What should I do to replace the old caning on my queen Anne dining room arm chairs?
You can upholstery the space. Ask you tube to show you how to replace caning with fabric or upholstery. Should come up with tutorials on how to.
You actually can buy sheets of good-quality woven cane, and do it yourself. How hard it will be depends on the actual shape of your chairs, but it really isn't that hard to do. I re-caned a set of kitchen chairs a few years ago, and the project went great!
If the caning is in good shape and you just want a new look, I painted mine a dark charcoal after doing a lite grey on the chairs. Then redid the seats in grey polka dot fabric. Great look.
If it has holes, not a routered groove along the edge, this is hand-woven cane and is not a suitable DIY project. As in it’s hand woven a strand at a time.
I know this, as my mother used to do this skilled service for antiques dealers. If you need this done, call antiques dealers to see if they’ll share their resources.