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I was recently given three chairs which had been readied for trash collection after many years of abuse and neglect, not to mention a number of rainstorms.

The person whom gave them to me was simply curious as to what I might be able to do.

As you can see the caning on two of them was completely shot, and the third had been sealed over with some decorative upholstery tacks and a sheet of badly stained luan plywood (which was seriously water damaged).

So I cleaned them up, stained them heavily with Minwax's Sedona Red (I wanted a red stain, but wasn't really concerned with covering up the rather blah grain of the not so great quality wood [seriously ugly knots on a few parts, no really marked grain, and its only great quality was that it wasn't rotting and still pretty stable] ) and sealed them many times over with wipe on poly. a sand down to 600 grit, and them another coat of poly.

Finally I recaned the chairs with some medium sized bleached white cane (the gentleman I got ahold of by calling the number on this site : was EXTREMELY helpful, and even was able to throw together a starter kit for me with the white cane, which isn't available otherwise. If you're looking to re cane a chair, I recommend them).

The instructions for caning and other woven seating styles is difficult to find. The instruction book was only moderately helpful so I ditched it in favor of this site:

Another great source for other weavings was this:

Amazingly the only sources for this information I found that were even halfway useful came from college sites..

In any case, thanks for looking, and hopefully all this will help others with their caning projects.



· Registered
689 Posts
What a difference a little TLC can make.
These look super, I'll bet the original owner was surprised ?


· Registered
302 Posts
Thanks guys.

I don't know how the original owner will react. They're on vacation for two weeks. We'll see soon enough. :)

· Registered
5,996 Posts
Well done Bob! Times THREE!

Some 30+ years ago I re-caned an old rocker for my sister and remember the challenge it presented me at the time. Thanks for sharing.