How to Paint & Stain Cane Webbing

Today we are going to answer a question we’ve been getting asked a lot recently. Can you paint cane webbing?

The answer is, yes, of course. But there are a few tips that you are going to want to use to get the best results possible. I am going show you how to paint cane and I am going to go over a couple of other ways you can modify rattan so you are sure to get the look you are going for.


Old Cane vs. New Cane



Painting Cane

The underside is matte and a little more unfinished looking and you don’t want to paint that because if you do, you will suffocate your cane.

So, I want to start by saying, there is absolutely a right and a wrong way to paint cane webbing and I’ve seen it done wrong in quite a few videos I have watched on YouTube.

So here is the trick, you should never paint the backside of cane webbing.

Part of the beauty of cane is that it lasts for years and years if it’s cared for properly, but the reason for this is that cane breaths through the backside of the material and if it is unable to so it will dry out which will cause it to become brittle and break.

You can hand paint it with a brush or roller as well, just make sure that you put on a few VERY thin layers of paint so it doesn’t drip.

The easiest way to paint cane webbing is by spraying it with spray paint. Use several thin layers as opposed to one very thick one.

If this is a piece of furniture that you are painting, simply tape off the parts that you don’t want painted and allow the paint to dry for at least a few hours before handling.

White Washed Cane

Go slowly, and take it layer by layer, you can always add more paint but you can’t take it away.

If you want to give your cane webbing a light refresh, but you don’t want fully paint over the material, you could white wash it.

Mix your paint with water, and using a lint free rag, rub it all over the cane.

Once you are happy with the results, don’t sit on or place anything on your cane until it is fully dried.

Stained Cane

Cane webbing does darken over time, but if you don’t want to wait or if you are looking for something with slightly warmer undertones, you can always stain your cane webbing

You should use an oil-based stain on your cane, and you should apply it the same way you would regularly stain wood.

None of These Tickling Your Fancy? Keep it Natural

So, I go over this in another article (find it here) but if decide that you do want your cane to remain in its natural state, a little bit of oil will give it a refresh and make it look really great.

I recommend using mineral oil, linseed oil, or murphy’s oil soap that has been diluted in water.

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