This varnish im sure has a sealer under it,and if not it is still virtually impossible to stain things without removing the clear on it.Stain will not be able to reach the wood/wicker (Stain is just that Stain) now painting is a covering so it can be applied to most anything with the right prep.Im not to sure if a gel stain will work over a varnish or not,we use it for metal and fiberglass doors prior to clearing them.
Sorry to say but you must get as much of the varnish off before you can stain it.
If it just a clear stain you can put a different color on it but if it is a true varnish you need to get to the material you want to apply it to.
You might be able to sand enough of this older varnish off to get a color you want.
[This message has been edited by retisin (edited February 05, 2004).]