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What's a cheap way to fix chairs with broken caning?

Our dining 'set' is a thrift-store rescue; it was on its last legs and probably would have been put down (sent to the landfill) if I hadn't come along to save it ($40). I think it was actually once a nice piece of furniture, built by the White Furniture Co. of Mebane, North Carolina.

But like any rescue, this one has some rough edges. check out the broken caning on the backs of the chairs: 

 

Our broken dining room chairs

More broken caning. Detail

Alicia and I have finally decided to get around to fixing these. Trouble is, we're not sure what to do. She thinks maybe we could glue in slats of wood and then spray paint the whole chair. I think maybe stretching some fabric over the back (after removing the caning) would be better.

Any suggestions? We'd like to keep it simple (we don't plan on using thrift-store furniture forever) and cheap (under $75).  

  

 

Related: there's an interesting book of photographs about the closing of the White Furniture Co. factory and its effect on the town. More pics here and here

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Rasa on Aug 13, 2014:

Tanked out the caning and weave through the middle section just left to right in a continuous figure eight.. Any twine or wool or whatever. No damage to them, and cheap too.


jazmjz on May 11, 2007:

 Cane back chairs can be very expensive when in good shape. (which yours in not)Being a flea market dealer and part time helper at the local auction I would like to say DON'T PLYWOOD IT.I have seen one that some one redid with about 50 feet of lamp cord.Look up cane chairs on line. There are some books or articles on the sobject of redoing a cane chair. It is time consuming and boreing but finish product is well worth it money wise.


jasimar on Dec 05, 2006:

Absolutley.  Pick up some plywood and upholster it.  Screw it in from underneath.  Or you could get some rattan and dowels, wind it back and forth and possibly stain to match (or clash- as your personal style could dictate, I suppose).  Bamboo woven in a placemat looking pattern might be nice too, but I'm not certain it will hold.  Good luck.


bruno on Nov 09, 2006:

Sorry about that, here it is:

bruno on Nov 09, 2006:

I guess I could have done worse:

From Apartment Therapy


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