When I started thinking about our master bathroom makeover, I wanted to change the vanity. Not that it was not good, but I wanted something with more character and warmth instead of the pure white one we had.
After searching for a while, I came to the decision that I will try to upcycle it instead. Most of the ones I wanted were over $6,000 and I did not want to invest this kind of budget knowing that what we had was still good.
So, after looking for more inspiration on Pinterest, my initial thoughts were to have fluted vanity facings. But I decided to go with cane webbing. It's a material that I love, natural (made from the skin of the rattan plant), a classic, it gives the retro feel I was trying to achieve while being modern since it's still very much on trend - not that I necessarily follow trends, but I love it! it's also a material that is strong yet delicate, and this kind of duality in materials and pieces I choose is something I love!
With all the other materials and finishes I had in the bathroom, I decided to paint the vanity as well and change the hardware to something smaller and more subtle so the focus remains on the look of the cane webbing.
There are two most popular kinds of cane webbing... the hexagonal and the radio weave, the latter being more tightly woven. Because I did not want things to be seen through the webbing, I opted for the radio design. Cane is also strong, making it a durable material. It can be stained or painted, but in this case I decided to keep its natural color.
So, what are the tips and tricks to use cane?
Well, to start with, cane needs to be soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes to make it malleable and easy to work with. Also, cane tightens when it dries, so soaking it ensure you will have a tight, well-stretched piece when you're done. I usually tap it dry lightly with a rag or towel so it doesn't drip.
The second important tip is to ensure you cut about 1-2 inches longer on all sides than what you need to cover your surface. This will be used to secure the cane in place properly and cover all your surface.
The third tip when using cane is to glue or staple once you cut it. Since it can easily fray when cut, it's important to secure the edges with glue or staples. For the bathroom vanity, I used a different technique that holds the cane even better, and has a more finished look on the inside.
I started by measuring the surface I wanted to cover with cane and bought the quantity I needed, plus some extra to account for any potential damage along the way or loss with the cuts.
Then, using a router, I cut the parts of the doors and drawers I wanted to cover with cane. I made sure the inside edges were all round since I wanted a softer look. On the inside, we cut a groove about 1/2 inch around the part that was cut off, ensuring it didn't go through the facings.