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Wrap Artist — Wicker Rehab Part 2

So, when we last joined in Amy’s adventure, she had stripped the worn rattan from a patio set, taped off the newly exposed bamboo and spray-painted the rest of the wicker a rich espresso brown… This is after 3 coats

But there was still a little work to do…

Because some of the rattan I’d unwrapped was of the load-bearing-or-at-least-load-stabilizing variety, I needed to replace it with something similar. So people don’t, you know, fall flat on their keesters when they try to sit down.

I chose rope.

Yes, rope.

(Trust me, it’s gonna look so much better than you think it will.)

I started by wrapping the rope around the cross bars on the bottom of each chair & the table…

I tied the bars together, making sure to leave myself a little extra rope on the end. Then I wrapped in a criss-cross pattern, looping the rope around each individual bar as I went.

And because I wanted to make sure that these load-bearing bars were really secure, I hit each knot with a little Gorilla Glue:

Tip: Gorilla glue expands to at least 3x its original size. A little goes a looooong way.

I chose to use original Gorilla Glue to secure the load-bearing spots, because:

a) I want to know they’ll stay put

b) They don’t show

So when this happens…

It’s a good thing!

But for the areas that will show — like the decorative detail I added to make the load-bearing rope less sore-thumby — I used “super” glue. (I still went with the Gorilla brand… because I like it.)

The fun part about decorative detail is that YOU get to make ALL the decisions!!

I chose to wrap the feet of the table/chairs because there was some obvious splintering…

To do so, I measured off a length of rope that was long enough to wrap around the foot of the chair 4 times (my choice!), then used that section of rope as a template to cut 15 more of the same length.

That way, all of my rope sections were the same & I wouldn’t have trouble creating a consistent look on all of the chair/table legs.

But before I applied the decorative rope sections, I sanded all the legs with 220-grit sandpaper. (This helps to rough up the surface, so the glue will adhere better.) Then I wiped them down with a clean rag to remove any sawdust.

IMPORTANT: At this juncture, I tore off & set aside a few generous lengths of low-tack painter’s tape so they’d be at the ready when I needed them — because the next couple of steps of this process take both hands & go kinda quickly…

Step 1: I applied super glue to both sides of the legs as far up as I wanted the rope to go.

Step 2: I carefully wrapped the rope around the glue-y section of chair leg, pressing down on the rope to ensure that as much of it was in contact with the glue as possible I also made sure that my start & end points were both behind the leg so they weren’t as obvious.

Step 3:  I grabbed one of the pre-ripped-tape strips and wrapped it around the outside of the rope to hold everything in place while the glue dried.

Tip: To get super glue off your fingertips, use a little 220-grit sandpaper. It works & actually feels kinda nice — like a facial scrub for grimy DIY hands.

I also added a little decorative rope trim to the inside lip of the table…

I made sure to run the rope UNDERNEATH the original tack nails that hold the table-top glass in place.

Besides adding a custom-look & continuing the rope detail up to the surface of the piece, it also provides a second line of defense against the glass slipping past the tack nails & falling through the tabletop.

So now, we can offer our guests a little more “Set a spell…” & a little less “Ack! Don’t lean on the glass!!” Which is nice.

Once all of my decorative rope was in place, I let the glue dry overnight, then removed the tape & trimmed back the loose ends. (I just used good, sharp utility scissors.)

Then, I ran some low-grit sandpaper over whatever bamboo was still exposed, wiped it down with a clean rag & applied a thin coat of Golden Oak sealing stain to give the bamboo a nice shine.

Once that had dried — I gave it half a day — I added a second coat, this time using Dark Walnut stain & a “stippling” brush technique. (Stippling is essentially dabbing…)

The two stain gives the bamboo some dimension & makes it look like much higher-quality wood than it actually is.

I also brushed a little of the Dark Walnut stain onto the rope to take its look from “hardware store” to “decorator outlet.”

I was a little concerned that the stain would compromise the adhesive properties of the glue — in other words, that the rope would come unstuck — but I figured I’d give it a try nonetheless. Knock wood, it’s holding fine…

Then I let all of the stain dry overnight (See why this makeover took so long? Not difficult, just a lot of drying time.) & hit the entire piece with clear acrylic sealer.

When that was dry, I cleaned & replaced the glass with a little help from Dan, Dan the glass-replacin’-man and…

Viola!!! (Finally.)

Our “new” wicker furniture!!!!

We couldn’t be happier with it.

It’s updated-looking, but still has unique touches, so it doesn’t look just like everyone else’s.

It’s as sturdy as it was before the makeover & blends SO nicely with the rest of our porch.

The color is so much less shouty than the white was.

We especially like the rope trim detail inside the tabletop…

… and how well the table & chairs coordinate with our recently rehabbed wicker shelves

As far as cost… I don’t keep receipts. I HATE math. But I can tell you that I used 8 cans of spray paint at $5 each; 2 bags of rope at $8 each; one bottle of Gorilla Super Glue at $5; and two small cans of stain (with plenty left over) at $5 each.

I also used a few general DIY supplies that I always have around the house, like a $1 “throw away” paintbrush (stain ruins brushes — don’t use your good brush); some painter’s tape; sandpaper, a drop cloth & a safety mask.

So, how much is that? About $75? More or less? Yeah, that sounds right.

And considering that buying a new, comparable set would run us about $600…

we think I done good.

These images are from the Pier One website. They are of the Azteca Coffee Table (left) and Coco Cove outdoor wicker chair (right).

They’re both great collections. Check them out at

Of course, ours doesn’t look exactly like this season’s hottest, but for $525 less? We think it comes pretty darn close!

Let’s take another gander, ’cause she’s just so darn purdy!!!


Thanks again, MIL!


We here at Rental House Rules would like to thank the good people at Pier One for the use of their online images. Pier One did not solicit our recommendation, nor did Pier One pay or compensate us in any way.

Editor’s Note: Sorry about the inconsistent look of the espresso paint color in some of the reveal photos. Some of them were taken in the morning, some in the afternoon. In real life, under most conditions, it’s a rich, dark brown. (Like an espresso bean.)


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4 thoughts on “Wrap Artist — Wicker Rehab Part 2

  1. Jae. on said:

    How much of the rope did you use? Did you use both bags? I would like to do the same thing but wrap the full leg portion (no staining, legs only)… Just wondering how much rope I should purchase.

    • Thanks for your comment! I only used about half of one 50 ft bag. It was 3/8 inch thick Manilla rope. Hope that helps! Also, the Gorilla glue worked and held up great — but if I had it to do over, I would use some clear epoxy of some kind on the cut ends of the rope so it wouldn’t fray.
      Hope that helps — good luck with your project! (I’d love to see pics!)

      • Jae. on said:

        I purchased 1/4″ rope (that’s what it showed in your picture) and will send a pic once the project is done! I’m painting the chairs bright colors so I think the natural rope legs will be nice. Thanks for the clear epoxy tip!

      • Oops! Looking back, I guess it was 1/4 inch! Looking forward to your pics 🙂

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