The Best Way to Paint Cane Back Dining Chairs with Minimal Effort

I’m always on the hunt for fine furniture on the cheap. As a matter of fact, I’ve been on the hunt for a few cane back dining chairs for a few years now. They are all of a sudden a hot and popular item (and a bit pricey too). So when I spotted a set of six sitting outside of a local thrift store I knew I found my next project. Let me show you the best way to paint cane back chairs with chalk paint.

Let me first say that I looked high and low for affordable cane back dining chairs. I found a handful of them, but since I needed six they still ended up being more than I wanted to pay. I did, however, round up a handful of them if you can’t find any thrifted options.

affordable cane back dining chairs

Back to the cane chair makeover; I spotted these cane back dining chairs sitting outside a local thrift store. They were apparently “taking up too much room on the store floor.”

This was music to my ears. 🙂

Needless to say I was obliged to help them make more space on the store floor for only $50.

It took two trips to get all six of these cane back dining chairs home. These chairs were in mint condition, just not my style. Nothing a little paint and fabric can’t fix!

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Materials for the cane back chair makeover

The best way to paint cane to get in all those little grooves is to use a spray paint or a paint sprayer. I’ve shared all about how to use chalk paint in a paint sprayer in a recent post.

How to paint cane back chairs

  1. Remove the seat cushions.
  2. Clean the surface with a lint free cloth ensuring that there is no lint or debris in between the cane.
  3. Prepare the paint and primer (dilute with water if needed) for the paint sprayer.
  4. Use a paint sprayer to spray at least one coat of primer.
  5. Use a paint sprayer to apply at least two coats of paint.
  6. Apply a top coat or sealer if necessary.
cane back chairs before paint

Above are the six cane back chairs sitting outside the thrift store waiting for me 😉

chalk paint for cane back chairs
This is the chalk paint I used
cane back chairs with cushions removed
The before picture
wiping off cane back chairs
Cleaning the cane back chairs
diluting the chalk paint
Diluting the chalk paint to prepare it for the paint sprayer

Like I said in the directions, I used a paint sprayer to apply the chalk paint. You can see directions on how to use chalk paint in a paint sprayer on another post.

using chalk paint and a paint sprayer to paint the cane back chairs
First coat with primer
How to Paint Cane Back Dining Chairs
Time for paint
painted and unpainted cane back dining chairs
BeforeBefore and after
I used a brush and applied a clear matte top coat to ensure a durable finish
before and after of Cane Back Dining Chairs painted
Best Way to Paint Cane Back Dining Chairs

I DID NOT use the sealer in the paint sprayer. I’ve explained more about why I did this in the post about how to use chalk paint in a paint sprayer.

As far as what sealer to use, you can refer to my post about how to seal painted or unpainted furniture for a high traffic finish. I’ve shared one of the best sealers for chalk paint and really any paint when you don’t want to use the typical chalk paint wax.

I’m so happy with how they turned out. My husband was very skeptical when I brought these chairs home, but he’s super pleased with them now!

As I’ve always said, don’t ever underestimate the power of paint!

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How to Paint Cane Furniture

How to Paint Cane Furniture

Learn the best way to paint cane back dining room chairs. I've shared a simple tutorial on how to paint cane furniture with a few tips about what materials and tools to use. Painting cane furniture does not need to be difficult and with a few easy steps even beginner furniture painters can do it!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 50- 80 dollars

Materials

  • Cane back chairs
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Lint free cloths
  • Cleaner or degreaser
  • Paint brush

Tools

  • Paint Sprayer

Instructions

  1. Remove the seat cushions
  2. Clean the surface with a lint free cloth ensuring that there is no lint or debris in between the cane.
  3. Dilute the primer and paint according to your paint sprayer if needed.
  4. Use a paint sprayer to spray at least one coat of primer.
  5. After the primer is dry, use a paint sprayer to apply the first coat of paint. Let it dry.
  6. Apply second coat of paint with a paint sprayer and let it dry.
  7. Apply a top coat or sealer if necessary.
  8. Replace the seat cushions

Notes

If you want to know how to dilute your paint in a paint sprayer, I've got a full post about it.

As far as what sealer to use, you can refer to my post about how to seal painted or unpainted furniture for a high traffic finish. I’ve shared one of the best sealers for chalk paint and really any paint when you don’t want to use the typical chalk paint wax.

I hope I’ve given you the confidence you need to paint cane furniture.

how to paint cane furniture

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10 thoughts on “The Best Way to Paint Cane Back Dining Chairs with Minimal Effort

  1. These chairs turned out gorgeous! I love cane back chairs. Can’t wait to get my hands on some to try this project out! Just pinned it for the future.

    1. Hey Lori,
      I purchased the fabric at Hobby Lobby and I wish I knew the name of it but I don’t. Four of the chairs are a solid gray and then the other two are a cotton plant pattern.

      1. The chairs look fabulous! What a transformation. Now those chairs would probably cost at least $50 a piece! I have to ask what paint color you used on your DR walls? I love everything about that room.

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