how to upholster a cane back chair

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Upholstering a cane back chair may seem daunting, but it is actually a fun and rewarding DIY project. Whether you want to update the look of an old chair or want to give a personal touch to a new one, reupholstering it can be an easy and cost-effective solution. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of upholstering a cane back chair with fabric.

Tools and Materials Needed

To start, you will need the following tools and materials:- Screwdriver- Pliers- Staple gun- Fabric- Batting- Foam- Scissors- Needle and thread- Upholstery tacks

Removing the Old Upholstery

First things first, you need to remove the old upholstery from the chair. Turn the chair over and use a screwdriver to remove any screws that hold the seat cushion in place. Once the cushion is out, use pliers to remove any staples or tacks that secure the old fabric. Be careful not to damage the cane while removing the old fabric, and take note of how the fabric was attached so you can replicate it with the new fabric.

Adding the Padding

Once you have removed the old upholstery, you can start adding padding to the chair. Start with a layer of batting, and then add a layer of foam on top. Cut the foam to size using scissors, ensuring it fits snugly against the wooden frame of the chair. Use a staple gun to secure the foam and batting to the chair, being careful not to staple too close to the edge.

Upholstering the Chair

Now it's time to upholster the chair. Cut your new fabric to size and place it over the foam and batting, making sure there is enough fabric to wrap around the edges of the chair. Start by stapling the fabric to the back of the seat cushion, working from the center outwards. Pull the fabric taut as you go along, but don't pull too hard as it may warp the shape of the cushion. Once the back is attached, move on to the sides and front of the cushion, making sure the fabric is smooth and wrinkle-free. Finally, trim off any excess fabric and secure it in place with upholstery tacks.

Finishing Touches

To finish off your upholstered cane back chair, you can add some decorative details such as piping or trim. Simply cut strips of fabric or trim to size and attach to the edges of the cushion using a staple gun or needle and thread.


Upholstering a cane back chair is a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. With a few simple tools and materials, you can create a custom look that reflects your personal style. Follow this guide and you'll have a newly upholstered chair that you'll be proud to show off!


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