I love using wicker baskets around the house. I think they always look great and are a really versatile storage solution. When I was offered this old wicker basket for free, of course, I snapped it up. Then it sat in our attic for months, as most of my projects do, waiting for its chance to shine!
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Orange Wicker Basket Anyone?
The colour of this wicker basket looks paler in the photos but in reality, it looked quite orange originally. It was also lopsided where the wicker had warped on one side at the bottom.
My first thought was that I could stain it to make it look older so off went I to the DIY store to see what I could find. Once there, a stand at the end of one of the aisles caught my eye which had lots of mini pots of chalk paint on it! That threw me then.......mini pots of chalk paint! How could I resist that?
Out of all the pretty colours of chalk paint on the stand, can you guess which colour I chose? OK, I promise I will try another colour on another project another day but for now, it was enough for me to try a new brand of chalk paint and yes, of course, my basket was going to be white!
Wicker Basket - Painting
Normally, I water my chalk paint down a little because it tends to be a bit thick. For this wicker basket though, I decided to use it straight out of the can. I used a small brush so that I could stipple the paint into all the nooks and crannies. I wasn't too fussy about making sure all the wicker was completely covered with paint. It was supposed to look rustic and I wanted the original colour to show through.
I gave the wicker basket one quick coat of paint, leaving an unpainted rim around the bottom. Once it was dry, I went over it again because some areas looked a little patchy where I hadn't painted enough.
Wicker Basket - Finishing
Now, I could have used poly to seal the chalk paint but I wanted to up the white a little so I brushed on a layer of white wax using one of my round wax brushes. Afterwards, I used a clean rag to take up all the excess wax paying special attention to the inside of the wicker basket.
Quick Tip: You can make your own white way by mixing white paint with clear wax. Read the post 'Riviera Maison Style Coffee Table Makeover' for details of how to do it. You can also sign up for my free e-book which gives you loads of tips and tricks for sourcing, painting and finishing furniture.
The very last thing I did was to use my glue gun to glue a piece of felt underneath on one side of the basket so that it no longer stood lopsided.
I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I have to say though, I think it was a mistake not to water the paint down at the beginning.
Chalk paint is quite thick and I usually take some paint out of the can to mix it with water before using. Also, I almost never paint straight from the can. I only did it on this project because I was using a mini pot and I thought it would be all used up on the basket but it wasn't. Actually, I only used about a third of the can.
It's like I always say, a little chalk paint goes a long way! That said, I loved the texture of the chalk paint and I'm dying to try out one of the pretty pastel colours on a piece of furniture.
Quick Flower Pot Revamp
Whilst I had all my painting equipment out, I decided to have a go at painting something else. I had a few flower pots in various colours which no longer matched my décor. A quick layer of chalk paint made them look as good as new and now I can use them anywhere in the house again.
It just goes to show, you don't always have to buy new just because the colour no longer matches your décor. Revamp candidates could include, lamp stands, lamp shades, vases, glass jars, bottles, picture frames or just paint some plant pots like I did here. These are also items you will usually see going dirt cheap at flea markets and closing down sales. Forget the colour, that can always be changed – as you can see!
Quick Tip: If you know you're going to be painting furniture or another big project, gather together any smaller items which could do with a revamp. There will usually be enough paint left over to paint these smaller items too.