Painting bamboo furniture and rattan furniture is a snap when you use a paint sprayer. With these techniques for prepping, priming and spray painting secondhand bamboo and rattan furniture, you’ll be able to create stunning on-trend decor for your home.
So I was really tickled to find a gorgeous, vintage bamboo plant stand for $12 at the thrift store. It was in rough shape, with lots of chipping paint, but I knew I could fix that.
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I used my Wagner FLEXiO 4000 sprayer, one of my favorite DIY tools ever, to give the bamboo plant stand and a rattan magazine rack a makeover for my pink-and-blue chinoiserie inspired porch. These high-gloss white pieces look like something out of the Ballard Designs catalog, for a fraction of the price.
Every month, I’m sharing a new DIY project in partnership with Wagner, along with Kim from Salvaged Living. Kim gave her porch a budget makeover this month by painting some curbside finds with her Wagner sprayer.
Supplies for Painting Bamboo Furniture
- Wagner FLEXiO 4000 paint sprayer
- Wagner Studio Spray Tent
- Wagner spray cup liners
- TSP cleaner
- wet cloth
- sand paper
- tack cloth
- drop cloth (optional)
- paint and primer of your choice
When I brought the bamboo plant stand home from the thrift store, it had seen better days. The paint was chipping and peeling, and it was pretty dirty, too.
The rattan magazine rack was in better shape, but I wasn’t in love with the natural orange color. So, I decided to paint it, too.
For this project, I had my son and husband set up my Wagner Studio Spray Tent to provide me a sheltered place to paint.
The spray tent helps contain overspray, which is great if you want to paint indoors. And when you’re working outdoors. it keeps dirt, dust and other debris off your project while it’s drying.
The tent assembles with just two poles and some clips. My son had just been on a school camping trip, so he schooled us on how to put it up.
As you can see, the spray tent is quite roomy — tall enough to accommodate a nearly 5-foot-tall tween boy. (Actually, it’s 53 inches tall, so tall enough for his short mom, too!) The tent has a liquid-resistant bottom, so there’s no need to use a drop cloth. I do wish I had put one down, just to keep my spray tent pretty, since I did a lot of spraying close to the ground for these makeovers.
What Paint Should I Use on Rattan or Bamboo?
You can use any type of paint on rattan or bamboo, as long as you do the appropriate prep work.
Chalk paint, mineral paint, milk paint, latex paint, oil paint, high-gloss lacquer, or another paint can be used, depending on the look you want to achieve.
I considered painting the plant stand and magazine rack my favorite aqua color, but ultimately decided on high gloss white. White bamboo furniture is just classic. I knew that color choice would allow me to use these pieces outdoors and indoors in multiple rooms.
For my bamboo plant stand and rattan magazine rack, I used Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel, a hard durable furniture paint with a built-in primer. I chose high gloss, extra white. (You can also use separate primer and paint on bamboo furniture, but I wanted to avoid extra steps.)
When painting rattan furniture or bamboo, I think it’s a good idea to prime first, especially if the piece has been painted or topcoated previously.
For best results:
You may also find it helpful to shellac the bamboo or rattan furniture if you notice any yellow bleed-through. If this happens, allow the paint to dry, seal with shellac, then prime and paint as you normally would.
To prep both pieces for painting, I cleaned them thoroughly with a degreaser. I usually use TSP, mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to clean furniture pieces before painting. After cleaning, I wiped with a wet cloth and allowed the furniture to dry completely.
I also sanded each piece lightly to remove any peeling paint and rough up the surface for better paint adhesion. After sanding, I used a tack cloth to remove any dust.
What is the difference between bamboo and rattan?
In home decor, the terms are used pretty interchangeably. But there is a difference.
Both are strong materials, which is why they’re often used to make furniture and other home decor pieces.
Bamboo is a hollow, hard tree with distinctive notches. It grows quickly and in abundance in Asia. Bamboo poles come in a variety of diameters, depending on the age of the tree, and they cannot be bent.
You can see examples of that in my plant stand.
Rattan is a solid vine that grows in other trees. When it is heated, it can be bent and curved into interesting shapes. You can see examples of that in my magazine rack and also in the leg insets on my plant stand.
Why should I use a paint sprayer to paint bamboo or rattan?
With pieces like these, using a brush or a roller isn’t really an option — unless you’re just looking to torture or frustrate yourself.
Do yourself a favor and just spray it! Painting bamboo furniture and rattan furniture is a snap when you use a paint sprayer.
I know that many people would choose to use canned spray paint to on wicker, caning, bamboo or rattan furniture. But I love using a sprayer for these kinds of jobs for a few reasons:
- you have better control with a paint sprayer than with a paint can
- you can use any type of paint you want in a paint sprayer
- you have many more color choices with a paint sprayer
- the paint sprayer does most of the work for you, so your fingers and hands don’t get cramped
- your arm doesn’t get tired from shaking up a can of paint
- there are no aerosol fumes with a paint sprayer
- using a sprayer is more economical
Painting Rattan Furniture and Bamboo Furniture
This is the first time I used plastic spray cup liners with my paint sprayer. These make cleanup even easier!
With the paint loaded in the lined spray cup, I attached the detail finish nozzle to my Wagner FLEXiO sprayer and got to work on the bamboo plant stand and magazine rack makeover.
The spray nozzle is light in your hand, because the motor is housed in the base, which sits on the ground. There’s a 15-foot hose gives you plenty of room to move around as you’re painting
Dials on the sprayer and nozzle allow you to control the material flow and the air pressure for the perfect finish.
But I think my favorite feature might be the adjustable nozzle, which allows you to adjust which direction the paitn flows.
For vertical areas, like the sprayer’s legs, I set the nozzle for a tight vertical spray pattern.
I like to use the diagonal, or round pattern setting, when painting corners and at odd angles.
Pieces like these have lots of nooks and crannies and odd angles that would be impossible to cover with a brush. But the sprayer makes it possible.
Whenever I’m working on furniture pieces that have a lot of curves, turnings or spindles, I make sure to paint from all angles.
It’s often helpful to turn furniture pieces upside down and on their sides so the paint can reach areas that aren’t accessible when they’re upright.
I was so happy to put these finished, painted pieces on the porch.
I found a gorgeous maidenhair ferm from my favorite nursery and a faux bamboo ceramic planter at an estate sale that are just perfect for the plant stand.
If you need me, I’ll be on the front porch, sitting in the rocker, reading a magazine and sipping a refreshing summer cocktail.
Pin This! How to Paint Bamboo Furniture & Rattan Furniture with a Sprayer
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