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How to reupholster a dining chair

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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

How to reupholster a chair

 

Here is the before picture. She has 10 of these guys!

how to reupholster a dining chair

Remove the screws from the under and backside of the chair.

how to reupholster a dining chair

Remove the seat cover.

how to reupholster a dining chair

You may need to use a screw driver (a very small tip) and hammer if your chair has  wooden screw covers.

RELATED: Easy DIY Reupholstering Tips and Tricks

how to reupholster a dining chair

Once the screw caps/covers are removed, unscrew the back of the seat.

how to reupholster a dining chair

Here is the chair with the seat and back removed. This took all of 10 minutes. Super easy!

how to reupholster a dining chair

Now it’s time to add your new fabric. Cut your fabric leaving 2 – 3 inches on each side.

how to reupholster a dining chair

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.

how to reupholster a dining chair

Very easy and quick.

how to reupholster a dining chair

Once you finish one side, cut your next piece of fabric and lay on top of your chair piece and staple.

how to reupholster a dining chair

Staple along the edge.

how to reupholster a dining chair

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.

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You can see how I trimmed off the excess close to the staple.

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Next, do the same thing for the bottom seat cushion.

how to reupholster a dining chair-15

Staple your fabric to the seat cushion.

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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.

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Be sure to pull tight.

how to reupholster a dining chair-15

Staple every 12 inches or so.

how to reupholster a dining chair-15

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.

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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.

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13 Comments

  1. it looks so pretty against your curtains!

  2. Great work! Yes, I’ve found that dining chairs are SIGNIFICANTLY easier to reupholster than armchairs/sofas–so much faster to do, too! I cannot recommend reupholstery enough–such a great way to update and reuse furniture!

  3. Wonderful transformation! Isn’t it so rewarding to update something so easily and make mom happy at the same time!! Have a great day!~~Angela

  4. Great job! The chairs look terrific.
    Quick question, do you have a tip for getting the screws back in tightly. I seem to have a problem getting the screws back in to the seat of the chair.
    A picture is always helpful.
    Lisa

    1. I use a power screw gun so that may help the key is to get the screw thread back in the same place. You may need someone to hold the seat in place while you put the screw in. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you like my mom’s chair.

  5. my chairs have an uplostry back and bottom with dbl piping and no screws. do you know anything about that.? Thanks V

  6. Please don’t think this is a criticism but this is how to recover a dining chair rather than reupholster it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reupholstery would involve taking off all the fabric, taking out all the old staples or tacks, removing the stuffing and building up again from new. It’s a very often misused term!

  7. Thank you for doing the demo on how to reupholster a chair, I am about to do my dining chairs as well and you helped to give me the confidence to do it!

  8. thank you! this is just what i was looking for and well explained. fantastic! can’t wait to pretty up my dining chairs!

  9. I am so glad I ran across this post. I have EXACTLY the same chairs with EXACTLY the same colored upholster ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to recovering them. Is the dining room table they belong to an octagon shaped table?