By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Antique hunters are always on the lookout for a chair with an original cane seat because it's a prized possession. If you're looking for such a treasure and find one with damaged or missing caning, you can have the chair recaned or do it yourself, assuming you're patient and persistent - and adept at working with your hands. There are two kinds of caning for a chair, one is a sheet of machine-woven cane that you install with glue and pegs in a chair with a narrow groove around its edge. The sheet and materials will run about $45.
If your chair has holes around its perimeter, it's an older piece and can be recaned with narrow strands of thin cane. A professional will charge about $2 a hole, so a typical chair will cost about $165. You can buy the materials for $45 and do it yourself and pocket a nice saving. But that saving is well earned because it's a tedious, time-consuming job, and well worth mastering if you have more than one chair. It will cost more if the chair requires repair work or refinishing to restore it.
To find someone who canes chairs in your area, we suggest calling an upholsterer or antique dealer who usually knows where to find one.
Read these directions to do it yourself from the Wicker Woman Chair Caning Instructions.
The average price to cane a chair seat noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.