Can Rattan Furniture Get Wet?

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Rattan furniture is made from a vine known as rattan and is native to Australia, Asia, and Africa. You can make various indoor and outdoor furniture out of rattan, and they are usually solid and durable. However, is rattan furniture strong enough to get wet without damage?

Furniture made with natural rattan is not waterproof, meaning moisture can destroy the material if it gets wet. Garden furniture made from natural rattan could cause mold and mildew growth if it gets wet. However, synthetic rattans made of plastic are less susceptible to water and can withstand any weather.

In this article, you’ll find out what happens if rattan furniture gets wet and how to prevent that from happening. You’d also discover how to fix a piece of wet furniture and figure out the type of rattan you need for your garden.

What Happens If a Rattan Gets Wet?


Rattan furniture is made from dried woven strips of plant fibers. When exposed to water for an extended period, the rattan will start to rot. Water could cause distortion or breakage of the furniture when subjected to pressure.

Mold is a fungus that grows on damp surfaces. You may begin to see them growing on your furniture, which can ruin the look. Some people don’t realize that their furniture has grown mold until after it starts rotting.

If there are metal components on your furniture, it could also be a problem for your rattan furniture. Rusting occurs when iron-based chemicals react with oxygen and water. As rust forms, it can cause your furniture to lose its luster and become discolored.

There are ways to keep your furniture dried even though they are out in the yard. These methods include waterproofing, painting, covering, etc.

How Do I Protect Rattan Furniture From Getting Wet?

Weatherproofing rattan furniture prevents water damage, mold, and mildew growth. There’re several techniques to weatherproof furniture, and you could decide to cover them whenever it looks like it’s going to rain. However, if you don’t have much time to weatherproof and need a quick fix, protecting your furniture is a great option.

If you choose to cover your rattan, ensure your cover fits your furniture and is free of rips and tears. An adequately fitted furniture cover should reach the legs’ very bottom to keep water out. Also, measure your furniture before buying a cover to ensure the right fit.

Weatherproofing rattan furniture with tung oil is also a great alternative. While it’s effective, it can be very demanding and time-consuming. First, clean the furniture with dish soap and water to use tung oil, then apply the oil evenly with a soft cloth.

You may want to apply it every year before putting out the furniture for the season. The disadvantage of using tung oil is that it doesn’t protect against prolonged periods of heavy rain. If you live in a rainy climate, you may want to cover your furniture as well.

Lastly, you want to consider painting rattan furniture. Painting adds a layer of weather resistance to the wood. Apply two coats of varnish over the paint for further protection.

However, if you don’t want to paint your furniture, varnish it three times. Marine varnish is ideal for rattan furniture; unless it rains heavily for a long time, the varnish will keep moisture out. Nonetheless, varnish has to be reapplied every few years to stay effective.

How Can I Fix Wet Rattan Furniture?

First, you need to absorb all the water from your furniture. Putting absorbent towels on the rattan will help haul moisture to the towels.

Press softly and evenly to avoid distorting the rattan’s form and keeping it misshapen. Continue until you’ve absorbed all the water in the furniture.

Furthermore, use a low-heat hair dryer gently over the rattan furniture to dry damp spots. Move the hairdryer every five or ten seconds to avoid brittle rattan strands. Set the rattan outside in dry weather for at least a day or two.

If you can’t air the rattan outside, place it close to a dry area with a ceiling or portable fan on but not directly on it. The air movement will help the object dry faster than without a fan. If a rattan chair is moist, the seat may droop and melt.

If the chair is constructed of cane or natural materials, flip it over and spread a moist towel over the entire drooping region. Let the fabric dry for 12 hours; if the sag persists, repeat the technique. Allow the chair to dry for several days before utilizing it.

Keeping your furniture in moist settings without enough air circulation can cause a musty odor, indicating mold or mildew. Mold and mildew spots can be removed using a combination of bleach and water brushed with a soft-bristled brush. Alternatively, you can use a towel soaked in clean water to wipe off the entire item.

Avoid soaking the rattan in water when washing to avoid repeating the issue. Remove the cushions and wash the coverings as directed.

Clean the furniture with a dry towel immediately after wash. If eradicating the damper is difficult, place inner foam pads that have started to smell and mold outside to dry properly.

Do I Need a Natural or Synthetic Garden Set?

Rattan garden sets come in various forms and styles, including natural and synthetic rattan. The most significant variation between the sets is the materials used. Synthetic rattan garden sets employ polyester and resin instead of natural rattan vines.

Natural and synthetic rattan garden furniture comes in many styles, and they look good with varying patterns and forms. However, most people prefer natural to synthetic because of its unique beauty. The weave and quality of the fabric used in the sets contribute to their attractiveness.

Natural rattan is robust and durable but not weatherproof. They can survive longer if kept indoors and tended to adequately. Synthetic rattan garden furniture is primarily plastic, which makes most setups weatherproof.

Whether synthetic or natural, rattan garden furniture is pleasant to sit on. Both sets also include cushions for added comfort. How comfortable your rattan garden set would be is determined by the size and weaves quality.

Keeping rattan furniture clean involves continuous washing with a small quantity of mild soap water. Because synthetic rattan is weather-resistant, it is easy to maintain. However, safeguard your natural rattan garden set if you plan to have it for a more extended period.

Synthetic rattan furniture is often perceived to be cheaper than genuine rattan, but that’s not true. The price difference between natural and artificial rattan garden furniture is relatively the same. Pricing varies depending on the quality of materials used to create the garden sets.

A waterproof synthetic rattan, metal, or resin set is suitable for a humid climate like a garden room with plenty of plants. Natural rattan furniture is best used indoors or under garden canopies.


Choosing between natural and synthetic garden sets can be a challenge. Rattan garden furniture has a very upscale, sophisticated appearance. They come in a variety of styles and patterns.

Your ultimate rattan garden set choice will be entirely subjective. Both natural and synthetic garden sets are sturdy and elegant. Synthetic rattan garden sets are an excellent alternative if you want something lovely without the inconvenience of additional weather protection.

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