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Article: How to Refurbish Bamboo Rattan Furniture Without Using Paint

How to Refurbish Bamboo Rattan Furniture Without Using Paint

Written by Henry Phan Update
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Feeling bored with your bamboo rattan furniture? Want to give it a fresh look without hiding its natural beauty under paint? Rowabi is here to help!

We'll guide you through refurbishing your bamboo rattan furniture, focusing on techniques that highlight the best features of these materials. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to make your furniture beautiful again while preserving its natural charm.

Get ready to transform your bamboo rattan pieces into stunning, refreshed focal points in your home. With Rowabi's expert tips, you'll fall in love with your furniture all over again. Let's get started on this exciting project together!

Project estimation

  • Cost: $67–$240 (including cleaning supplies, repair materials, finishing supplies, and tools)
  • Total estimated time: 6–13 hours (including drying time)
  • Skill level: Intermediate (requires basic DIY skills and familiarity with tools and materials)

ready to give your furniture a makeover and restore its beauty
So, are you ready to refurbish your furniture piece and make it beautiful again?. Source: Dengarden (1)

Materials needed for refinishing bamboo rattan furniture

Before we go through the process of refinishing your bamboo rattan furniture, it's essential to gather all the necessary materials. Having everything ready will ensure a smooth and efficient refurbishing project. Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • Varnish stripper: Utilize this product to effectively remove existing varnish or finish from furniture surfaces, ensuring a thorough refinishing process.
  • Plastic drop cloth: Shield your work area from spills or drips during refinishing with a protective plastic drop cloth.
  • Sandpaper (220 Grit): Smooth furniture surfaces and eliminate imperfections or old finish residue using 220 grit sandpaper.
  • Felt pads: Protect your floor when moving or placing furniture post-refinishing with these pads.
  • Rags or old socks: Essential for applying varnish stripper, wiping off excess, and applying wood oil during the refinishing process.
  • Wire brush: Use this tool to remove stubborn debris or old finish from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Putty knife or sprayer: Apply varnish stripper evenly and scrape off old finish or residue using these tools.
  • Scrub pad: Thoroughly clean furniture surfaces before refinishing with the help of a scrub pad.
  • Wood Oil (e.g., Teak Oil or Tung Oil): Nourish and protect bamboo rattan furniture with wood oil, enhancing its natural beauty and prolonging its lifespan.

Steps to restore bamboo rattan

Ready to give your bamboo rattan furniture a stunning makeover? Follow these simple steps for a delightful and effective transformation:

Apply a varnish stripper

Apply varnish stripper to gently remove the old finish, ensuring even coverage. This essential step dissolves the old varnish, making it a breeze to remove and prepare the surface for a beautiful new look.

varnish stripper effectively removes stubborn stains from rattan
A coat of varnish stripper will help remove any remaining stains on your rattan furniture piece. Source: Hello home, girl! (2)

Wipe the furniture

Wipe away residue with a clean, soft cloth. Take extra care with intricate weaves, chair legs, armrests, and other detailed areas for a thorough and satisfying clean.

Clean the crevices

Bamboo rattan furniture often has many crevices where dirt and old finish accumulate, making thorough cleaning essential for restoration.

  • Gently scrub away stubborn residue with a wire brush, taking care to protect the delicate fibers.
  • Use a scrub pad to reach smaller areas for a deeper clean without any harshness.
  • For tough spots, use a putty knife to carefully scrape out old finish and dirt, revealing the beauty underneath.

use small brushes for tight spots during cleaning
Use small brushes to clean the tightest areas. Source: Curtain Clean (3)

Sand smooth

Once your furniture is clean and free of the old finish, smooth the surfaces with fine-grit sandpaper for excellent adhesion and a delightfully pleasant texture.

Make repairs

Before proceeding, inspect the furniture for any damage or loose parts accumulated over time. Fix joints or cracks with wood glue, allowing ample drying time for a strong bond. For larger issues, use wood filler or epoxy specifically designed for bamboo and rattan, ensuring a seamless and long-lasting repair.

examining and fixing damaged bamboo or rattan strands is vital for furniture durability
Inspecting and repairing any broken bamboo or rattan strands is essential to ensuring the longevity of the furniture. Source: RattanYard Furniture (4)

Apply the new finish

Now for the exciting part—applying a new finish that perfectly suits your style! You have a delightful array of options: a glossy clear varnish for a sleek and shiny look, a natural oil for a warm and inviting feel, or a soft, matte wax for a subtle and sophisticated touch. Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions for any specific recommendations or precautions.

Using a high-quality brush, lint-free cloth, or sponge, apply the first coat evenly, working it into the intricate weave of the rattan for complete coverage. Allow each coat to dry completely, following the recommended drying time specified by the manufacturer. This will ensure a flawless and long-lasting finish.

For an extra smooth and polished look, lightly sand the surface between coats with fine-grit sandpaper. This will create the perfect canvas for the next layer of finish. Apply 2-3 coats for varnish and wax, and 1-2 coats for oil, depending on your desired level of protection and sheen.

apply finishing coats to bring back the shine
Apply finishing coats as needed to restore the shine to your rattan furniture. Source: GreenLivingLife (5)

Allow your newly restored bamboo rattan furniture to cure completely before use, which can take several days to a week. Once fully cured, your bamboo rattan pieces will be gloriously restored and ready to enjoy for years to come, adding a touch of natural elegance and charm to your home!

Read more:

Adding oil to woven rattan to preserve beauty and longevity

Woven rattan furniture has a stunning natural appeal; however, prolonged exposure to sunlight and dry air can lead to fading and weakening of the fibers.

That's why regular oiling is crucial to keeping your rattan pieces looking beautiful and lasting longer. Here's how you should prepare and do it:

adding oil enhances glossiness and weather resistance protecting against mold
Adding oil will make the furniture piece look glossy and healthy, as well as improve its resistance to weather and mold. Source: Wicker Works (6)

What you'll need

  • Rattan furniture
  • Clean cloth
  • Rattan-safe oil (like linseed oil or tung oil)
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Gloves (optional)


Clean the rattan: Start by wiping down your furniture with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust and dirt, ensuring it's fresh and ready for rejuvenation. Make sure the rattan is completely dry before moving on to the exciting oiling step!

Choose the perfect oil: Select a natural oil that's just right for your rattan, such as linseed or tung oil. These oils are amazing at penetrating the fibers, nourishing them deeply without leaving any residue behind.

Apply the oil: Using a clean cloth or brush, generously apply the oil, making sure to cover all surfaces of the rattan evenly. This will provide maximum protection and give your furniture a stunning, refreshed look.

Work in sections: For larger pieces, focus on one section at a time to ensure thorough coverage and attention to detail. This way, you can make sure every inch of your rattan is pampered and cared for.

Let the oil absorb: Allow the oil to penetrate the rattan for 15–30 minutes, giving it time to moisturize and rejuvenate the fibers, bringing them back to life.

Wipe off excess: After the absorption period, use a clean cloth to gently wipe off any excess oil, ensuring a smooth, non-sticky finish that showcases the natural beauty of your rattan.

Repeat if needed: For heavily used or very dry rattan, consider applying multiple coats of oil, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This extra care will make your furniture feel truly cherished!

Let it dry: Leave your furniture to dry in a well-ventilated area for several hours or overnight, allowing the oil to cure properly and avoid trapping moisture, ensuring a long-lasting, beautiful result.

Buff for a stunning shine: Optionally, gently buff the rattan with a soft cloth to enhance its natural sheen and smoothness.

Keep the love going: Maintain your rattan's beauty by reapplying oil every 6 to 12 months, protecting it from wear and tear and extending its lifespan. This simple act of love will keep your furniture looking its best for years to come!

Get to know Rowabi, the greatest hub for rattan pendant lights and rattan decorations

Rowabi is a family-owned business based in Houston, Texas, with nearly five years of experience in the industry. We specialize in providing exceptional rattan pendant lights and decorations that are both unique and of top-notch quality, suitable for various settings.

Recently, Rowabi expanded our offerings with a modern pendant light collection, aiming to reach more customers while staying true to our commitment: delivering what customers truly deserve.

Our products create cozy and warm lighting atmospheres in homes, fostering a sense of connection and contributing to family bonding. Additionally, Rowabi offers affordable lighting solutions and dedicated consultations to businesses, ensuring they get the best lighting options tailored to their needs.

FAQs: How to refurbish bamboo rattan furniture without using paint

How to remove varnish from rattan furniture?

  • Restore your rattan furniture to its natural beauty! Brush on a commercial varnish remover, let it sit, then gently scrape off the softened varnish with a plastic scraper or old toothbrush.
  • Wipe down with mineral spirits for a clean, refreshed look that showcases the charm of your beloved furniture.

What is the best oil for rattan furniture?

  • Nourish and protect your rattan furniture with linseed, tung, or teak oil. These oils penetrate deeply, providing lasting moisture without any sticky residue. Your furniture will glow with a beautiful, natural finish that lasts for years, thanks to your loving care.

How to put rattan on furniture?

  • Create a stunning rattan masterpiece! Soak the strands to increase pliability, then weave them tightly onto the frame in your desired pattern. Trim excess ends for a neat, professional finish that will make your furniture the star of any room.

Can you stain rattan?

  • Yes, you can transform untreated rattan! Sand the surface smooth, then apply wood stain evenly with a brush or cloth.
  • Wipe off excess stain before it dries, and watch as your rattan comes to life with rich, inviting warmth and character.

How to strip wicker furniture?

  • Give your wicker furniture a fresh start! Apply stripping gel to soften the old finish, then gently scrape it away with a plastic scraper or old toothbrush.
  • Wipe clean with mineral spirits for a rejuvenated look that reveals the natural beauty of your cherished wicker pieces.


In conclusion, refurbishing bamboo rattan furniture without using paint is actually pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.

Just remember, after you've given it a makeover, keep taking good care of it to make it last longer. Good luck with your refurbishing project!


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