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How to Brighten Up a Cane Chair

Give a vintage chair a sunny makeover in just six easy steps.

By Suzonne Stirling

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Cane chair
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Step 1: Unscrew the seat cushion from the chair frame and set aside.

Step 2: Lightly sand the frame of the chair—not the cane—with medium (100 grit) sandpaper, then wipe with a rag. Fill in any chips or cracks with paintable wood filler, following label directions.

Step 3: Brush 2 thin coats of primer on the frame and 1 thin coat on the cane and let dry. Oil-based creates a more durable finish, but you can use latex-based if you prefer.

Step 4: With a 1-inch brush, apply 2 coats of semigloss latex or oil-based paint to the frame. Let dry between coats.

Step 5: Paint the cane using 1 coat for each side to retain detail. Instead of up and down strokes, swirl brush in the direction of the cane.

Step 6: Pry staples from the bottom of the cushion and remove existing fabric. Cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the cushion and wrap around the seat. Staple the fabric to the bottom side using a staple gun. Replace cushion by screwing it into the chair frame's existing holes.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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