How to Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric

Cane back chairs have been popular for centuries, but their popularity has waned recently. However, they are still gorgeous pieces of furniture that can be easily transformed with a little creativity and patience. One way to do this is to replace the cane back with fabric. It’s an affordable and simple DIY project that can give your old chairs new life. In this post, we’ll provide some tips and tricks for how to replace cane back chair with fabric.

How to Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric

Can You Replace the Cane Back Chair with Fabric?

Cane back chairs have been a timeless classic in home decor for years. They bring a rustic charm to a room and can add a touch of elegance to any space. However, as much as we love them, sometimes we want to give them a modern spin. This is where replacing the cane back with fabric comes into play.

Not only does it create a unique look, but it also offers versatility in color and pattern choices to match any decor scheme. Imagine a sleek black fabric on a modern cane back chair or a vibrant floral print on a vintage piece. The possibilities are endless and can truly transform the feel of a room. So, if you’re up for a furniture DIY project, consider giving your cane back chairs a fabric makeover!

Why Should You Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric?

Cane back chairs are a classic addition to any home, but with time, they can become worn out or outdated. If you’re considering updating your home decor, consider replacing your cane back chairs with fabric ones. Fabric chairs offer a softer, cozier look and feel that can instantly elevate the look of your room.

Plus, there are so many options regarding fabric types, colors, and patterns, so you can easily find a style that fits your unique taste and personality. With their stylish appearance and comfortable design, fabric chairs are the perfect upgrade for any home looking for a fresh, new look.

Easily Find a Style That Fits Your Unique Taste

How to Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric: A Beginner’s Guide

1. Choose the Right Fabric

The first step in replacing your cane back chair with fabric is to choose the right fabric. Look for a sturdy fabric that can hold up to wear and tear. Also, choose a fabric that complements your decor style. Cotton, linen, and velvet are popular fabric choices for this project. If you are unsure, take a sample of your chosen fabric to the hardware store and ask the professional.

2. Remove the Cane Back

You must remove the cane before you can start putting the fabric in place. To do this, use a utility knife to cut the cane into small sections. Be careful not to cut through any of the surrounding wood. After cutting the cane out, use a chisel to remove any remaining parts or loose bits. Finally, sand the surface to make it smooth and flat.

3. Attach the New Fabric

Now that the cane is removed, it’s time to measure and cut the new fabric. Begin by measuring the width and height of the opening where the cane was. Once you have the dimensions, add one inch to the width and height to account for the overlap fabric. Cut out the fabric to those dimensions. You can either use adhesive spray to attach the fabric to the back or use a heavy-duty staple gun. It’s essential to pull the fabric taut to avoid wrinkles.

Measure and Cut the New Fabric

4. Secure the Fabric

After you’ve attached the fabric, securing it in place is important. Fold the excess fabric around the opening and staple it to the wood frame underneath to keep it in place. Be careful not to overstretch the fabric to avoid wrinkling. You can also add a layer of felt or batting underneath the fabric to add some padding and give a seamless look. Secure the fabric by stapling it in place every inch or two around the perimeter of the opening.

5. Trim Excess Fabric

Once the fabric is securely attached, trim any excess material using sharp scissors or a utility knife. Make sure to cut close to the staples, but be careful not to cut through them. Use a piece of sandpaper to smooth any rough edges or to remove any remaining glue residue.

6. Add Decorative Nailheads (Optional)

To add a decorative touch, you can use nailhead trim around the perimeter of the opening where the fabric is attached. This step is entirely optional but can give your chair a more polished and elegant look. Use a hammer and nails or an adhesive gun to attach the nailheads straight around the opening.

7. Reattach the Cane Back

The final step is to reattach the cane back onto the chair frame. Use wood glue or screws to secure it back in place. Make sure it is aligned correctly and fits snugly into the frame. Once everything is dry, you can enjoy your newly upholstered chair with a beautiful fabric cane back. 

Reattach the Cane Back Onto the Chair Frame

You can also use this process to replace the fabric on other furniture pieces with cane backs, such as bar stools or dining chairs. Follow these steps and choose the fabric for a stylish and updated look in your home.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric

1. Fabric Type

When looking for a fabric to replace the cane back of a chair, it is important to consider the type of fabric you will use. Different fabrics have different levels of durability and may require more or less maintenance than others. Some popular options include cotton, linen, velvet, and leather. Consider how often the chair will be used and if it needs to withstand heavy wear and tear before making your decision.

2. Color

The color of the fabric you choose is also important when replacing a cane back chair with fabric. Consider what colors would look best in the space the chair is located in and if they will match other furniture or decor in the room. Additionally, consider how much light the room receives; certain colors may fade faster in direct sunlight than others.

3. Pattern

If you want something more unique than solid colors, consider adding a patterned fabric to your cane back chair. Patterns can add texture and visual interest to any space and help tie together other decor elements. Choose a pattern that complements the style of your space while still being eye-catching enough to stand out from other furniture pieces in the room.

4. Cost

Cost is always an important factor when purchasing any type of furniture or home decor item, including fabrics for chairs. Consider how much you are willing to spend on replacement fabric before beginning your search to narrow down your options quickly and easily without breaking your budget.

5. Installation

Finally, consider how you will install the new fabric onto your cane back chair before making a purchase decision. If you plan on doing this yourself, ensure you have all of the necessary tools and materials beforehand so that everything goes smoothly during installation time! If not, consider hiring a professional upholsterer who has experience working with this type of project so that it is done correctly and looks great once complete!

Install the New Fabric Onto Your Cane Back Chair

Benefits of Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric

If you’re in the market for new furniture, you might wonder about the benefits of replacing your cane back chairs with fabric ones. First and foremost, fabric chairs can provide both comfort and style to your space. With a range of fabrics and patterns, you can easily find chairs that match your decor or create a new theme.

In addition, fabric chairs are often easier to clean than cane-back chairs. Whether you have kids, pets, or just clumsy guests, spills and stains can happen, and fabric chairs can be more forgiving and easier to maintain in the long run. With these benefits in mind, it’s worth considering switching to fabric chairs for your home.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Replace Cane Back Chair with Fabric

Replacing the cane back on a chair with fabric can be a daunting task for many. While it may seem like a simple DIY project, people make some common mistakes during the process. One of the most common mistakes is using the wrong type of fabric. It’s important to choose a durable and sturdy fabric that will hold up with daily use.

Another mistake people make is not removing all of the old cane material before starting the replacement process. This can lead to an uneven and bumpy surface. Lastly, not keeping the tension of the fabric consistent throughout the process can cause wrinkles and unevenness. Taking the time to avoid these common mistakes will ensure a successful replacement and a beautiful finished product.


Replacing your cane back chair with fabric is a simple and rewarding project that can transform a piece of furniture. Whether you want to revive an old chair or create a new custom piece, customizing with fabric can naturally change the style of the chair.

The key is to choose the right fabric and follow the steps carefully to avoid any mistakes. So, why not try this DIY project yourself and see how fantastic the results can be! Thanks for reading our post about how to replace cane back chair with fabric.

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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