Gorgeous Linen Dining room Chairs from old cane back chairs

Because we entertain a lot, my dining room was functional long before it was  pretty. I always wanted to have french Linen dining room chairs hugging a dark wood table in there.  We entertain a lot and so I needed at least 6 but preferably 8 chairs. Often, I would go to the Restoration Hardware website to drool over their French Vintage camel back fabric armchairs. The only trouble is, at their lowest sale price, it would have cost me about $2000 for 8 chairs.

dining chairs 3



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dining chairs 2


If there is one thing, I can neither afford nor justify, it is $2000 for 8 linen dining room chairs. If I wanted those RH chairs, I really had to find a different method. However, Because I had never done anything like this, I thought it was just impossible and so I simply made peace with the fact that I could not have chairs like that. Besides, there were other chairs that suited my preferences, like the french white cane back chairs. That look was a lot more attainable since all I had to do was find some cane back chairs and paint them. I was at a yard sale one Saturday morning and noticed these 4 chairs scattered on the porch of the home.

cane dining chairs


They didn’t seem to be a part of the yard sale as the porch was a bit of a distance away from the actual sale. I had been looking for some queen Anne cane back chairs for a while and these were the first ones i had come to and so I asked about them. Though they were not officially a part of the sale, she was willing to sell if I was willing to buy. The price was right and so I gave her my $25 and managed to fit all four of them in my little Pontiac Grand Prix. cane dining chairs 6


cane dining chairs 4


At first, it did not occur to me that I could make these look like the linen dining room chairs that I wanted for so long. I had already given up on the idea. I knew that I wanted these chairs to be white and so, eager to see the difference, I replaced the cane in the one with the hole, painted them, and reupholstered the seating with dropcloth . I did not like it at all. Although i used “old white,” the color was way too bright.

cane dining chairs 3


cane dining chairs 8

(excuse the mess, I was in the middle of making 18 grain sack tablecloths for an event that i was decorating and so i had junk everywhere)

After painting everything white, It became very evident that the cane on the others was not in good shape. I had replaced the cane in the one with the huge hole but not the others. I counted the cost and effort to replace the rest of the cane and decided against it. They sat like that for about 2 weeks until it hit me that i could just remove all of the cane and i would be left with the perfect skeleton for my Restoration inspired chairs. My dream was instantly revived and it seems now that i began working on them right away. I watched a few tutorials on YouTube tutorials to make sure that i was on the right track and went for it.

I wanted at least 6 chairs and i had only purchased 4 chairs at that yard sale. I wasn’t worried though because i knew with time, i would be able to find a pair of captain’s chairs that i could make work with this set. A few weeks later, on craigslist, i found what i was looking for. You saw the refinished captain chairs in my Christmas throw pillows post a few weeks ago.

photo 5


I was ready to update my dining room. I recruited husbs to help take the fabric off of the arm chairs, remove the cane from the cane backs, and to help me reupholster everything in dropcloth. I painted the chairs grey and went over them with a very light stain coat. Below you can see a picture of the chairs with the gray coat of paint.


2 months ago, If I knew I’d be blogging about this when I did these, I would have taken more picture of the process but I did not know. However, see my post on how to get the unfinished wood look on a surface to see how you can achieve this wood look. Once you get the cane removed, the process is the same as it would be to reupholster any other chair. The only difference was that I had to buy padding for the backs of the cane back chairs. I just went to JoAnn’s and purchase the 1″ padding for about $25. I also, added a top layer to the seat of each chair because I have a hard time when I imagine what could have fallen on the existing foam. Anyway, After all of that, Voila my very own linen dining room chairs.

dining chairs 1


dining chairs


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Linen Dining Room Chairs Materials:

4 Cane backs: $25

2 captains chairs; $50

drop cloth: $10 (at harbor freight)

upholstery trim: $20

padding: $25

total for 6 chairs: $130

Husbs had staples and a staple gun but he says that you could spend about $20 for those.

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I love them so much and  for only $130, I’d say I did good.


Hey friends, I love you comments and so please leave one for me below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, please share it if you think someone else can get some inspiration from this post. Thank you for looking! Please follow me either on twitter, Facebook, or email to see more.

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dining chairs before and after

Many blessings,


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35 thoughts on “Gorgeous Linen Dining room Chairs from old cane back chairs

  1. What a beautiful upcycle and for that price who can beat it. I love the fabric you used, it makes it look so elegant and classy.

  2. Yours chair look wonderful, sometimes we just have to wait a bit to get to get the look we want. The captain chairs look great at the table, but the color makes them so versatile you could use them anywhere.

    1. Hi Joyce, I ended up just going to amazon and ordering one of those kits that came with a 16×16 rush cane sheet as well as a spline. I couldn’t find any locally and to have ordered it from a retailer that specializes in upholstery material would have been too expensive for what i was looking for.

  3. I know what you mean about drooling over Restoration Hardware anything! … infact… I think I need a new catalogue as mine is worn out from browsing! It’s my go to self soother! ha ha! You did an amazing job of these and they are sooooo Restoration Hardware worthy! Thank you so much for sharing them at Making Broken Beautiful, it is a pleasure to have you link up! I hope you join in again soon! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks girl! It is soothing isn’t it… but then my problem is, i become discontent and have to have everything look like their catalog… sigh! It’s just so pretty! Thank you for coming over here girl! I always love seeing your name come up in my new comments notifications 🙂

  4. Vanessa, oh my word I LOVE these! They’re totally gorgeous and they look amazing with your table. I can see you having some seriously fun dinner parties in this space. Great job on these chairs, lady, they’re beautiful. Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much COCO. you and the Crowned Goat are amazing and compliments from you are so humbling! I am smiling. Thank you so much. I have had lots of dinners already and it’s only been about 2 months….Plenty more to come.

    1. Thank you! when you start a project like that, you cross your fingers and hope it comes out well and this one didn’t fail so i’m glad 🙂 thank you for stopping by.

  5. OOO….they turned out just beautiful……your dining room is so pretty…I know you just love it to pieces…
    I am on a search for just the right “pull up and be comfy” chair for my living room…I want to do it in a gray and white plaid. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. What a great job, kudos! Visiting from Marty’s blog, and it’s nice that she featured you, but I couldn’t get her link to work in coming back to your blog. No problem, though, I was determined. I enlarged the photo so I could see your watermark, and found you through a couple link throughs!
    Rita C at Panoply

    1. Rita, wow! Thank you so much for making it over here. I contacted Marty. I had some issues with my blog this week and had to move it to 2 new domains. The first change still had issues which then led me here. Through all of that, i wasn’t able to redirect everything as somethings just got lost. Thank you so much for taking the time to do all of that work to make it over here. I highly appreciate it. I am also so impressed with PI skills! What talent 🙂

  7. OMG! Marty was right, your chairs look like they were dead and came back to life looking beautiful! I love the white linen you chose for them and the shape of the pretty chairs.
    You did an awesome job and your dining room looks fabulous!

    1. Fabby, you are so kind to stop by and leave a comment! Thank you so much. I am thankful for Marty’s kindness to feature my work. please do me a favor and subscribe to this little blog if you haven’t yet.

  8. Wow!! Those are beautiful! I came across a cane back ladies slipper chair, at the dump. I hauled it home. I have been afraid to tackle it, because I have zero experience in redoing a full back, the way that you have done. All of the tutorials I have read ( i didn’t think to try youtube) say to use upholstery webbing. Did you use any? You didn’t mention using it, so I just had to ask. Im trying to get the nerve to try my hand at doing this!

    1. Andra, I did not try upholstery webbing. I attempted using cane but i did not have the right hammer and that’s when i gave up and decided to use fabric. For that, I just cut the fabric a few inches larger than the hole and used a staple gun to secure it. After that, i cut the padding to the size of the hole and put it above that and then covered it with my second (top) piece of fabric and repeated the stapling process. I am not sure that this helps but I hope it does. Also, if I may, let me encourage you to try it anyway. It will be a bit of a challenge and may not be perfect (mine aren’t) but you will get better and you will love it perhaps more than your current chairs because you put so much of yourself in it 🙂 have a good day.

      1. Thank you! Now I cannot wait to dive right in~~~ Perfect isn’t what Im after. I want it to be mine. I am prepared for not showroom perfect! As long as the bright red/orange upholstery is gone, and the back is one solid piece, I will be ten kinds of great!!!

  9. Hi,

    I love the finish on the wood, it’s exactly the look I am wanting for a chair I need to upholster. Can you give details about the grey paint color and stain you used? Any special techniques?

    Thanks – Lisa

    1. Lisa, Thank you! I plan to do another chair soon. It should be up in about 2 weeks.. I plan to use the exact same paint and stain with more details. Please check back then. I will also give myself a reminder to remind you when it’s up.

  10. Lovely! So it’s just padding in the back….no “backing” material? (No wood, etc.?) Also, I notice you had them in gray, but now they seem to be a warm brown—did you paint them again, or strip them, or is it just the photo coloring? I seem to have trouble with paint peeling–do you recommend a certain primer or paint? Thanks!

    1. Vicky, no, no backing material. I did the back fabric first and then my cushion and then the top fabric. As far as the color is concerned, I stained the gray paint. Look at my “how to get the unfinished wood on any surface” post for a detailed tutorial of how this is done! I hope that this helps. If you’re still confused after reading that post, please let me know and I’ll try to customize the answer to you. Have a great day!

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