My mom still has her original dining room set from 35+ years ago when her an my dad got married and the dining chairs are in desperate need of being reupholstered. Since we moved in with my parents in 2008, my mom has disassembled the dining set and it’s spread throughout the house and many of the dining chairs are in our storage sheds. She has an area where she currently keeps her laptop and is using a folding chair at the moment as her seating. She asked me the other day if we could reupholster one of her dining chairs and use it temporarily in place of the folding chair. I laughed and said, “I’m sure it will look better then the folding chair.” So here we go, how to reupholster a dining chair.
How to reupholster a dining chair
Here is the before picture. She has 10 of these guys!
Remove the screws from the under and backside of the chair.
Remove the seat cover.
You may need to use a screw driver (a very small tip) and hammer if your chair has wooden screw covers.
Once the screw caps/covers are removed, unscrew the back of the seat.
Here is the chair with the seat and back removed. This took all of 10 minutes. Super easy!
Now it’s time to add your new fabric. Cut your fabric leaving 2 – 3 inches on each side.
I used an “arrow head heavy duty staple gun” with 1/4 inch staples. You can purchase these staple guns at Home Depot or Lowes for under $20. Begin stapling your fabric to your chair piece.
Very easy and quick.
Once you finish one side, cut your next piece of fabric and lay on top of your chair piece and staple.
Staple along the edge.
Once I stapled the fabric to the chair piece, I trimmed off the excess fabric. This part is hidden behind the wood of the chair so my staples do not show.
You can see how I trimmed off the excess close to the staple.
Next, do the same thing for the bottom seat cushion.
Staple your fabric to the seat cushion.
The corners are a bit tricky. I just folder (like I was wrapping a gift) and made sure there were no wrinkles on the corner part that would be exposed.
Be sure to pull tight.
Staple every 12 inches or so.
Once you have your seat and back cushion reupholstered with your new fabric, screw them back onto the chair and you are done! This took about one hour and was ridiculously easy. I am fairly confident just about anyone can reupholster a dining chair using this method. I think the most difficult part was getting off the tiny wooden screw caps and that wasn’t really that hard.
So what do you think? Could you reupholster a dining chair or any chair for that matter that was outdated? Do you know that a professional would charge hundreds of dollars to do what I did in one hour? My mom bought 2 yards of fabric for $11 and now she has an updated chair that she loves. Once we get her desk area situated, I’ll share how the chair looks in her new space. If you are interested in learning how to reupholster a wingback chair, be sure to check out our dining room wingback that I reupholstered last summer. I shared a video and full no sew tutorial.