Reupholster Chairs


Do you have some old chairs that you love, but the material has gone to pot? Have you ever looked to reupholster dining chairs? It can be very expensive. It is cheaper to buy new chairs.

reupholster dining chairs

This is the chair before

But what if they are heirloom chairs? Maybe not priceless in value, but in memories. Do you have the kitchenette from your grandmother? You probably would be disowned if you got rid of the set. But the chairs are in shambles. What is a goddess to do?

Reupholster them yourself, of course! It is fairly easy, and just takes a little practice. Most of these things were fairly simply covered, so it is easy to take it off and put new stuff on. You will have new chairs in no time!

Yes, the fabric used to reupholster can be fairly expensive, but it will be worth it in the end. Your best bet is to get 150% of the upholstery fabric you need to recover the chairs:

  • Size of the pad (should be the same size or slightly larger than the seat base for the chair).
  • Thickness of the seat base (you know, that piece of wood the legs attach to).
  • Thickness of the pad.
  • 3-4 inches extra for attachment.

IKMost fabrics in the craft stores that are acceptable run anywhere from $30-$50 a yard, for the stuff that will hold up under the strain of use. I would not suggest getting the fabric online, unless you are comfortable with the company. Go to a fabric store and look at the stuff in person. AC Moore, Joann’s Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or whatever hobby store is in your area. They all carry upholstery fabric in varying styles, colors, fabrics, and prices. You might have to order online, but you might find exactly what you are looking for in the store.

reupholster dining chairs

This is the chair after

If you need new cushions as well, get as firm a pad as possible. I had to replace mine, because the cushion was at least 50 years old. I made the mistake of getting the firm cushion, but I now see I really need two cushions for them to be comfortable for any length of time. Most craft stores do carry some battings; some of them are standard chair size. Check and see if those work before you buy some you need to cut yourself. I had to with these round chairs. That is not easy!

Airtex is a brand that is in most craft stores, and you can find their company on the web. Another one is Fairfield Poly-Fil.  Even if you get the high density, you probably should get two per chair, since they only come in 1″ and 2″ thickness. And they come in the standard dinette chair size of 15″x17″.

The only other things you need you might already have around the house, or you definitely know someone who has them.

Shopping List

  • Needle nose pliers to remove the old staples
  • A staple gun
  • Medium to heavy duty staples
  • A pair of scissors
  • A rubber mallet (to make sure the staples go all the way in, else they will stick out and catch your skin)

I am not going to tell you how to do it, because I am not that technical in my writing. But here is a link that is easy to follow if you want to do it yourself. This one includes instructions on using a lining, but that would be up to you if you want to go that far.

HGTV’s How to recover a dining room chair.

If I can do this, so can you. After all, we are goddesses in our own right!

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