painting caned chairs

cateyanneFebruary 24, 2009

I've been given a couple of old chairs with caned backs and sides. The seats are upholstered. I am replacing the caning (first timer!) and reupholstering too (again, first attempt) The chairs are very heavy in style and literally too. My room is not that style so I thought I would update them by upholstering in a bold black and white graphic floral print and paint the chairs, which are now a very dark brown, a glossy black. I think it will make them look sophisticated and fun. I am unsure about painting the cane parts though. Does anyone know what type of paint I should be using? The caning will be taut but it does bend a little when a back is pressed against it so I'd think it should be a paint that stays flexible. Any help appreciated.

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Your idea sounds very elegant! I think you are not supposed to stain cane cuz it dries it out so paint is probably the way to go. I thought cane had to "breathe" to stay flexible, so maybe don't overdo it on the back side (don't coat totally, Imean)? I've seen old painted cane furniture and it has chipped a bit but that was seats. I think I've seen it painted on hgtv or somewhere with Krylon. I'd go to the store and read the paint cans. Post a pic when you are done. I've always wanted to cane a chair, but not sure I'll ever make it. Would love to hear about your experience.
It also occurs to me that a fabric that was b&W and brown would coord with a black frame and natural cane. Just seems a shame to me to do all that work and then cover it up! Either way you would want to paint the frame of the chair first I think.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 7:17AM
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thanks for the help. I am still at it! It is turning out to be quite a job. So far I am still in the beginning stage. Trying to remove the old cane is proving to be the hardest thing! All I have read about it did not allude to any real trouble I might have, so I was not prepared for this to be so hard. I am having to chisel the old cane out adding some vinegar to soften the glue(or so I read) but it is very hard going and I thought this part at least would not be the challenging part! Live and learn!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Preparation is always the hardest (and most important), at least thats what my dh says, lol. I guess chairs with the cane already removed are a bargain if you want to learn to cane.
I think you should paint the frame before you cane, but i can't remember how close to the holes you should paint. I used to have a little book about it and am not remembering very well.
good luck

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 9:52AM
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This was a chair with old caning. It was too beat up & I didn't want to try re-caning. I found it on CL for a few bucks.

This is how I transformed it using a tutorial from (she featured my chair & SIL's chair on her site, too! My chair is below & SIL's chair is next to the original above):

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 4:08PM
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