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Cane Chair Makeover

Updated: May 18, 2019

My DIY makeover to give these chairs a second chance!

A while back now I was lucky enough to get these two cane chairs on gumtree for free and I instantly started dreaming of what they would look like with a bit of TLC. 

When I first saw them I realised that they were A LOT more damaged than I first thought with bad weather damage, black marks, a lot of the binding was missing or had come undone, cushions beyond repair... BUT I was up for the challenge!

I have seen chairs like these for sale at prices up towards $1000.00 each and as we are currently renovating this is something that we would never be able to afford. I have probably spent around $100.00 per chair on paint, supplies and replacement cushions which is definitely a price that I'm much happier with. 

If you are interested in viewing my video highlights on my instagram for this transformation "click here"otherwise keep reading for step by step info on my makeover.  I am by no means an expert (I fluked the whole thing) but here is what I did to achieve this look. Be warned it is hard work but it's soooo worth it and been such a rewarding experience for me :)


  • Dulux Dura Max Undercoat - I used 2 cans of these (per chair)

  • Dulux Dura Max High Performance Enamel - Flat Vivid White - I used 2 cans of these  (per chair) Dulux Dura Max High Performance Enamel - Satin White - I used 1 can of this  (per chair)

  • Cane Binding - I was lucky enough to get some from a friend however it can be easily be found on Ebay

  • Strong Wood Glue

  • Sand paper, I used a grittier one first and then finished with a softer one

  • Timber Mate Wood Filler (wouldn't use this if you are wanting to keep the natural cane look)

  • Ikea DJUPVIK Chair Pads x 2 - $30.00 each

  • Decorative Cushions

  • Personal Protective Equipment (mask)


1.  Firstly I removed the old cushions (which were beyond repair) and I gave the chair a a big brush down with my dust pan brush to get rid of any nasties.

2.  I inspected the first chair and started sanding the arms first as they were the most damaged.  The arms had a lot of creases in them (see pictures) so I sanded them the best that I could and filled in any large gaps with wood filler and sanded them once it was dry. 

3.  I continued sanding all over the chair and filling holes or cracks with the filler when it was needed.  As I was painting the chair white I thought the filler was a good idea however if I was wanting to keep it the natural colour I wouldn't use the filler as it stands out.

4.  Please note that sanding can take a looong time depending on the level of damage, but don't give up! I did mine over several days to give myself a break. Trust me once you have that spray paint in your hand it's all worth it!

5.  After I completed sanding I looked over the chair and found all of the places where the binding needed replacing or repairing.  Initially I was going to tack a lot of the binding with some small nails, however the tacks kept splitting the binding so I decided to try and just use the glue only.  I copied the binding by looking at spots that were still in good condition and used the wood glue and wrapped the binding around it once it got tacky and then tucked in the end.  This is quite messy but I was so pleased with how well it worked!

6. Once the binding repairs were complete and the glue was dry I did one final sand with a light sanding block and then brushed off any dust with my dust pan brush.

7. NOW FOR THE FUN PART! PAINTING!! Give your spray can a good shake!

8. I did 2 coats of the Dulux Dura Max Undercoat, 2 coats of the Dulux Dura Max High Performance Enamel in the Vivid White and then 1 light coat of Dulux Dura Max High Performance Enamel in Satin White.  I decided the do a final coat in the satin paint to give it a little protection and a light sheen. I didn't want it too shiny which is why I only did one coat. My chairs will be kept inside, however if you are wanting to keep yours outside you may want to use an extra sealer to protect it.  I did my painting over several days, make sure you are in a well ventilated area and wear a mask. 

9. Once dry I decorated it with my Ikea DJUPVIK chair pad (54cm x 54cm) and styled it with some of my favourite cushions from Little Boho Lane and Tribe Abode.

For the videos of this transformation please check out my instagram highlights here and follow me for more DIY projects in the future.

Now I'm off to finish the second one!

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