Chairs · craft · Upholstery

Re-upholstering A Dining Room Chair – A Tutorial

Chair – a word that sends a shudder down the spine of my long-suffering husband, The Bavarian. With my renovation habit focusing heavily on chairs, he has more of less become conditioned to shouting “No. We are not taking it” whenever I look in the direction of a chair at a flea market, second hand shop or peeping out of a skip.
The thing is, I tend to take while to get round to renovating my finds. Which means that our garage and cellar from time to time house several projects I am trying to find the time to get around to. When there are more broken chairs than functioning ones in the house, it is understandable that The Bavarian might become a tad irrited when I put my eye on another one.
As if to prove that at least some of the chairs do eventually get given a new lease of life, I’m going to show you one of my renovations here now.
This chair is one of a matching pair I salvaged from the bin collection several years ago. The frames were in great condition – stable and sturdy with just a few blotches and minor scratches. The seat cushions, on the other hand, were in a bad state.
The Frame
The Cushion

What I used:

1 chair, obviously

Scratch cover furniture treatment


Staple gun

1 cushion the same size as the chair seat

Fabric to upholster the seat

  1. I began, as always, by washing down the chair with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Once it was dry, I rubbed the frame of the chair all over with a scratch cover treament to give the wood an even colour and cover up scrapes and blemishes.
  2. The next step was to remove the seat from the frame and remove the old upholstery fabric as well as the stuffing.
The underside of the seat. Luckily the springs were in good condition.
The seat frame after removal of the filling and fabric

3. Once the seat frame was freed of fluff and dust, I turned it the right way up and placed a cushion on top. Over this a spread the upholstery fabric, ironed and cut to size.

4. I turned the seat upside down and carefully began to staple the fabric onto the frame, all the time making sure to keep the fabric wrinkle free and add slight pleats where necessary.

5. Every so often I turned the seat right side up to check that the shape of the cushion was even. Once I was happy with the shape and sure that the staples were sufficeint to hold the fabric in place, I popped the seat back into the chair frame.



2 thoughts on “Re-upholstering A Dining Room Chair – A Tutorial

  1. Aaah you’re too clever!!! I’ve got an armchair that I’d love to reupholster — I keep looking at courses but they’re so blooming expensive. By the time I’ve forked out for both that — and the fabric — I may as well have bought a new chair. Definitely not as satisfying as up-cycling one though 🙂

    1. Snap Caro! I have two armchairs needing recovered, both absolute bargains but will costs a fortune to get reupholstered. Just the labour will cost over 900€ for the. Add in fabric and I could buy two new ones for the same money.

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