How to Reupholster Dining Room Chairs — In 2 Easy Methods

how to reupholster dining room chairs
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

Are the upholstery of your dining chairs looking old and worn out? Do you want to change the upholstery of your dining room chairs and don’t know how to do so?

Look no further; this article has all the answers you need. In this post, we will show you how to reupholster dining room chairs.

The steps we will share will be so easy to follow that you will wonder why you didn’t find this article a long while ago. Who knows, you might have even started a reupholstering business based on your findings here.

Well, like they say,” better late than never”…

How to Reupholster Your Chairs Cushion

A good number of dining room chairs come with cushions that give you that soft padding while you eat.

When the upholstery gets worn out or damaged as a result of use, the steps below will help you reupholster your chair all by yourself.

To reupholster your dining chair, there are two methods you can employ depending on if you want to completely change every element that makes up your seat. This includes the foam, batting, dust cover, and the fabric. Or you want to just change a part of the upholstery especially the cover fabric.

So we will discuss both the complete reupholstering and the partial reupholstering of your dining chair below.

Method 1 – Complete Reupholstering

This method means you will have to change every element that makes up your dining seat. But before we look at the steps, what are the materials needed? Find out below.

Materials You Need

i. Upholstered dining chair

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ii. Batting

iii. Fabric

iv. Foam

v. Fabric Pen (temporary)

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vi. Scissors

vii. Staples

viii. Staple Gun

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ix. Utility knife

x. Screwdriver

xi. Needle-nose pliers

The size of the material needed for your batting, fabric, and foam depends on the size of your dining chair.

Part 1: Removing the Upholstering

Step 1: Remove the Seat Cushion

To carry out this first step, simply use a screwdriver and a needle-nose plier to remove the cushion from the chair’s frame.

Make sure you keep the screws safe because you will need to use them when reattaching the seat cushion.

You could also repaint your chair at this point if you think the chair’s paint job needs a touch-up.

Step 2: Remove the fabric

Still using the screwdriver, remove the staples or tacks that attach the fabric to the seat.

The staples or tacks can be discarded since you won’t be using them again.

Step 3: Remove the foam

Once the fabric is removed, you can now remove the foam as well.

Part 2: Cutting New Upholstery

Step 1: Cut the new foam

Take the seat as a pattern and trace its outline on the new foam with the temporary fabric pen you got.

Then cut out the foam with the utility knife. Make sure you follow the outline you traced earlier.

Step 2: Cut the new fabric

Put the chair seat and the cut-out foam on the new fabric. Let the inside part of the fabric face up. And make sure the seat is on top of the foam and not the other way round.

Trace a line that is 3 inches away from the foam and seat using the fabric pen, then cut it with scissors.

It is advisable to use dark fabric rather than light ones. This is because they will be less visible to stains.

Step 3: Cut batting

Cut your new batting using the fabric cut out as a pattern.

Step 4: Cut dust cover fabric

Not all seats have this but it will make your seat solid: It helps to prevent cushion sagging.

A dust cover is usually found beneath the foam and the main fabric. Therefore, you can worry less if you don’t get a perfect line cut.

Part 3: Reupholstering the Chair

Step 1: Attach dust cover

Take the dust cover fabric and place it on the seat. To attach it, you need a staple gun.

Stretch the fabric as much as you can and use the staple gun.  Start by placing 1 staple in the middle of every side. Then work your way outwards making sure that the fabric is taut as you work.

Step 2: Attach batting

To attach the batting you will also need to make use of your staple gun.

Use the staple gun to apply staples around the seat. As you do this, also trim every excess batting found outside the staple line.

Step 3: Attach foam

Place the foam on the batting and then on the seat’s frame. Make sure that the foam’s edges fall in line with the seat. Also, the foam must be centrally positioned on the batting.

Then using the staple gun, attach the foam to the seat.

Step 4: Attach the fabric

The same way you attached the batting and the dust cover, attach the fabric the same way to the seat.

The right side of the fabric must face down when attaching the fabric.

Make sure the fabric is snugly curved around the seat corners to prevent the appearance of tucks on top of the seat eventually.

Step 5: Reattach Seat

Once the seat is fully reupholstered, reattach it to the chair’s frame using the screwdriver again.

Step 6: Use your chair

Now your chair is looking new, it is time to use it.

Image by Jean-Paul Jandrain from Pixabay

Method 2 – Partial Reupholstering

In this method, you don’t go through all the trouble of changing every part of your dining seat. This method is used in cases where the seat still feels sturdy but the fabric needs changing.

So, we’ll look at how to partially reupholster your dining chair by adding a new foam and fabric.

What are the materials required? Well, take a look at them below.

Materials Needed

i. Upholstered dining chair

ii. Fabric

iii. Foam

iv. Fabric Pen (temporary)

v. Scissors

vi. Staples

vii. Staple Gun

viii. Utility knife

viii. Screwdriver

ix. Needle-nose pliers

Part 1: Removing the Seat from your Chair

To carry out this first part, simply use a screwdriver and a needle-nosed plier to remove the cushion from the chair’s frame. It is best you do this with your chair upside-down.

Make sure you keep the screws safe because you will need to use them when reattaching the seat cushion.

You could also repaint your chair at this point if you think the chair’s paint job needs a touch-up.

Part 2: Cutting New Upholstery

Step 1: Cut the new foam

The partial reupholstering method means the new upholstery will be placed on the old existing one. Therefore, make sure the foam is a bit larger than the original seat.

You can use the seat as a pattern and trace an outline on the new foam with the temporary fabric pen you got. However, make sure the traced outline is a bit larger than the original seat.

Then cut out the foam with the utility knife. Make sure you follow the outline you traced earlier.

Step 2: Cut the new fabric

Put the chair seat and the cut-out foam on the new fabric. Let the inside part of the fabric face up. And make sure the seat is on top of the foam and not the other way round.

Trace a line that is 3 inches away from the foam and seat using the fabric pen. After you’ve traced the line, cut it with scissors.

It is advisable to use dark fabric rather than light ones. This is because they will be less visible to stains.

In the event you have stained fabrics, you can pick some cleaning tips here.

Part 3: Reupholstering the Chair

Step 1: Attach the foam to the seat

Attach the foam to the seat. Make sure the foam completely covers the seat and is well-aligned. Then staple it to the original seat.

In this method unlike the first, it is advisable you put the seat on top of the foam and not the other way round.

 Step 2: Attach the fabric

Now that your foam is attached to the seat, place the attached foam and seat on your fabric. The right side of the fabric must face down while the wrong side must face up.

Fold the fabric as neatly as you can. After folding, staple the cover fabric to the seat with the staple gun.

Some people have found this part to be challenging as holding down the fold and stapling can be quite difficult. If it is difficult for you, we advise you to employ a helping hand who will help you with either holding down the fabric or stapling.

Here is a format you can apply when attaching your fabric:

i. Staple each side from the center to the end.

ii. Concentrate on each side first before moving to the next.

iii. Work on opposite sides first. For example, if side A is opposite side C, staple side A and then staple side C. Do not move to side B or D that is adjacent to side A.

Make sure the fabric is taut while stapling. This will ensure it isn’t folded or creased at the top. Besides, failure to do so will cause the fabric to loosen over time.

Step 3: Reattach Seat

Once the seat is reupholstered, reattach it to the chair’s frame using the screwdriver again.

Step 4: Use your chair

Now your chair is looking new, it is time to use it.

Image by dedgcombe from Pixabay

Watch the video below for a visual tutorial.

Conclusion

So these are the two methods to apply when reupholstering your dining room chair depending on the chair’s condition.

Which of these methods has been helpful? Which of them will you try out? Let us know in the comments section.

Also, if you have further questions, please let us know in the comments section as well.

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