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Rescuing Chippy Wicker with an Easy Wax Paint Formula

© Stephie McCarthy

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restore wicker


This rocker was rescued with "wax paint" which sealed the chips and created a durable, permanent, color new surface.

how to restore wicker furniture DIY

What in the world is wax paint? It's paint blended with Waverly Inspirations Liquid Wax:

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wicker restoration DIY

We couldn't say no to this wicker rocker. It was just $5.00 at a church bazaar.

restore chipping paint

It started out a mess with flaking, chipping paint.

wicker painting

Then, we blended chalk paint with liquid wax to heal the worn surface …

chalk paint wax paint

… and we saved this wicker rocker in such a pretty way!

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shabby wicker


The wax blended with paint creates a durable top coat that will not easily chip.

repaint wicker

Essentially, the wax and paint glue down flaking surfaces, add color and durability with a beautiful, built-in, satin top coat.

what is wax paint

We used chalk paint and Waverly Clear Wax which is a liquid, non-toxic top coat. Our formula is a 50/50 blend. We also mixed the wax with ordinary craft paint. Any paint mixed with the wax will work.

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How we restored the wicker rocker, step-by-step

how to restore wicker with chalk paint and wax



Step 1, we brushed the surface with a 2-inch, hard bristle brush to remove the loose paint. Make sure not to brush too hard. Don't shred the natural wicker, just remove anything loose.

Combine chalk paint with acrylic craft paint

Step 2, we enhanced the Waverly Chalk Paint in Agave, by adding ordinary craft paint by Apple Barrel until we had a rustic turquoise shade. You can add acrylics to chalk paints without losing the chalky texture to make custom colors … add a little bit of craft paint at a time. Thoroughly mix.

Toothbrush for painting wicker

Step 3, pour equal amounts of your paint and liquid wax into a tray. Mix the two together, as you go, a little at a time so you can add a bit more paint or different colors if you like. A perfect blend is not necessary.

how to make wax paint

The wax looks white, but will dry clear. We pour the paint on one side of the tray, and the wax on the other, then mix the two together in the middle as we go.

Use a toothbrush to get into the crevices of the wicker. A toothbrush will hold a lot of paint and distribute it evenly.

Chalk paint wicker

Step 4, use artist's brushes and chip brushes to build color or help make straight lines in designs if necessary. Mix wax into each color. Use more paint than wax if necessary, for better coverage.

painting decorative wicker

Changing this chair from blue to turquoise was easy enough. When we decided to add gold/orange/yellow details, it took much longer and several coats to cover the original blue.

painting flowers on wicker

Step 5, the abstract flowers on the seat were made with a mixture of chalk paint and acrylic paint. These colors also took much longer to cover the original blue. The toothbrush really helped to get into the crevices and speed up the process.

painting art on wicker

For the antique wicker effect, we used dark brown, tan, and yellow paints around the edges of the flowers. We concentrated the darkest brown chalk paint around the outside edges, and yellow in the center. We mixed liquid wax into each color as we went along.

Sealing wicker furniture with wax

When the wax paint was dry, we brushed Waverly Chalk Paint in Celery mixed 50/50 with the clear liquid wax over the turquoise which gave it a wonderful sun-bleached look. This adds dimension and sparkle, not to mention, a durable satin top coat.

antique effects on wicker

Whenever you blend colors, you'll make an object look more distressed, touched with patina. We used brown, orange, and yellow on the back of this chair blended in patches, to give it a time-worn look.

seal wicker furniture with wax

Step 6, When dry, we top-coated the arms and front with plain clear wax to protect the new finish from wear and tear. Allow several days for the finish to cure completely and you will have an enduring work of art!

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