To finish the chair, singe any cane hairs with a candle. Have a damp cloth to protect the cane from burning too much. You may want to sign & date the completion of your work, for historical purposes.
Some people may want to stain or oil the cane to match the color of the chair. I prefer the natural color of the cane & it's color will change patina with age. It's best not to apply a finish (paint) that will dry out the cane & cause it to prematurely break.
A damp cloth with light detergent is all that is needed to clean the cane & also will help to slightly retighten the seat.
If a single cane should break, you can back out that cane, retie the ends. Then weave in a replacement cane. Pay special attention to follow the proper pattern for that cane. The border will probably need to be replaced also, to make room for the cane to be run through the holes.
The FINISHED Chair!!! Time to Celebrate. (I'd recommend a nice chardonnay). Always properly celebrate the completion of YOUR great work of art.
This is the set of 6 chairs used in the making of these instructions.
Author's note: The chairs used in illustrating these instructions are from of a set of 6 pressed back chairs, along with 2 additional winged back chairs/with pressed leather seats; and a round oak table with 3 leaves. This set is believed to be my Great-Grandmother's and is being passed to my daughter. I had the privilege of repairing, refreshing the finish & caning the set. At this time (2/02, it has taken me about 6 months of occasional work). Two of the chairs needed a LOT of repair, including hand carving some replacement parts. I am VERY proud of my work on this set.
(Can you find my daughter's dog in the picture, that I hadn't noticed before I shot the picture?)
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