The natural appearance of wicker furniture fits in well with many design concepts, but if you want your wicker to look distressed or aged, whitewashing is the way to go. Whitewashing involves the application of paint that is thinned with water, or a pickling stain. The result is a slightly white finish with some of the natural finish showing through. This type of finish fits in well with French-country, coastal and shabby-chic design concepts. Wicker is a material that works well both inside and outside of the home.
Scrub the wicker with soapy water and a stiff scrub brush to dislodge dirt and debris. Rinse with water and allow it to dry.
Place the wicker on a drop cloth to protect the surrounding floor.
Smooth any rough areas with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe away excess dust with a tack cloth.
Ventilate the area. Mix equal parts of white latex paint and water to create a whitewash, or use a white pickling stain.
Apply the whitewash to the wicker in small areas, wait one to two minutes, then wipe away excess whitewash with a rag. Continue the process until the wicker is completely covered in the whitewash solution.
Touch up any areas that did not absorb the wash to your satisfaction; allow the wicker to dry completely.
Turn over the wicker and spray the bottom portion with a coat of polyurethane to protect the finish. Let it dry. Turn the wicker right-side up and spray the top portion of the wicker with polyurethane. Let it dry. Repeat these steps for the second and third coat of polyurethane.