10 Steps to Fix a Missing or Damaged Wicker Furniture Reed

10 Steps to Fix a Missing or Damaged Wicker Furniture Reed


You are likely to be pleasantly surprised when you have to fix furniture made of wicker that has had its wicker reeds damaged or missing. It is difficult to find someone willing and able to assist you. If you’re dealing with serious damage, the cost of repair will likely be prohibitive. In certain instances, you may find that repairs may cost more than the value of your furniture. If this is the case, you may want to look into fixing it yourself.

If the piece of furniture is from a matching set or just one you really like, you will most likely decide to repair instead of replacing it. In these instances, it is a good idea to fix the problem yourself, and prevent the broken piece from going to waste. It’s a bit tedious but worth while and definitely doable.

The accompanying images of this article show the repair of a wicker love seat which was damaged by a dog that chewed the Reed. The size and color of reed matching wasn’t possible. So, we used the closest reed that was matched could find. The customer was very pleased as we were able save her furniture that was part of a set that was no more available.

Tools you might need:

  • Conventional Pliers
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • You can wire with the same quality as a Paper Clip

Replacing damaged or missing pieces of wicker furniture reed

It sounds difficult to repair wicker furniture, and it is. This lesson is focused on replacing broken or damaged reeds that are woven in one direction. It is not meant for intricate woven sections. Small repairs are easy and the process can be a very rewarding experience. Once you have a feel of it, it’s not any problem at all. It will require some time.

10 Steps to Replace a Missing or damaged Reed

1. How to Identify Damaged Reeds

The first thing you need to determine is the damage you’re trying to repair and determine whether re-weaving can do a satisfactory job. It is easy to assess the damage to the wicker weave reed and determine how much of the damaged or missing reed. It is important to know what repairs are required.

2. Identify the Reed Material: Size, Shape, and Color (Resin or natural)

You will need to determine the type of material that you require, as well in the dimensions and color of your Reed. Wicker can be manufactured using natural or synthetic resin materials. The shape and design of the reed as well as the colors can vary depending on the type of resin you’re using. natural or synthetic resin materials.

3. Get a Sample of Reed If you can

In order to acquire the right replacement reed you might need to take samples of the damaged reed, or from a piece of reed that has excess material sticking out of an unnoticed spot beneath the furniture. If you can acquire a sample you can show the vendor, you have greater chance of getting the right replacement or one that is close enough to live with.

4. Determine the amount of Reed needed

You’ll need to estimate the length (length) of each piece of reed you are required to repairs. You should estimate the amount and then add some. When you make your purchase, remember, having left over is a great idea. Keep some spare reeds on to hand in case you require them. It’s an inexpensive insurance policy should you need to do repairs in the future.

5. New Reeds are available from Wicker Dealers

The first stop to purchase a replacement reed is from the store where you bought the furniture, in an attempt to get the exact reed. If this doesn’t work to work, you can call a wicker dealer to obtain repair supplies. Resin reeds can be difficult to locate due to the many vendors offering different sizes, colors and types. Natural wicker is simple to locate. It is not all reed will be capable of being replaced in a exact manner and you may have to choose a different size or color. We have found that war wounds add a little personality to furniture.

6. Pay Attention to the Weave Pattern

Before starting making your plans, ensure you have studied the weave pattern. Once you remove the damaged reed, it is possible that you will not recognize the pattern you will need to duplicate when you wave the new reed back in. It is important to look at it and learn how to weave the new reed in. It is helpful to consider the opposite part of your furniture (Example left arm v.s. right arm.) Take a look at the area that is free of damage or missing reeds to check the appearance. A clear image might aid in this.

7. Removal of damaged Reed

Cut and remove the damaged reed by using wire cutters or similar tool. Back out the end of the remaining reed so that the end is pointed downwards towards the floor. Leave at least 1-2 inches of the reed that was originally tucked beneath the surface. To hold a piece reed , it is important to keep it in the right place. the more you weave it the better it holds. Therefore, if you’re able remove enough of the original reed to ensure that you can weave back between cross members at minimum around four or seven times.

You can go further if you like. In areas with small spaces, you may be forced to use a quick weave over and under 2-3 cross members. In those cases you may have accept it being slightly loose as you weave the new piece in. But its perfectly acceptable as you ensure that the woven piece isn’t ripped out.

8. Use a wire tool to help pull the Reed back up

When you prepare to weave the new reed into place, you will need a tool to assist you in performing the weave. The reed is woven between and beneath the cross-member. You won’t be able to drag the reed back up to the surface without using a wire tool to hook and pull up the reed. Make a wire tool out of a paperclip, or another similar-sized wire.

When you place the cane over a crossmember, grab the wire with your fingertips and pull it up from beneath the cross member. To create a hook, bend one end of the wire so that it is able to grasp the reed. You might have to experiment with it a little until it functions according to how you want it to. The hook should be straight as it pulls the cane through the laterals. Bend the other end until your finger can pull the tool up.

9. Cut and Weave the New Reed into place (Tuck in ends where necessary)

Reeds are usually new in lengths that exceed 36 inches. It will typically be more than what you need to fix a single reed piece. Utilize all the length of reed when you are weaving, and then cut off the excess after you’re done. This will help ensure that you do not waste the money you’ve spent. It is possible to reduce lengths that are more manageable when waste isn’t an issue. The wire tool that you designed will help in securing the reed. You can hold the end of your reed below the surface by using the hook on the end. This will enable you to pull the pattern together.

Note: To make natural wicker reed reeds that are flexible enough to bend before weaving, it should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes.

10. Stain and Seal Natural Wicker

If you’re repairing a natural wicker product it is necessary to stain or paint it to match the finish. After staining, but not painting, you should seal the stained reed by using clear acrylic paint. If your wicker hasn’t been treated or natural, you don’t need to seal it. It is possible to visit your local hardware store to purchase the smallest amount of stain you can find. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer when staining. Buy a can of clear coat for acrylic and paint the affected area to seal it. If you want, you can use the can to seal the entire area.

If you have to cover the damage with paint, you can do just the area that has been repaired or do the whole thing to ensure that the finish is even. For more details, check out our tips for Painting Wicker Furniture and Painting Wicker Furniture Articles.

It is important to keep in mind two things:

It is necessary to have more length than the linear distance that runs between the start and end of your weaving since the weaving process uses more reed than you otherwise expect.

You must leave at the very least 2 inches extra at each end of your new reed to keep it from pulling away.