Revive rattan garden furniture using this one ingredient you definitely have in your kitchen

Dry and brittle edges will be smooth in no time

rattan garden furniture
(Image credit: Cuckooland.com)

We are more than ready for spring, but chances are your old rattan garden furniture isn’t. Luckily, we've found a brilliant hack that uses a kitchen staple. Get ready to revive those long-neglected outdoor chairs for some springtime barbecue action - and you won't have to head out to the store.

Ryan Schwarze, garden furniture expert at Luxury Rattan, has shared a genius (and inexpensive) tip for treating tired-looking rattan surfaces: use olive oil. ‘If you have an old piece of rattan furniture that is looking worse for wear, I would recommend using a soft cloth and rubbing some olive oil onto the product,’ Ryan says. ‘This will reduce cracking and add shine to your rattan, making it look as good as new.’

rattan garden furniture

(Image credit: Cuckooland.com)

See also: Best garden furniture 2021: relax and entertain in style

Old and low-quality rattan can crack over time, particularly if exposed to the elements. This can also result in a loss of colour. Using a small amount of olive oil will add a layer of protection to your old rattan furniture. It can be tricky to clean rattan when there’s dirt in between the weaving and it’s hard to feel you’ve given it a really thorough clean. But oil is good at removing grime, while helping repair and condition the fibres.

With IKEA launching a ‘buy-back’ scheme and an increased awareness of sustainability when it comes to furniture, many are digging out their old rattan pieces. Rather than buying something brand new, more of us are trying our hand at upcycling instead. If, on the other hand, you have new and good quality rattan garden furniture, you probably won’t need to use olive oil at all. This method is most suitable for damaged or worn rattan.

See also: How to clean garden furniture

Pick a sunny day and ensure that the surface of the rattan has fully dried before using it - or putting it back in storage. If your whole garden is in need of a refresh, check out our guide on how to clean a patio and our list of the best pressure washers.

rattan garden furniture

(Image credit: Cuckooland.com)

It won't be long until you can get out in the garden in style. 

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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