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topic 39975

Painting polyethylene resin imitation "wicker" furniture?

A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2018


Q. I am a homeowner getting my patio ready for spring. I have some real wicker furniture and want to buy some new wicker pieces to match. Just about all the wicker I can find at any reasonable price is made of polyethylene resin, but none of it matches the color of my real wicker pieces, which are painted white.

So, if I buy, say, a tan polyethylene resin "wicker" chair, what kind of paint do I use to paint it white. Everything I've been able to find on the internet says that paint will not bond to this stuff. I find that hard to believe.

Can anyone help?

Glen Andheim
Home Owner - Saint George, Utah


A. Krylon Fusion [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] is specially made for painting plastic. I think there is a reasonable chance it will work "good enough" for this application, but you are reading correctly that polyethylene is extremely difficult to paint, and it will certainly prove impossible to use sandpaper on wicker-like weavings.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. What you've been reading is correct. The only satisfactory solutions are to either find polyethylene which matches, or to repaint your wicker to match the poly. Any paint which you put over the poly will soon begin to flake off and you'll have a mess.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina


thumbs up signThanks, Jeff. I didn't think of painting the real wicker to match the poly 'wicker' and you are probably right that that is a better idea.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 20, 2009

Q. I have 3 resin decorative molds under my granite bar that need to be painted.
Any suggestions on how and what kind of paint to use on them?
Thank You

Debra Jones
homeowner - Beaumont, Texas

March 19, 2011

Q. I have a set of wicker furniture that needs repainting. I would like to find a polyresin spray to paint it with. Is there such a product? If so, where could I find it?

Debra White
hobbyist - Brookhaven, Mississippi

Resin Spray

March 21, 2011

A. Hi, Debra. I am assuming that this is real wicker rather than plastic, and that you want to put something on it that is "better" than regular spray paint -- perhaps to try to make it more water resistant? Yes resin sprays do exist =>

. . . but I can't personally attest to them making for a waterproof finish. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 5, 2013

Q. I have painted the white vinyl and it remains sticky what can I do?

Jolene Scavone
- West Bloomfield, Michigan

June 6, 2013

A. Hi Jolene. Leave it in the sun and hope for the best. Do you know what you painted it with?


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 18, 2015

Q. I have a resin wicker coffee table that I would like to paint a darker color to match my existing patio furniture. The top is glass and the base is resin wicker in a lighter hard is this to do and will I have a problem with it peeling?

Sharon Wilder
- Clarkston, Michigan

May 22, 2015

A. Something to remember when painting resin or plastic wicker. Give them a GOOD scrubbing with 2 parts ammonia /1 part water. Use a brush, rinse and allow to dry completely before painting. You'll stand a better chance of the paint adhering properly.

Toby Corn
- Dahlonega, Georgia

June 14, 2015

Q. I too, have polyresin wicker furniture. It looks moldy, and I would paint it a chocolate brown. What do I need to do so furniture is not sticky and paint will not flack off?

M valentin
- Oceanside, California

How do I paint on plastic mesh

November 6, 2016

Q. I have gotten a sparse weave done for the front of my cabinets. The weave is part of the cabinet doors and I will be putting a dark glass backing behind the weave. The material of the weave is synthetic (plastic) and it is completely white. I want to color it darker so that it matches the dark wood look of my cabinets. The workers here are saying that the paint will not stick properly and will come off with time.

39975-1a 39975-1b

Any advice on how it can be done?

Thank you in advance.

Ady K
Buyer - Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Vinyl Dye

November 2016

A. Hi Ady. There are thousands of very different plastics and you probably don't know what this plastic is. I would get some spare weave from the maker and try a couple of things. First would be a vinyl dye, a second would be Krylon Fusion [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] . You can also experiment with the prep sequences people have suggested on this page. This is not a consulting service, it's a public forum -- so please get back to us with what worked. Thanks :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

November 12, 2016

thumbs up signThank you for your response Ted. I had some luck by first using a plastic primer for automobiles. Thanks again.


Ady Ka [returning]
- Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Outdoor Resin Furniture Refreshing

July 2, 2018

Q. Hi,
I've got a resin outdoor set and the top edges of the furniture has faded. The only parts of the furniture that need refinishing are the top edges. I know I can re-paint it but my set has the look of color variations (dark brown and black) in the resin strands and a paint would change that look into a solid color, which I do not want. Do you have any recommendations for restoring the top edges so they once again match the rest of the furniture?
Thank you.

Robin Blackley
Homeowner - Southampton, New York, USA

July 2018

Vinyl Dye

A. Hi Robin. Please wet those top edges with water and tell us what you think of them when wet. If they look better, no promises, but maybe a clearcoat like Everbrite [a supporting advertiser] might help; oftentimes dull aluminum siding can be fixed this way, making it look like it does when wet -- the water or the clearcoat makes the surface smooth again and the smoothness restores the lustre.

There are vinyl dyes for automobile upholstery that you might try if you can find one that is close in color. Let us know what results you get.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

July 7, 2018

Q. Hi Ted,
Thank you for the idea about wetting the resin … I would have not thought about that. I tried it and there was no residual brown that came out; it still looked bleached out.
You had mentioned a vinyl dye for automobile upholstery...can I get that in a regular automotive store or would I have to special order it? Do you have any manufacturers that you would recommend?
Do you think the Everbrite would work on rattan (I have bucket rattan chairs that I also need to be refinish) or is it just for metal?
Thanks Again...Robin

Robin Blackley [returning]
- Southampton, New York, USA

July 2018

A. Hi again. I believe Everbrite is primarily for metal, but I think it would stick well enough to rattan. You can call the manufacturer and ask them; they're very friendly. But if water did not restore the luster, neither will a clearcoat.

Sorry, I have no idea which, if any, vinyl dyes the different automotive stores stock; you can visit a large one to see, or you can order it online. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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