How to Paint Wicker Baskets and Transform Your Space

paint wicker basket

While wicker baskets are a staple home decor item, their plain woven appearance can sometimes clash with the style of a room. Choosing just the right piece to complement your interior design can feel limited when every basket looks similar. The good news is that with some paint, you have the power to completely change a basket’s look to better suit your needs.

Whether you want to tie in an accent color or need storage for a space that lacks visual interest, painted wicker baskets provide an affordable solution. By following some simple painting techniques, anyone can turn plain baskets into customized accents that match their unique personality.

Choosing the Right Paint and Supplies

There are a few different types of paint that work well for wicker baskets, each with their benefits:

Acrylic paint is a very versatile option. Its water-based formula makes it flexible and easy to clean up with water. Acrylic paint adheres nicely to wicker after proper surface preparation.

Spray paint results in an even coat quickly and works great for baskets with intricate detailing. Look for spray paint formulated for outdoor use if displaying pieces outside. Shake the can vigorously before each use.

Chalk paint is a popular choice that gives a vintage, washed-out look once dry. It has a matte finish and allows the texture of the wicker to show through. Recoat old pieces to bring back their charm.

Basket Painting Techniques

There are several creative ways to add color and personality using wicker basket painting techniques. Experimenting with different looks is part of the fun of these DIY wicker basket makeovers. A few options to try:

Solid color painting is a classic and simple style that allows the true hue to shine. It works well for blending baskets into room decor schemes.

Ombre effects add visual interest when transitioning from one shade to the next. Use a dry brushing method for a soft fade or layers of painted strips for high-contrast stripes.

Unique patterns like polka dots or chevrons can transform ordinary baskets into eye-catching colored wicker projects. Stencils make this easy – just apply tape and paint through the openings.

For painted rattan baskets with complex weaves, consider outlining each section before flooding it with paint. This highlights individual strands for a dimensional look.

Paint Comparison Chart

The following table provides a quick overview of common basket-painting materials to help you choose the best options for your project:

Paint TypeBest UsesCoverageDrying TimeCleanupQualities
Acrylic paintSurfaces like wicker, canvas, woodModerate – requires 2 coats typicallyDries fast (30 min-2 hrs)WaterFlexible, water-resistant bond
Chalk paintWicker furniture, woodExcellent – often 1 coat is enough2-8 hrsSoapy waterMatte finish shows texture, antique look
Spray paintIntricate details, large areas quicklyHighest – usually full coverage in 1 coat15-30 minAcetone or paint thinnerFast drying, protective topcoat
Enamel paintMetal surfaces like aluminumGood – may need 2 coats4-8 hrs to touch dry, 24 hrs fully curedMineral spiritsGlossy, durable finish withstands elements
Fabric paintCloth items, burlapDepends on material absorbency2-24 hrsWaterWashable, lightweight alternative to Mod Podge

DIY Wicker Basket Makeover Ideas

Getting creative with paint allows you to take plain baskets to the next level as statement pieces. Here are some unique basket makeover concepts using wicker basket painting techniques:

  • Stenciled baskets: Stencil on floral motifs, geometrics, or words for a customized canvas. Target buckets offer stencils.
  • Marbled baskets: Drop acrylic paint into a water tray and drag strands through for gorgeous veining that resembles stone.
  • Ombré baskets: Map out color zones and layer washes of complimentary shades like teal to sea glass for a seamless blend.
  • Monogrammed baskets: Stencil or paint initials large and proud for a personalized welcoming touch near an entryway.
  • Baskets as wall art: Mount a painted rattan basket upright on the wall surrounded by small plants for a natural centerpiece.
  • Decorative trims: Enhance the rim of a planter basket with brushed-on gesso crackle paste for the look of faux leather or wood grain.

The possibilities are endless! With a little imagination, even plain wicker furniture can receive new life by transforming wicker with paint.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Wicker Baskets

Let’s go through the painting process step-by-step:

  1. Gather your supplies – baskets, paint, brushes, primer, sandpaper, rags. For larger pieces, apply painter’s tape where you don’t want to overspray.
  2. Lightly sand the entire wicker surface with fine-grit sandpaper to promote adhesion. Wipe off any residue.
  3. If desired, apply a coat of primer with a brush. Allow to fully dry per instructions.
  4. Start with a base coat color. For even coverage, apply paint strip by strip using long brushstrokes in one direction.
  5. Once dry, follow with a second top coat for opacity if needed.
  6. For patterned looks, let the base dry fully before taping off sections and applying contrasting colors.
  7. Finish with a protective top coat sealer like polyurethane for longevity. Several thin coats dry faster than one thick layer.
  8. Display or store your uniquely painted wicker creations! I find they add personality to any room.

Proper preparation and multiple thin paint coats will lead to beautiful results whether you pursue solid hues or intricate designs.  

Home Decor Projects with Painted Wicker Baskets

Once complete, your newly painted baskets can shine in a variety of displayed decor projects:

  • Living room: Nestle floral arrangements, books, or blankets in wicker planters flanking a sofa.
  • Bedroom: Corral scarves and jewelry in a monogrammed basket or double as nightstand decor.
  • Entryway: Place a large basket beneath a hall table to corral shoes, mail, and keys.
  • Bathroom: Keep cotton balls and swabs tidy in a mini ombré basket in coordinating shades.
  • Kitchen: Store produce, bread, or snacks in striped baskets that look adorable on the counter.
  • Outdoor areas: Weatherproof baskets hold potted succulents, garden tools, or pet supplies by the back door.

You’ll find endless functional and aesthetic uses throughout your home. Don’t forget to experiment with height too – wall mounting opens up whole new design options.

Refinishing Old Wicker Furniture with Paint

Those dated wicker pieces languishing in your garage or basement can receive a new lease on life thanks to paint! With proper surface prep and coat workflow, you’ll be astonished by the transformations.

Start by thoroughly cleaning and lightly sanding to remove dirt and peel. Inspect for loose or broken caning and make repairs. Just like baskets, apply a coat of primer tailored for wood.

Choose your hue and apply in long, smooth strokes. For furniture, consider roller techniques once the base is dry for a smooth, even finish. Multiple topcoats will reinforce the color and protect the reborn piece.

A few before and after examples that come to mind:

  • An old wicker chair in need of TLC was given seafoam green tones that sing in our sunroom.
  • Vintage ’70s end tables became gallery-worthy in navy blue with glossy polyurethane topcoat protection.
  • An inherited loveseat now adds retro charm to the patio in terra cotta red and accents the planters encircling it.

With some paint magic, treasured worn pieces will gain new life and proud placement in your home. Bring on the transformations!

Tips and Tricks for Success

Now that you understand the steps to prep and paint baskets, let me share a few additional points to ensure beautiful results:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area and consider masking off surrounding surfaces like floors if spraying.
  • For detailed baskets, angle bristles on a sharp slant and ‘scrape’ into crevices rather than just brushing across.
  • When taping off patterns, press firmly along all edges for crisp lines that won’t bleed underneath.
  • Allow ample dry time between coats, at least overnight if possible before displaying or moving pieces.
  • Protect surfaces during drying by resting baskets upside down on plastic sheeting.
  • Consider a fine-tip paint pen to neatly touch up any unavoidable mistakes.
  • Sealant coats on furniture strengthen the paint job against wear and tear over time.

Most of all, have fun experimenting, and don’t stress perfection! Imperfections may add unexpected charm.