Desser Bath sofa detail
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Restore Natural Rattan And Cane Conservatory Furniture

Restore old shabby rattan or cane conservatory furniture to look like new

Desser Bath 2 seater sofa (pictured above)

After a few years continuous use natural rattan and cane conservatory furniture can start to look a bit shabby, so you can do quite a lot to make it look closer to being new.

First of all start by cleaning the set.

  • Scrub in the crevices with a soft brush and vacuum with the brush attachment.
  • Make up a solution of washing-up liquid and tepid water.
  • Stir vigorously to make a lot of suds.
  • Dip a soft clean cloth in the suds.
  • Gently wipe the furniture without getting it too wet.
  • You may have to use a toothbrush to get in-between the weave.
  • Dry off with a soft cloth.
  • Allow the furniture to dry thoroughly before painting or any restoration work; if possible place in the sun to speed up the drying process.

Don’t wash the furniture down on a cool still day as the longer it takes to dry out the more chance there is of the furniture going mouldy.

Carefully assess the damage to the furniture and if there are any loose strands of rattan or cane just glue them back into place with Superglue.

If there are pieces of weave missing, replace with new material, usually available from a craft outlet.

  • Cut the old strands out back to good cane.
  • Measure a generous length of new material to fill the gap and soak in water for 30 – 45 minutes to soften; this makes it easier to weave.
  • Dry off any excess water and weave through the damaged section of furniture. Pull through with a fine-nosed pair of pliers.
  • When all the damaged sections are repaired glue down the ends.

Painted natural cane chair

If the furniture still looks a bit shabby you could always paint or varnish it or apply a coat of linseed oil.

All you need to do now is to buy new contemporary cushions or re-cover the old ones if the fillings are still serviceable and there you have ‘good as new’ conservatory furniture. 



How to: How To Restore Natural Rattan And Cane Conservatory Furniture

This guide will take you through the steps to restoring that well worn cane conservatory furniture to becoming useable again.

How to restore your natural can conservatory furniture.

Natural can conservatory furniture can become shabby after a few years and can incur a substantial cost to replace. First of all it needs a good clean. Using a soft brush remove any dust and grit from within the cane weave and use the vacuum nozzle to remove any from the deep crevices. Make up a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid and give a good stir to make a lot of suds. Take a soft clean cloth and dip in the suds, you don't want to use a sodden wet cloth. Wipe over the cane and remove with another clean dry cloth, you may need a toothbrush to get into the crevices. Leave to dry completely before painting or applying a varnish, if possible outside in the sunshine. Don't do this on a cool damp day as the longer it takes for the furniture to dry the more likelihood there is that the furniture will become mouldy.

Assess any damage

If any strands of cane have broken or become loose just weave them beck in and secure with a dab of superglue. If there are long strands missing source some new cane from the internet or craft shops and soak in water for 30 - 45 minutes, this makes it pliable and much easier to weave. Weave in to fill the gap, tucking both ends into the old weave and gluing to secure.

Finishing touches

Once you have cleaned and repaired the weave all it needs now is to restore the shine to the cane. It can be painted with a thin coat of a water based acrylic, varnished or just buffed with coat of linseed oil. If using oil remember to give it a thorough wipe down with a clean dry cloth to take off any excess oil.