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  • Writer's pictureNimble Norfolk

Painting and staining woven cane

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

There's a running joke in the online caning community - "friends don't let friends paint cane". But why?

And further to this, why don't I offer a colour-matching service?

First, it's something I'd rather leave to a specialist. They have the experience, space, equipment and chemicals. They'd do an infinitely better and faster job than me, and I believe in supporting other businesses.

Second, I find that natural cane is more flexible, and therefore will last longer when maintained sympathetically. Cane is a plant material and needs to breathe. It's happiest when it can exchange moisture through the rough underside of the cane. Cane with moisture is flexible; sealed cane can be brittle.

Third, I like how the cane ages when left to its own devices. Fresh cane is pale. Older cane (depending on use and exposure to light) mellows into a warmer straw, then honey colour. I think it adds to the story of the piece. Every chair will be unique.

I've said this before on Instagram, and have some pictures and videos linked here with specific examples:

So, if colour matching is something you desperately want, I'm not your gal. However, I have researched local businesses that might be able to assist you, and I can point you in their direction if necessary.

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