How to Easily Repair a Caned Chair Seat

When a caned seat is punctured, there's no need to kick it to the curb or pay the high cost to have it professionally recaned. This simple repair option will conceal the damage while making the chair functional again. 

Cane Seat Repair

Cane Seat Repair

When a caned seat is punctured, there is no need to kick it to the curb or pay to have it re-caned by hand. This simple repair option will make the chair functional again.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Materials Needed

  • 1/2" plywood or MDF (piece large enough to cover seat of chair)
  • serrated knife or electric carver
  • quilt or upholstery batting in desired thickness
  • cardboard upholstery stripping
  • cardboard
  • staple gun (electric, manual or pneumatic) and staples
  • scissors
  • spray adhesive
  • permanent marker
  • jigsaw
  • eye protection
  • 2" foam cushion

Create a New Padded Seat

Use a jigsaw to cut 1/2" plywood or MDF into shape of chair seat. Then cut coordinating piece of upholstery foam using a serrated knife or electric carving knife. Use a pair of scissors to cut upholstery or quilt batting to same shape as well. Using spray adhesive, glue batting to foam, then foam to plywood cutout. Tip: Because of the back, it might be difficult to trace seat shape directly onto plywood, so make a paper template and trace that to ensure a good fit. 

Cut a New Seat

Cut a New Seat

Use a jigsaw to cut ½” plywood or MDF to shape of chair seat. Use serrated knife or electric carving knife to cut cushion foam to same shape. Use a pair of scissors to cut upholstery or quilt batting to same shape as well. Stick batting to foam and then foam to plywood cutout using spray adhesive. Tip: Because of the back, it might be difficult to trace seat shape directly onto plywood, so make a paper template and trace that to ensure a good fit.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Prepare to Attach Seat Cover to Chair

Place newly made seat cover onto work surface, batting-side-down. Turn chair upside-down and set on top of seat cover, directly onto plywood/MDF side. Line up seat cover with chair seat. With scissors, cut a square out of cardboard that will fit over hole in caning.

Prepare to Attach Seat Cover to Chair

Prepare to Attach Seat Cover to Chair

Place newly made seat cover onto work surface, batting-side down. Turn chair upside-down and set on top of seat cover, directly onto plywood/MDF side. Line up seat cover with chair seat. With scissors, cut a square out of cardboard that will fit over hole in caning.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Cover Hole in Caning

Cut lengths of upholstery cardboard stripping and use them to secure cardboard piece to wood seat base. Staple upholstery strip every few inches, using two strips, one on each side of cardboard piece to fully secure it.

Cover Hole in Caning

Cover Hole in Caning

Cut lengths of upholstery cardboard stripping and use them to secure cardboard piece to wood seat base. Staple upholstery strip every couple of inches, using two strips, one on each side of cardboard piece to fully secure.

Photo by: Marian Parsons

Marian Parsons

Secure Wood Seat to Chair

Use additional cardboard upholstery strips to secure wood seat to caning of chair seat (Image 1). Add a staple every few inches until seat feels securely affixed to chair (Image 2). Note: The nice thing about this method is that the staples can be removed in the future, so seat can be detached and chair can be professionally recaned at a later date, if you choose. To disguise your repair, upholster or slipcover the new padded seat (Image 3).

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Slipcover a Dining Chair

Dining chairs are the perfect candidates for slipcovers because they have simple shapes and are most likely to be the victim of occasional spills. Washable slipcovers with skirts and ties add function and a bit of flirty style to any dining space.  

How to Make a Custom Dining Chair Slipcover

Give everyday dining chairs a stylish makeover with easy-to-create linen slipcovers with flirty ruffled skirts. Slipcovers are a great way to disguise mismatched seating or give dated chairs a quick update.

How to Reupholster an Arm Chair

Upholstery can be an intimidating project, but it seems more complicated than it actually is. A thrift store arm chair with simple lines, a sturdy frame and good padding makes a perfect subject for a novice upholsterer.

How to Make Kitchen Chair Seat Covers

Give your chair an updated look with this economical project.

How to Easily Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is never fun. But with the right tools, a little know-how, and a lot of patience, anybody can rid a room of a dated wall covering.

How to Re-Cover a Dining Room Chair

Update a set of dining room chairs by re-covering the cushions with a stylish new fabric.

How to Refresh a Rattan Peacock Chair

Add a pop of color to a woven rattan chair with a fun ombre paint treatment and a vibrant ribbon trim.

How-to: Reupholstered Rocking Chair

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine .

How to Make a Handpainted Funky Wood Chair

Paint a design on an old chair and attach a fun fabric with this project.
More from:

Thanksgiving Ideas

On TV

Caribbean Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.