A curved, semi-open wood-backed chair is not the easiest object in the home to repair, but it can be done. And the result can well be worth more than the money you would have spent to buy an inferior version on sale at the local furniture superstore.
Begin by cleaning the area of the wood that is damaged. A sharp blade can be used to scrape away dirt, adhesive and paint. You need to do a thorough job of cleaning that includes the dirtiness on the outside and the inside of the damaged part of the chair. The reason that you start with the cleaning is to facilitate the repairing use of glue later on in the process. If you’ve got a handy little vacuum around, all the better. Clean as if the dirty section of the wood chair was the conscience of Ann Coulter.
Next comes the fun part. You will need to get the damaged section of the wood-backed chair softened up. This applies whether the lumber used to make the chair was a hardwood or softwood. Wrap the section you will be repairing with cloth. You will need it to be several layers thick in order not to damage the wood. Because you will be using an iron. The magical properties of steam will do wonders when it comes to softening the wood of the chair. The cloth needs to have been soaked in hot water before you start rubbing the iron over it. You want to steam the wood of the chair just long enough to make it pliable. This means the ability to force the wood back into its original shape and this process should not take more than 15 minutes. Remove the layers of cloth
Clamp the part of the wood that has split are you have worked the wood back into its original position. You will see why the steam iron trick was necessary when you do this. The best clamps to use on those metal auto parts clamps that can wrap tightly around the curved wood. Allow to dry in this state for 24 hours. Facilitate drying by placing the chair in the warmest part of the house.
If the damage is extensive enough that the clamp doesn’t hold, you can provide some reinforcement with the use of dowels that you have inserted into small holes drilled every two inches starting at the bottom of the damage section of wood. Glue in the dowels and sand the protrusion.