Incorporating rattan or cane furniture into your home design scheme can instantly warm up any space, whether it’s outside on the patio or inside in the living room. Moreover, while they tend to lend a casual vibe, some contemporary rattan pieces are so elegantly designed and executed that they’re likely to work even for more formal arrangements.
Rattan furniture may be best remembered as the quintessential furniture in the 70s, but the material never really went out of style. In the 2010s, rattan made a roaring comeback as a staple material for furniture pieces that evoke the shabby chic and boho chic interior design styles. Today, the material is still in use, bringing to life streamlined geometric designs that suit modern and contemporary spaces.
Rattan is a versatile furniture material. It can be used to manufacture pieces like a dining chair, table, couch, bed, and more. With its flexible properties, you usually won’t even need additional cushions to make the furniture comfortable. In fact, weaved rattan panels are often used on patio furniture sans the cushions, providing that perfect summer look and feel.
In terms of durability, rattan is a resilient material that does require a bit of care. Since it’s an organic material, it can be susceptible to molds and sun damage without proper maintenance. In this short guide, we’ll discuss how you can preserve your rattan furniture, enabling them to last for many years.
Clean Your Rattan Furniture Properly
Maintaining cleanliness is the first step to caring for your rattan furnishings. You can use a variety of tools and materials for this task.
- Microfiber Cloth — You can dust your rattan furniture using a clean microfiber cloth to lift dust and other small particles that have settled on the surfaces. If there are stubborn stains, you can use a damp cloth and some dishwashing liquid to scrub them off.
- Clean Paint Brush – A clean and dry brush is a great cleaning tool to use, especially for highly detailed rattan furniture. You can easily remove the dust between the joints and small spaces using a stiff paint brush.
- Toothbrush – Dust and grime tend to build up in the nooks and crannies of your furnishings, especially if they haven’t been cleaned for a long time. Use an old toothbrush with a solution of water and mild soap to agitate and remove the stubborn dust and grime build-up. Wipe down any wet surface as soon as you’re done.
- Vacuum cleaner – Using a hand-held vacuum cleaner could also be a good idea, especially if you have a rattan weave. The vacuum cleaner can make quick work of cleaning the intricate details of your furniture.
Keep Your Rattan Furniture Dry and Away from the Elements
It’s important to keep your rattan furniture as dry as possible. If you needed to use water and soap to clean the piece, make sure to wipe it down immediately afterwards and leave the furniture to dry under the sun. This prevents mold and mildew from forming and eventually degrading your precious furniture. As soon as it dries up, remove it from the sun.
As much as possible, you would also want to keep your rattan pieces away from the rain. As such, keep your outdoor furniture covered when not in use, or better yet, keep them in your garage or shed in case of inclement weather.
Inspect Your Rattan Furniture for Damage
Prevent further deterioration of your rattan furniture by addressing minor damage such as broken reeds. You can actually replace the broken reeds and weave panels with replacement materials that can be bought online. Soak the replacement reeds to make them pliable enough to bend and match the design of your furniture. also use good quality wood glue for your repair projects. Meanwhile, if it’s major structural damage, you can seek the help of reputable furniture shops near your area.
Treat Mold and Mildew Infestation Immediately
It would be easier to prevent mold and mildew from forming in the first place by keeping your furniture away from moisture and water. However, if your furniture already has an infestation problem, it’s not too late to save it. Mix 50% bleach with 50% water and spray the mixture where mold has formed. Then, use a toothbrush or cloth to remove the visible mold colonies. For good measure, take a clean cloth, get it damp with the bleach solution, and wipe down the rest of the furniture to remove any remaining spores. Finally, let the furniture dry under the sun completely before using it again.
Prevent Sun Damage
Aside from moisture, sun damage can threaten the longevity of your rattan furniture. Prolonged sun exposure can result in a faded and dull-looking finish. To prevent this from happening, you can use shades or curtains to keep sunlight from doing its worst to your rattan furnishings. For patio furnishings, however, you can simply rotate the furniture for even sun exposure and fading over time. Consider having them professionally treated or revarnished once you notice their original finish already fading.
Condition Your Rattan Furniture
Bring back the rattan material’s original luster and protect the surfaces from moisture by applying boiled linseed oil on your furniture. You can use a clean paintbrush to apply 1 to 2 coats to fully seal the rattan’s surfaces. Wipe down excess oil using a soft cloth to prevent drips, and ensure an even coating all over the piece. Using linseed oil is also recommended for restoring cracked or split old rattan.
Use Protective Furniture Pads
Protect your furniture’s feet by adding rubber or silicone protectors underneath the legs. They can help keep moisture from seeping into the material itself, and they can also keep your floors free from scratches when you need to move the furniture around.
Add Cushions on the Seats
To prevent sagging seats, add cushions to even out the weight distribution. Even if your rattan furniture is comfortable enough without cushions, adding them can help eliminate uneven sagging. This is especially true for weaved rattan chairs and couches.
Make your rattan furniture last for decades by keeping these care instructions in mind. With a little TLC, you’ll enjoy incorporating your rattan pieces in your various home decorating projects for many years to come.