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Should You Oil Rattan Furniture?

April 25, 2022 3 min read

When the warm season comes, you may be itching to get out into your backyard and enjoy outdoor dining and barbecue parties, but your old rattan garden furniture set may not be ready. Fortunately, most people realize that they may need to polish or oil their furniture to extend the life of their rattan garden table and chairs. Cleaning and polishing rattan with furniture polish and lemon oil can restore those long-neglected outdoor garden chairs for some spring barbecues and keep it looking vibrant for many seasons to come. However, some people may not know much about what oiling rattan effect furniture does and exactly how to do it. You don't have to worry, below we will give you the specifics of how oiling works and how to do it so that you can easily give your rattan effect furniture a fresh new look.

Dry Rattan Furniture

Why do you need to oil it?
Excessive drying is one of the most common causes of deterioration of natural rattan furniture. Too much sunlight or indoor heat can cause rattan to dry out and brittle, which can break and fall apart. Also aged rattan can crack over time, especially if exposed to harsh weather. This can also lead to color loss. Oiling your rattan can be a great way to help it retain moisture in dry and arid climates to prevent it from experiencing cracking from the hot sun that hits it day in and day out. Also using a small amount of olive oil will add a layer of protection to your old rattan style furniture. Cleaning rattan can be tricky when there's dirt between the weaves, and it can be hard to feel like you've cleaned it thoroughly. But oil excels at removing dirt while helping to repair and condition the fibers. When rattan with a clear finish (lacquer, shellac or varnish) becomes dull, you can also restore its shine by wiping it with a soft cloth dipped in furniture polish or lemon oil.

Oil Rattan Furniture

How to oil it?
After learning about the benefits of oiling rattan effect furniture, read on for more detailed steps on how to oil it.

  • Cleaning: Make sure your rattan garden furniture is clean before applying the oil. Vacuum the rattan using an upholstery or crevice tool with a vacuum cleaner. Use a soft toothbrush and water with mild detergent added to remove any remaining dirt and grime. If mold is present, mix 1/4 cup of bleach in water and dip the soft-bristled toothbrush into the solution to remove any mold from the furniture. Wipe clean with a damp cloth after treatment to allow the rattan to dry completely.
  • Applying: After cleaning the cane, it is time to apply the oil. Lemon oil, orange oil and boiled flaxseed oil will also work. Simply dip a clean cloth or brush into the oil. Starting at the top of the rattan patio chair to prevent dripping, wipe the rattan with the oil. Rub the oil into the rattan until it is completely absorbed. Commercial lemon oil, usually sold as a furniture polish, dries fairly quickly, but boiled linseed oil takes a little longer to dry. After rubbing the oil in, you will need to use a clean, coarse cotton cloth to wipe away any excess oil. If excess oil is left behind, the furniture will take longer to dry or not dry at all because the oil cannot penetrate the surface because there is already a layer of oil underneath.
  • Drying: Before using rattan garden table and chairs, it is important to allow enough time for the oil to dry. The time it takes for different oils to dry varies depending on the type of oil, but most oils take 2-5 days to dry completely. After the oil has dried, you may find it necessary to apply another coat of oil, especially if the rattan effect furniture has never been oiled before. As the oil dries, it will penetrate further into the surface, so you may need to apply more to fully cover the upper surface. Most oils require at least three coats to be fully effective. Make sure you allow the oil to dry between coats.

If properly maintained, rattan effect furniture can last up to twenty years. Therefore, for maintenance purposes, you can oil your rattan effect furniture on time which will nourish and protect your garden furniture. But in order to take better care of your rattan style garden furniture, cover it with a furniture cover when not in use or store it in your garden shed. Thereby you can sit on your furniture with your family and friends and enjoy more happy hours!

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