How to Replace Cane Back Chair With Fabric

Have you ever dreamt of having a piece of furniture that looks brand new and unique in your home? If the answer is yes, replacing the cane back chairs with fabric could be an affordable and interesting way to give those old chairs a fresh look! In this blog post we will take you through all the steps of how to replace cane back chair with fabric.

How to Replace Cane Back Chair With Fabric

From choosing the right type of material for durability, properly removing existing cane or splint work from the seat frame, applying a cushioning layer, stretching pre-measured fabric panels over top, and finally ensuring all edges are held securely in place. 

If you’ve been looking to spruce up your furniture but don’t want to replace the entire item, replacing a cane back chair with fabric might be just the project for you. Not only is this an inexpensive way of adding some creative flair to your home decor, it can also provide a unique look that will set your furniture apart from the typical offerings.

Here, we’ll break down what goes into replacing a cane back chair with fabric and guide you through each step of the process.

 Why Do You Need to Replace Cane Back Chair With Fabric?

There can be many reasons to replace a cane back chair with fabric. Such as:

1. To Update the Look

One of the main reasons to replace a cane back chair with fabric is to update the look of the chair. Whether you want to add color or texture, fabrics offer a wide variety of options and can make your furniture look stylish and modern.

2. To Make it More Comfortable

Cane backs are often less comfortable than chairs upholstered with fabric. Replacing the cane with fabric can help make a chair more comfortable for sitting in for extended periods of time.

3. To Preserve it

Cane back chairs are prone to breaking and splitting over time as they age. Replacing the cane with fabrics can ensure that your furniture is well-preserved and lasts longer.

Remove All the Existing Cane From the Chair

Tools You May Need

To replace a cane back chair with fabric, you will need to gather some tools and supplies. These include:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Upholstery staples and/or upholstery tack strips
  • Upholstery needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Cotton batting
  • Staple gun
  • Stapler remover or pliers

How to Replace Cane Back Chair With Fabric in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Remove All the Cane From the Chair

The very first step in how to replace cane back chair with fabric is to remove all the existing cane from the chair. Use a sharp utility knife or scissors to cut away any pieces of cane that are still attached, then carefully pull out the remaining pieces using pliers. Make sure you don’t damage any of the wood in the process.

Step 2: Measure the Chair’s Back

Once all the cane has been removed, you will need to measure how large of a piece of fabric is needed to cover the chair back. Take into account how much padding or foam will also be used so that you can make sure your measurements are accurate.

Step 3: Cut and Attach the Fabric

Cut your fabric to fit the chair back using a rotary cutter and cutting mat. Once it’s cut, use a staple gun to attach it to the underside of the chair frame. Make sure that you vary how much tension on each side has so that there aren’t any wrinkles or other imperfections in the fabric’s surface.

Using Rotary Cutter to Cut Chair Mat

Step 4: Add Foam or Padding (optional)

As an optional step, you can add foam or padding to the chair back for added cushioning and comfort. Measure how much is needed and then cut it to fit using a sharp utility knife. Attach it with a staple gun before attaching the fabric.

Step 5: Attach Fabric to the Top of the Chair

Once the fabric is attached to the bottom, you can begin attaching it to the top of the chair back. Start at one corner and work your way around, making sure that each staple is secure and not pulling too tightly on any corners.

Step 6: Finish Up

Finally, use a thin line of hot glue to secure any loose edges or wrinkles in the fabric. This will help ensure everything stays put in place and looks neat. And there you have it – your cane back chair is now reupholstered with fabric!

With these simple steps, you can learn how to replace a cane back chair with fabric in no time. Whether you’re looking for a way to update your favorite furniture piece or just want to give an old chair a new look, this method is sure to do the trick!

Some Additional Tips to Replace Cane Back Chair With Fabric

1. Avoid Using Too Much Glue or Staples

Add Foam to Cane Back Chair

One of the major factors to consider when replacing a cane back chair with fabric is how much glue or staples you should be using. Too much glue can make the fabric slip and slide around, resulting in a less-than-desirable outcome for the chair. It’s best to use a minimal amount of adhesive and add just enough staples to keep the fabric secure and tightly in place.

2. Choose the Appropriate Fabric

When selecting fabric for the cane back chair replacement, you should choose a material that is light and flexible enough to match the contours of the backing without causing it to sag over time. In addition, select a fabric that is durable enough to handle regular use and abuse while also providing attractive and comfortable seating.

3. Consider Professional Assistance

If you don’t have the knowledge and skills necessary to replace a cane back chair with fabric, it’s best to consult with a professional for assistance. They can provide guidance on how to properly measure and cut the fabric, how much adhesive or staples to use, and how to attach it securely to the chair.

Professionals can also help troubleshoot any issues you may encounter during the project and provide advice on how to best maintain the fabric over time.

Following these tips will help ensure a successful replacement of your cane back chair with fabric, providing you with a comfortable and attractive seating option for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Fabric Do I Need to Replace the Cane Back on My Chair?

Attach the Fabric to the Chair

It depends on how much of the existing cane needs to be replaced. If you are looking to cover the entire back of the chair, then you will need about one yard of fabric for each seat. If you just want a patchwork effect for your new look, then you will need much less fabric.

What Is the Best Fabric for Replacing a Cane Back?

For durability, you should look for heavier fabrics such as canvas or denim. These will last longer and hold up better under regular wear and tear. If you are looking for something with more texture, natural fibers like wool and cotton also work well.

What Tools Do I Need to Replace the Cane Back?

You will need scissors, a staple gun, upholstery nails and/or tacks, and a hammer. Depending on how intricate your design is, you may also need a sewing machine or hand-sewing needles.

Do I Have to Take Apart the Chair to Replace the Cane Back?

No, you do not have to take apart the chair. You can simply staple the fabric onto the back of the chair, or use upholstery nails/tacks to secure it in place. If you want a more intricate look and need to sew sections of fabric together, then you may need to take apart the chair.

Are There Any Extra Steps to Create a Professional Look?

Yes, there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure that your cane replacement looks professional. Before stapling or nailing the fabric in place, ensure that all of the edges are trimmed and neat. If your fabric has loose threads, use a lighter to burn them off before attaching it to the chair.

Finally, use foam backing or batting to give your new look extra cushioning and depth. Also, consider using quality upholstery glue to ensure that your fabric is securely in place.


If your cane back chair is looking a little worn, you can easily replace the fabric to give it new life. You’ll need to remove the old fabric and padding, then staple on the new fabric. Be sure to pull the fabric taut as you go to get a smooth, professional finish. With a little time and effort, you can have a brand-new chair that will last for years to come.

There you have it: how to replace cane back chair with fabric stapled neatly to the back of your chairs. Not only is this an inexpensive option for reupholstering cane back chairs, but it’s also a fairly quick process. You’ll be able to sit in your newly upholstered chairs in no time!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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