How to Reupholster Dining Room Chairs

We bought our used dining room chairs right after we got married and they were already dirty, but we figured it was fine and it was just us young love birds  . Many years and a few children later, the chairs were in desperate need for a re-covering. So with our little army we set out to fix up our dinning room chairs.

NOTE: Make sure to measure your chairs before heading out to buy/repurpose fabric. You want to make sure you have enough. You need to add about 4 - 6 inches to the measurement so you have enough fabric to staple on the bottom. Also add for the thickness of your foam!

This is how bad they looked!!

Here are the materials (Full list at the bottom in the materials section).

We opted to remove the old fabric and foam. This was a lot more work than we anticipated.

At first we were not very efficient with everyone trying to do everything. Open the staple on one side, remove the old fabric and pull out the rest of the staples. Too many cooks in the kitchen...

So we changed to having Daddy taking out one side of the staples and remove the old fabric. The children used pliers to pull out the rest of the staples.

This took about an hour for 4 chairs

Here is one chair with all the material and foam removed

Next we laid out the chairs on the foam to measure the correct sizes. My chairs curve down so you want to make sure you align with the curve.

Carefully cut the foam with a utility blade/knife. Use your hand or knee to keep the board in place.

Cutting the fabric. I had more than enough fabric so I cut big squares for each chair.

The fabric I bought was usable on both sides , with one side lighter than the other. The wife chose the lighter side

With the help of a little one we aligned the material with the curve and secured with staples. Doing it this way ensured that the front of the chair would be tight.

Here we are folding the corner, by far the hardest part of the adding fabric and plastic part.

IMPORTANT: Staple the fabric first and then put the plastic on top and staple separately. This will allow for you to change the plastic in the future without compromising the fabric staples

Screwing back in the seat to the chair proved to be a bit challenging as the plastic added thickness to the seat. With a little force you should be able to align the holes.

Wohoo!!!  Finally reupholstered chairs! The wife owes me a dinner  .

Suggested materials:

  • Roll of 4 cm thick foam - 3 feet  (Local mattress store)
  • Fabric of your choice  (Local Fabric Store)
  • Thick Plastic  (Local Hardware store)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Cecilia
    on Apr 8, 2017

    What's your question?Why not buy a piece of patterned vinyl? You could have avoided the added bulk of the plastic.
    • Judy Gordon
      Judy Gordon
      on Apr 9, 2017

      Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Doesn't matter. Do the re make to suit your taste, your budget. Good job!!

Join the conversation

2 of 41 comments
  • 861650
    on Apr 10, 2017

    One last thing. I do like the style of the chairs...very contemporary. Can imagine the chairs painted and recovering the seats with good quality fabric. That way, you could possibly use them around the dining room table with two similar but larger chairs on each end. Could use them individually in other rooms...different paint and/or different fabric or in a grouping in another room. Everything does not have to be matchey-matchey but that's just me. All the best to you and your family!
  • Becky Partain
    Becky Partain
    on Apr 10, 2017

    Great job!!!
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