The solution to that ugly (but capacious!) wicker basket that you’d love to hide all your crap in if only it fit your home’s style even a little bit is probably just sitting there in your garage.
It’s house paint, leftover from the last time you painted whatever room you want to put that wicker basket in!
You kept it so you could touch up the paint in that room, and because you’re not willing to throw away perfectly good paint, but the actual best way that you can use that excess paint is to make random furnishings, accessories, and storage solutions like ugly wicker baskets match your décor perfectly.
Painting a wicker basket is a super quick project that makes a big change in the overall look of your room. And when you get tired of your current color scheme, repainting that basket is just as quick and easy!
Here are the supplies that you’ll need:
- wicker baskets. I thrift these everywhere I go and keep a weather eye out for them in my town’s Freecycle group. Seasonally, you can also buy wicker baskets for pennies at local yard sales.
- paint. Leftover house paint is a great choice for this project, but you can also use spray paint or craft acrylics. Used in combination, spray paint will also add a workable base layer, so that any spots you miss on that tricky-to-paint wicker look intentional, and acrylic paint is a good choice to paint embellishments or a monogram on a basket. If your paint doesn’t have primer included, add a water-based primer to your shopping list.
- polyurethane sealant (optional). You don’t need to bother with sealing your basket, especially if you anticipate repainting it one day. However, if your basket will get some wear and tear or handling, if it will live someplace dusty and therefore need to be wiped down occasionally, or if you just put a lot of work into your basket’s makeover and want it to stay nice, then sealing it may be the way to go!
Step 1: Wash and dry your basket.
Whether you thrifted your basket or it’s been kicking around your grandma’s home for a few decades, a good bath comes first.
I am currently trying to shift away from the heavy-duty cleaning products that I break out for my biggest messes, so I can no longer unreservedly recommend my formerly foolproof cleaning combo of hot water, a scoop of Tide, and a glug of bleach. Instead, let’s just say that a fool-proof cleaning combo is hot water, soap, something that will break down oil, and a multi-purpose stain/grunge/discoloration fighter.
(If you’ve got good eco-friendly product recommendations for any of the above, please share them with me in the Comments below!)
Soak the wicker baskets in the cleaning combo, then rinse them well and let them air-dry. I’m not gonna lie: if your baskets are older, this step alone might be all you need! The difference between a clean basket and a basket dirty from decades of dust, oils, smoke, pet hair, and who knows what else is drastic.
Step 3. Prime and paint.
If your paint doesn’t include primer, first prime the wicker basket, then let dry.
Using a paintbrush (not a foam brush), give a light coat of paint to the entire outside of your basket. Don’t let paint drip or pool in the weave. Brush back and forth, then up and down to get paint into all those little nooks and crannies.
Let the basket dry completely, then add a second coat if necessary. Know, however, that you don’t really need complete paint coverage for your wicker basket to look good. I like the look of the odd edge of wicker peeping out from behind the color, and conversely, I sometimes think that a fully painted basket looks a little heavy-handed. Think about whether your basket needs a complete color change or just an accent of matching color, and paint accordingly.
That’s all you need to do to make your wicker basket match the rest of your décor! For the maximum storage potential and decorative punch, I like to group baskets. I mix in a little black or white to my house paint to get a different shade to paint each basket so that they’re not too mitchy-matchy but still clearly belong together.
So much better than plastic storage bins!
P.S. Want to also transform your gift-giving game? Use this painting technique to turn wicker baskets into gift baskets. Paint them holiday colors, nursery or wedding colors, or just a lovely color that matches the basket’s contents.
P.P.S. Want even more ways to transform wicker baskets? Check me out back here next week with an entire round-up of wicker basket makeover ideas!