Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint | Painted Furniture | Repairs and Restorations

Repairing Caned Chairs | An Alternative Method

Have you ever found a gorgeous antique chair with damaged or missing caning?? Read on for my alternative method of repairing caned chairs!

Pinterest graphic show repair caned rocker seat along with text: reinventeddelaware.com

repairing caned chairs

You know those days that you are meandering around a yard sale or auction and you see chair after chair with missing or damaged caning??

If you are a thrifter or yard-saler (is that such a thing?? I hope so because I am one!) than you know what I mean.

antique black oak rocker with missing caning in seat area

Broken or damaged caning is a common problem. Caning can become brittle over time if it is not properly cared for. Once it is brittle, it can crack and break very easily.

And it is pricey to have it professionally repaired.

antique oak rocker ready for repairs of missing caned seat

alternative method

But we have come up with an alternative method for repairing caned chairs like this rocker.

All you need are a few easy-to-find supplies:

  • clothesline rope
  • power drill
  • large drill bit to fit the rope
  • E6000 glue
  • Gorilla Tape

Before you begin the project, let me warn you that it can be a bit scary to drill a large hole into an antique chair or rocker like this one.

Especially when the rocker belongs to someone else 😉

black oak rocker with missing caned seat with clothesline rope laying on top

Yes, this rocker is a custom piece for one of our clients. She wanted the rocker painted and repaired.

So we prepped and painted the chair using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter and finished it with a hemp oil finish

Aaaaahhhhh, the classic look of an antique rocker!

Now for the scary part!

JUST KIDDING!! IT ISN’T SCARY AT ALL!!

I’m going to walk you through it step by step in the video below!

video tutorial

I’ll see you here when you finish watching the tutorial!

See, that wasn’t scary at all, was it?? And look at the results!!

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope close up shot of seat area

The cotton clothesline fits in perfectly with the style of the chair!

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope
finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope

strong and durable

The clothesline rope is strong and will last for years. Think about how long clothesline rope can last outside in the elements with wet laundry hanging from it! It really is very durable!

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope

You’ll notice that I drilled out every other hole. On this rocker, the holes had been drilled very close and very small to hold the caning.

But since I needed larger holes to fit the rope, I was only able to drill every other one. If I had drilled each hole, it would have weakened the chair seat.

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope close up of seat area
finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope

The underside of the rocker shows more detail about the weaving process. Plus it looks neat and tidy 😉

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope showing underside of woven rope

If the woven rope ever needs to be replaced, it would just be a matter of cutting the knot and pulling the rope out.

I added some extras security to the knot by gluing it with E6000 glue. Best. Glue. Ever.

finished black rocker with repair 'caned' seat using clothesline rope showing underside of repair

paint choice

Let’s chat about the paint choice my client and I made. She wanted the distressed, chippy, antique look but wanted to change the look of the rocker.

She also wanted to highlight the carved details on the back of the rocker.

Milk paint was the obvious choice.

finished black rocker showing carved detail on back of chair
side view of repair antique oak rocker painted in black milk paint with stack of vintage suitcases as side table and wall decor

She chose Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter after we discussed the benefits of milk paint.

side view of repair antique oak rocker painted in black milk paint with stack of vintage suitcases as side table and wall decor

Milk paint delivers all the vintage goodness every time!

finished black rocker painted in Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter black close up of spindle details

glad you’re here!

Thank you for stopping by today! You know we love sharing these free tutorials of our projects with you!

We would love for you to join us so you don’t miss a thing! You can join us by email and I will send you a fun freebie!

You’ll be reinventing before you know it!!

join our journey

You can also join our journey on Instagram and Facebook!

Feel free to pin any image to your DIY furniture boards! This alternative method for repairing caned chairs might come in handy someday

We are on Pinterest too so be sure to join us there.

side view of repair antique oak rocker painted in black milk paint with stack of vintage suitcases as side table and wall decor
Pinterest graphic show repair caned rocker seat along with text: reinventeddelaware.com

Until next time…..

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2 Comments

  1. I love the framed quilt you have behind the rocking chair in the photo with this post. Can I commission you to frame a quilt for me in a similar manner?

    1. Isn’t that quilt in a vintage window pretty?? It is actually mini quilts within each window pane. Each one is about 6″x9″ ish. But we can possibly find a way to frame your quilt! Send me an email and we can chat! Thanks for reading!

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