How Do You Replace Sheet Caning on the Back of a Chair?


Quick Answer

To replace sheet caning on the back of a chair, remove the old caning and glue using chisels and a hammer. Sand the inside edge of the seat to dull the sharp edge. Measure the amount of sheet caning needed and add 2 inches to each side. Use those measurements to order the correct size of sheet cane and rattan reed spline. When choosing patterns, remember that a close woven sheet cane pairs best with a Victorian-style chair.

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Full Answer

When the sheet cane arrives, soak it in warm water for up to four hours so it is pliable and easy to install. Roll the sheet cane and soak it in a PVC pipe with capped ends, wallpaper tray or a bathtub. You should also soak the rattan reed spline, but not for long; immerse the reed while starting to apply the sheet cane.

After draining the water from the sheet cane, place it shiny-side-up and centered over the opening in the chair. Use wooden wedges and a hammer to gently insert the cane into the chair's grooves. To make installation easier, trim the sides of the cane to 1 inch in length. Continue using the wedges and hammer and work the cane into the chair's grooves until it is taut but not too tight, to allow for the cane to shrink while drying. Use a utility knife to cut away any excess cane at least 1/4-inch under the seat's surface.

Line the chair's groove with water-soluble glue. Remove the rattan reed spline from the water and shake to dry. Use the wooden wedges and hammer to install the spline, starting at the chair's center back. Make sure there is not a gap where the edges of the spline meet. Allow the chair to dry.

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