How to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair

How to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair

I’m a thrift store rat. If I need any new furniture, I go to my local thrift stores and find something that I can transform into whatever I need. I did this when I needed new dining room chairs. However, these chairs had hideous fabric and I realized that the fabric I chose for them is also not desirable. It’s time to reupholster them.  This can be a really great way to get cheap furniture that can also work in the space you have.

There are materials that you need in order to reupholster a chair and there are materials that can be helpful.

Materials You Need:

Material You Could Need:

  • Scissors
  • Staple Remover

Step-By-Step

1. First, take the seat off of your chair. Flip the chair over on to a table and unscrew the seat. It’s usually pretty obvious which screws will do this.

2. Next decide if you need to take off the old fabric. You can use a simple staple remover for this. I did this with the fabric I put on initially, but I left the original fabric. It depends on how thick the fabric layers are on the back and whether you can actually get the fabric off. Whoever put the original fabric on my chairs did such a good job that I literally cannot get the staples out (oh, well).

3. Next, cut your fabric to the right size. You want it to cover the top and go over, around the edges, and to the back by a few inches. This gives you enough fabric to secure it to the back of the seat.

4. Now comes the fun part: stapling the fabric on! You can put the seat either on a table or on the floor. I had to use the floor so I could put my whole body weight behind it because I’m weak :). Pull your fabric around the edge keep it snug along the edge, and put a staple in. I usually put the staple in about a half an inch to an inch from the edge. Start working around the seat.

5. Corners can be a bit of a pain. I just folded it together until it looked okay and then stapled it in place. I know my old fabric had the corners cut out to make it easier to staple on. Just play with the corners until it looks good to you. The corners are also the place where you want longer staples. I used 1/4″ for this chair and it was tough to get through when the fabric was thick around the edges. Get a longer staple (1/2″) and this won’t be a big problem for you.

5. Once you’ve finished stapling, flip over your work and make sure it looks right to you. If you notice any weird bunching take out the staples and redo that section. As long as you’ve been pulling the fabric taut it shouldn’t be a problem.

6. Now you can put the seat back on your chair using the screws from before. The screw should go right through the fabric into the same holes. Now you’re done and have a much happier chair than before!

I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have updated fabric on these chairs. It completely transformed the way our dining space feels. Please tell me how your own reupholstering projects go and don’t be afraid to ask any questions!

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