How to Protect Indoor Rattan Furniture

How to Protect Indoor Rattan Furniture

Keeping Rattan Furniture Looking New: Tips for Protecting Indoor Wicker

How to Protect Indoor Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture has become increasingly popular for indoor use due to its natural beauty, versatility, and casual tropical style. However, while rattan is durable, it still requires care and maintenance to keep it looking its best when used inside the home. Properly protecting your rattan furnishings can help preserve their appearance and extend their lifespan.

So what are some of the ways to protect indoor rattan furniture?

The main ways to keep indoor rattan pieces in good condition include following proper care routines like regular cleaning and applying protective sealants, keeping rattan out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, avoiding physical damage through careful handling and strategic placement, and choosing rattan made with weather-resistant, reinforced materials.

This article provides helpful tips on implementing easy maintenance practices, smart preventative measures, and selecting the most durable rattan construction for long-lasting indoor use. I’ll go over specific guidance on ideal cleaning methods, using cushions and pads, proper sunlight avoidance, handling rattan carefully, and distinguishing synthetic vs natural rattan.

By putting these recommendations into practice, you can keep your indoor rattan furnishings looking like new while getting the most enjoyment out of this stylish, tropical material.

Read on for more details on the best ways to care for and protect rattan furniture used inside your home.

Use Proper Care and Maintenance Routines

Implementing consistent care and maintenance is essential for protecting rattan used inside. Simple routines can keep your rattan furniture clean, conditioned, and prevent issues.

Regular Cleaning

Dust, dirt, and debris can build up on rattan over time, dulling the appearance. Vacuum loose particles using a soft brush attachment. For a deeper clean, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth and gentle cleanser to wipe down rattan. Avoid excessive water that can damage the material.

It’s ideal to vacuum rattan every 1-2 weeks to remove surface-level dust and dirt before it has a chance to settle in. Check hard-to-reach areas that tend to collect more buildup.

For a periodic deeper cleaning, a mild soap and water solution can be used every 2-3 months. Mix a few drops of dish soap into warm water and use a tightly wrung cloth to gently wipe rattan. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that could scratch the finish.

Be sure to immediately dry any damp surfaces with a clean towel. Moisture left standing can encourage mold growth in rattan’s natural fibers. Proper regular cleaning will help keep rattan looking its best.

Apply Protective Sealants

Sealants create a protective barrier against minor marks and moisture damage. Look for indoor/outdoor sealants specifically made for rattan and wicker. Reapply 2-3 times per year to refresh the protective coating as it naturally wears off.

Sealants are an important part of maintaining rattan used inside. The natural fibers tend to soak up liquid spills which can leave rings or discoloration without a protective finish. Sealants provide a shield against minor spills and condensation that can collect on cool rattan, especially in humid climates.

Using a high-quality sealant made for rattan about every 4-6 months will help replenish the protective layer as it wears down from normal use. Apply a thin, even coat with a clean cloth or soft brush. Allow to fully dry before using the furniture again. Adding fresh sealant routinely will help rattan shed minor moisture and residue.

Fix Minor Scratches and Scuffs

Normal use can result in surface-level scratches and scuffs on rattan furniture. Use a small amount of oil-based filler stick in a close matching color to fill in minor blemishes. Gently buff sanded smooth once dry.

For light scuffs, marks, and scratches that don’t catch a fingernail, try using a scratch-repair marker first. Choose a color closely matching your rattan and gently blend the color into the blemish using a circular motion.

For more pronounced scratches or gouges, fill with a colored putty stick designed for rattan and wicker repairs. Press the putty firmly into the depression and let dry completely. Lightly sand flush with the surrounding surface. Avoid over-sanding, which can create a divot. Touch up with matching marker if needed.

Having repair supplies on-hand allows you to promptly fix minor cosmetic damage to keep your rattan looking its best.

Maintain Ideal Conditions

Keeping the humidity and temperature comfortable in your home is also important for indoor rattan’s health. The ideal conditions are 60-80°F and 45-55% humidity. Avoid drastic temperature swings that can dry out and damage rattan.

Rattan is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs and releases moisture easily. Low humidity causes the fibers to dry out and shrink, leading to splits and cracks. High humidity can encourage mold growth and cause stains.

Use a humidifier during dry winter months to keep humidity around 50%. In summer, turn on the AC to reduce stickiness. Keep spaces with rattan furniture around 70°F year-round. Keeping conditions stable and comfy for humans will also benefit indoor rattan.

Monitoring with a humidity gauge and thermostat allows you to maintain the optimal level of moisture and temperature for protecting rattan pieces.

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Keep Rattan Out of Direct Sunlight

Repeated sun exposure can negatively affect indoor rattan furniture over time. The ultraviolet rays can fade and discolor the material, while the heat can dry it out causing brittleness and splits.

Fading and Discoloration

Rattan contains lignin, the component that gives it its attractive tan color. However, lignin breaks down from UV exposure. This causes fading to a lighter, less rich color. Turning the rattan periodically can help the fading occur evenly.

Outdoor rattan is treated to resist UV rays, but indoor pieces are more vulnerable. Sunlight hitting rattan furniture placed near bright windows can slowly bleach the finish, creating light patches or splotchy discoloration.

To help prevent uneven fading, occasionally rotate the position of rattan furnishings in sun-drenched spaces so all sides receive equal light exposure. But keeping rattan completely out of direct sun is best to maintain its original coloring.

Drying Out

Sunlight and heat sources like windows and fireplaces remove moisture from rattan. This leads to shrinkage, cracking, and splintering if the material dries out too much. Keep rattan a minimum of 3 feet away from direct sunlight or heating elements.

The heat from sunlight or heating vents can bake moisture out of rattan, causing damage over time. Brittle strips of rattan may loosen and flake off, leaving behind splits in the material. Keeping indoor rattan out of areas with concentrated heat prevents the wicker from becoming parched and fragile.


Draw blinds, curtains, or use UV window film to filter sunlight hitting rattan furnishings. Arrange seating away from bright windows and rotate periodically to evenly distribute light exposure.

Install blackout curtains or shades to block sunlight streaming through windows. Sheer curtains alone will not adequately filter UV rays. For windows rattan frequently faces, apply a UV protection window film to help cut down on fading.

Also be mindful of room layouts. Position rattan seating out of the direct sun patches cast by large windows. Rotate the arrangement every few months so all sides get exposed evenly if unable to keep completely out of sunlight. Filtered light is better than direct sun shining on indoor rattan furnishings.

Avoid Physical Damage to Rattan

From everyday use to more serious incidents, rattan can be vulnerable to scuffs, scratches, and other physical damage when used indoors. Take steps to prevent contact that can mar the appearance or weaken the material over time.

Use Protective Pads and Covers

Use felt pads underneath any items placed on rattan surfaces. Tablecloths and cushions also create a barrier against possible scuffing, nicks, and indentations from daily use.

Felt furniture pads or coasters will help guard tabletops and other flat rattan surfaces against scratches from glasses, vases, pots, and more that are set on top. The soft pads cushion items and allow them to slide gently rather than scrape across the rattan finish.

For sofas, chairs and chaises, keep a set of cushions in place when not in use. This creates a protective buffer between people and the rattan when sitting or getting up from a piece.

Use soft tablecloths to cover the tops of dining tables, desks, side tables, or any rattan surface likely to come into direct contact with objects to avoid possible dings and abrasions during everyday use.

Handle With Care

When moving rattan pieces, lift properly at the base rather than dragging. Carry alone or with 2 people for larger items, and set down gently. This prevents unnecessary abrasions and stress points.

Rattan should always be lifted rather than pulled or dragged to prevent straining and loosening joints. For smaller pieces like stools and chairs, lift from the bottom frame or legs. For larger items, 2 people should share the weight by holding beneath the base on both sides.

When setting rattan furniture down, do so gently to avoid bumps and jarring that can lead to future cracking. Sudden bangs or blows during improper handling can also chip paint finishes, exposing the raw rattan underneath. Being cautious when moving rattan preserves the structural integrity.

Keep Out of High-Traffic Areas

Position rattan furniture away from spaces with frequent activity and contact. Entries, hallways, and play areas are common trouble spots. Opt for durable hardwood or metal furnishings in high-traffic zones instead.

The natural markings, ridges and delicate nature of rattan make it more prone to dinging and wear from heavy use. Keep rattan pieces out of spaces constantly in the crossfires like main passageways where they are liable to get bumped and knocked into.

For kids’ rooms or rec areas, choose sturdier sofa materials where active play is likely to happen. Reserve rattan for adult hangout areas away from roughhousing and traffic that can easily damage the finishes. Proper placement in lower activity rooms safeguards rattan furniture.

Protect from Pets and Kids

Pets’ claws and kids’ antics can be tough on delicate rattan. Train pets to avoid rattan pieces. For kids, restrict access to more fragile items and provide designated play zones for toys, games, and activities.

Pets should be discouraged from clawing, chewing, and jumping on rattan furniture that they can scratch or fray with their nails. Provide appealing scratching posts and toys to divert attention.

Small children also like to climb and play rough with furniture which can harm rattan. Limit access to rattan chairs and sofas by little ones. Place kid-friendly, durable pieces in their zones and keep rattan furnishings reserved just for adults, to prevent accidental damage during playtime.

Proper placement and handling is key for reducing the likelihood of dings, scratches, and other physical damage to indoor rattan pieces over time.

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Choose Durable Rattan Material

Rattan comes in many varieties when shopping for indoor furniture. Selecting a type made with weather-resistant and protective materials can help boost rattan’s durability indoors.

Natural vs. Synthetic Rattan

  • Natural – Made from real rattan “vine.” Offers inherent beauty but more prone to splintering.
  • Synthetic – Materials like resin wicker look like rattan but are more durable. Easier to clean and maintain.

Natural rattan has an unrivaled visual appeal, featuring intricate woven textures and patterns. But it also easily absorbs moisture, requires more maintenance, and can weaken and split over time when used indoors.

On the other hand, synthetic rattan made from resin, plastic, or vinyl offers enhanced durability. The man-made materials hold up better against humidity, spills, cleaning, and everyday handling with lower maintenance needs.

For indoor spaces, synthetic rattan’s resilience against wear-and-tear makes it a smart choice for greater protection and longevity.

Reinforced Rattan

Some wicker is also reinforced with materials for added durability:

  • Aluminum – Strengthens against fractures while retaining flexibility.
  • Steel – Heavier support against damage but can bend less over time.
  • Resin – Makes rattan more water-resistant and easier to clean.

Seeking out rattan reinforced with aluminum, steel, resin, or other materials results in a more rugged, break-resistant product. The reinforcements provide internal support against loosening joints and fractures that natural rattan is prone to over time when used indoors.

While the reinforced rattan loses some pliability compared to natural cane, the trade-off is worth it for enhanced protection. Aluminum or steel-wrapped cores resist splitting and warping better under continuous inside use.

Weather-Resistant Treatment

Seeking rattan made to withstand outdoor elements also makes it more lasting when used inside. Look for aluminum- or resin-reinforced wicker designed for all-weather use.

The best rattan for indoor settings will be labeled as suitable for outdoor use as well. The weatherproof treatment and construction helps strengthen it against indoor hazards like moisture, heat sources, and wear.

Rattan made for only indoor use lacks extra protection against the elements provided by all-weather rattan. Opting for outdoor-grade material even for inside gives you the most durable rattan furniture for long-lasting quality and enjoyment of the pieces.

Choosing the right rattan construction gives your indoor furniture resilience against potential indoor hazards.

How Can You Keep Indoor Rattan Furniture in Good Condition?

To summarize, the most effective ways to keep indoor rattan furniture in good condition include:

  • Following maintenance routines like regular light cleaning, using protective pads, and cautious handling to prevent physical damage.
  • Keeping rattan completely out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources to avoid fading and drying out.
  • Applying indoor/outdoor protective sealants 2-3 times per year.
  • Choosing synthetic, reinforced, or all-weather rattan constructions for enhanced durability.
  • Maintaining ideal indoor temperature and humidity year-round.

Implementing these simple care and prevention tips will help preserve rattan’s natural beauty while preventing common damage from use inside the home. Rattan can remain a wonderful interior design element for many years when given proper love and care.

So in a nutshell, by cleaning gently, sealing routinely, avoiding sun exposure, handling with care, and selecting reinforced rattan wicker designed for indoor use, you can keep your rattan furnishings in the best condition possible. Follow these recommendations for long-lasting enjoyment of this stylish, natural material.