere well to rattan and can cause cracking or peeling over time. Instead, opt for acrylic or latex paint, which provides better coverage and flexibility.

Choosing a Paint Specifically Designed

How Do I Prepare Rattan Furniture for Painting?

Before painting rattan furniture, it is important to prepare the surface properly. Clean the furniture with a mild soap and water solution to remove any dirt or debris. If there are any rough areas or loose rattan pieces, gently sand them down. Once the furniture is dry, apply a coat of primer to help the paint adhere better. After that, it will be prepared for painting.

What Color Should I Paint My Rattan Furniture?

The color you choose to paint your rattan furniture will depend on your personal preference and the overall style of your space. If you want a pop of color, consider bright hues such as turquoise or yellow. For a more natural and neutral look, opt for shades of beige or grey. You can also create fun patterns or designs using multiple colors for a unique touch.


Now you know how to paint rattan furniture and can give your old pieces a new lease on life. Remember to choose the right type of paint, properly prepare the surface, and have fun with color and design options.

With proper care and maintenance, your painted rattan furniture will continue to add beauty and functionality to your indoor or outdoor space for years to come.  So why try painting your rattan furniture today?  Happy painting! 

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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