Want to change the color of a wicker basket? It can be easily done with this transparent painting technique.
I like baskets of all shapes, sizes and styles. I use them in many ways around my house in both decor and hidden behind closed doors and in drawers to help me organize my stuff in style. I buy my baskets at places like HomeGoods, IKEA or at thrift stores and yard sales. I like most of them just as they are…but just like anything decorative, a color update can be needed to help them fit into current decorating trends.
Right now I am into the soft driftwood color that is popular now and wanted to change four IKEA Branäs baskets in the sideboard in my foyer. I like the baskets since they fit perfectly and they make the traditional and formal piece of furniture a bit more casual.
What I don’t like about the baskets is the color. Not that I don’t like natural color wicker baskets… just not in my foyer. I have had a few readers tell me that they don’t think I should use baskets on the shelves, that the piece calls for books or decorative accessories. I agree with this if I followed the “rules”…
….but I know my style and I like the fact that the baskets fit perfectly and hide clutter. Years ago I had books and decorative accents on the shelves, but it made the piece look too fussy, cluttered, and just not my style.
How to Change the Color of a Wicker Basket
I painted the baskets using a painting technique that would not make the color opaque. I wanted the color I added to be translucent.
To do this, I used glazing medium mixed with paint and then wiped some of the paint mixture off a few minutes after it was applied. Doing this keeps the color looking natural, not painted on.
If you want your baskets to have a solid opaque color, then skip Step 3 in the tutorial below.
- Wicker basket
- Matte paint or chalk paint in desired color. You can use any color acrylic paint you want. I used Waverly Chalk Paint in the color Truffle
- Matte white paint or chalk paint
- Clear glazing liquid – buy at the craft store or paint store. I used Valspar.
- Paint brush
- Paper towels
1. Mix 75% paint in desired color and 25% glazing liquid together in a small container and stir well.
If you are not familiar with glazing liquid, it is a water-based medium that when mixed with paint, allows the paint to have a more translucent quality.
2. Brush mixture on one side of basket, making sure to get bristles into the nooks and crannies of the basket.
3. Using a paper towel, wipe over the just painted surface to remove some of the paint. This will expose some of the basket’s original color.
4. The color will look like this. If you want a darker color, re-apply a coat of the paint/glaze and wipe off again until you like the depth of color you see.
5. Once the paint/glaze mixture is dry, I mixed white chalk paint and water 50%/50% and brushed it over the basket to help the painted finish have a flat white cast to look like driftwood to coordinate with the floor basket that I have placed next to the sideboard.
I repeated the process on on four baskets in less than an hour.
The baskets were dry within an hour and back they went into the sideboard. :-)
I am not into perfectly matching decor, but in this case the coordinated color of the baskets looks better to my eye in this space.
You may remember me telling you that I am going to paint this sideboard. If you look closely at the photo where the light is directly on it you can see it is dinged up and needs refinishing of some kind.
I will post about it once I get it completely. Just not sure what color or finish I want for it yet.
This is not the first time I have changed the color of a wicker basket. To see other options on how to paint them, check out this post: How to Paint an Aged Driftwood Finish on Baskets
Like to be organized? Label for Storage Bins, Bags and Baskets
Wicker Basket Painting Resources
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