Asked on Feb 22, 2023

How to restore cane furniture?

Tikva Morrow
by Tikva Morrow

Hi Hometalkers, I would like to know how to restore cane furniture. I have a few chairs outside that need fixing. One is starting to break on the arm and there is another one that is sagging and breaking on the seat. Please let me know what the best way to restore them would be. Thanks

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  7 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 22, 2023

    I've never repaired anything like this but once your repairs are done, I have a few maintenance tips. Once repairs are complete, use a clear varnish or poly topcost with a synthetic brush to help protect it. You should regularly blow them off because debris between the weaving will cause erosion. Cover when you are using them with something that protects not only from rain but also sun. Never store in direct sunlight. Always wait until completely dry before using, this is the most common stress that leads to sagging. These are the things my daughter was told when she purchased her wicker furniture in 2015. It still looks brand new.

    Hope you get some good repair tips. Once you are successful, this would be a great project to post.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 22, 2023

    Hi Tikra, if you enter the search words "Repair Cane Chairs" in the search box at the top left of Hometalk's home page, you'll find some good advice. There are several posts regarding what you're asking.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 22, 2023

    I had two cane chairs that were in pretty rough condition. Because I was painting them I actually opted for steel wire in the same "width" as the cane to replace the cane where it was missing and strengthen the whole chair. Worked like a charm and, after paint, you couldn't tell the difference between the cane and the wire.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 22, 2023

    Broken wicker strands can be re-woven,Set a sharp chisel into the groove to cut the cane. Then lay a narrow bead of white glue all around the groove on top of the caning. Blot the spline dry, and force it into the groove over the caning, using a wooden or rubber mallet to drive it into the groove. This is going to be a tedius job.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 24, 2023

    Hi, the best way would be to join a class of cane weavers or get one of them to do it for you. Having said that, if you have the materials eg: cane, Cane Cutter, book on cane weaving, (most can be purchased from a Craft Store), and skill you can do it yourself. Soak the cane in a bath to make it usable, with time and patience you can do it yourself.

    • Tikva Morrow Tikva Morrow on Feb 28, 2023

      Thanks John, great idea. I will see if there is a class on restoring cane furniture in my area.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 26, 2023

    Cane furniture is not outdoor weather resistant. So if you keep it outside and replace with more cane this will occur again. They make a plastic caning material that might work well for you just goggle it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 01, 2023

    Cane is not the optimal choice for outdoor furniture, plastic holds up better, I suggest re-weaving it with plastic in the shape of cane strands. It will hold better, but don't be surprised if the rest of the chairs start to give way as time goes on.