Asked on Dec 09, 2016

How do I recover my computer chair?

by Blu99

I have an old office chai r that I absolutely love and can't find a new one that fits me just the way this one does. So I can get the arms off the chair easily and can put new foam and fabric on the top but the seat and back part have me stumped. The cushion on the seat and the back has hard plastic behind the cushion and fabric so I'm not sure quite how to remove them and redo them. Is this a lost cause for me?? Help please!!!! I've included some photos.

  27 answers
  • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 09, 2016

    Thanks so much William! I'll check those out tonight!!!!

    I appreciate your time,


  • Valerie Valerie on Dec 10, 2016

    I was seriously impressed with this chair transformation - it might be what you are looking for:

  • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 10, 2016


    That is just gorgeous isn't it!!!!!!! Mine doesn't have the some of the components that this chair has but she did such a beautiful job I'd like to send her mine to do! LOL

  • Sage Sage on Dec 10, 2016

    You might conisder finding a good iron on backing fabric with your new upholdstry fabric and keeping the original fabric on the chair when you reupholster if this is your first try. Just clean the fabric with Kids n Pets enzyne cleaner - soak it and let it dry to get rid of any funky office chair smell first tho. It might take a day or two to dry, but you will then have much less to worry about. -Use velcro to attach and sew slipcovers - true upholstrey for something you love & don't want to throw out may be a mistake unless you have massive patience and can handle how difficult the project really is with those chairs. I had a really cool office chair and ruined it thinking it would be easy - ended up sitting in the garage for a year before I could bear to admit defeat.

  • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 10, 2016

    Thanks Sage! I wondered if I could do it too!!!!! Would be so much easier if I found a chair that I liked but for some stupid reason I can't!!!!

  • Susan Susan on Dec 11, 2016

    I bought a chair over 15 years ago. Loved, Loved it! When it needed replacing or repairing, I tried to do it myself... didn't work... So I invested in some decent fabric and carried it to a friend in the upholstery business. For $40, he redid it and I can get 20 more years out of my favorite chair! Not a bad deal!!

  • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 11, 2016

    Well Susan,

    Around here upholstery business are very scarce but I might also check out that idea! Thanks so much!!

  • Diane Taylor Noel Diane Taylor Noel on Dec 12, 2016

    Maybe try fabric paint (Annie Sloan paint can be used on fabric) if everything is in good shape otherwise.

  • Linda Linda on Dec 12, 2016

    I redid my husband's chair a few years ago. Gently pry off the back. He had a couple of broken plastic clips that I was able to find at O'Reilly's auto parts store. I bought new fabric at Hobby Lobby & used the old back & seat fabric for patterns

  • Lucy Marie Bernier Lucy Marie Bernier on Dec 12, 2016

    First check and see if the arms of your beloved chair can come off ? There should be caps that cover the screws on the side. I did this for my boyfriend chair. With arms off , make a large pillow case that covers the whole chair. With a little leway for sitting,stretching. I did mine in John Deere material. Excess material front and bottom and staple it down if possible.

  • Chr4787838 Chr4787838 on Dec 12, 2016

    Hi, I grew up in Burlington . Now live in NE Arkansas . I would just try cleaning and making slipcovers if the padding is in good shape. Try calling local dry cleaners to see if they know anyone who does upholstery. Also check fabric stores to see if they know anyone in area. Haven't been back in years but there should be someone who can help in the area .

    • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 14, 2016

      Hi Chrystal,

      Where abouts in Iowa did you live? I live in Burlington out in the country and thanks for the tips!

  • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 12, 2016


    I arms come off easily but it's the back and seat I'm worried about. They apparently pop off and then back on and the cushion for the seat is shaped and so is the back (as far as indents go in the cushion). So I'm still leery of trying anything!

  • Bre12710997 Bre12710997 on Dec 13, 2016

    Would you follow same steps if the chair is vinyl ???

  • Gail Gail on Dec 13, 2016

    I have just recently started tackling some reupholstery projects, recliner chair and bar stools. For both projects I used the old fabric as a pattern, removing the old fabric reduces the bulk and gives a more professional finish. If you do a search "reupholtering a computer chair" there are lots of step by step tutorials available. I love the tricks the upholstery business uses to get nice smooth finishes. It can be a time intensive project but a computer chair would be a great beginner project. I love my $25 electric staple gun, well worth the investment for reupholstering. Good luck, you'lol be so proud of yourself when it's done.

    • Blu99 Blu99 on Dec 14, 2016

      Thanks Gail! I never thought to check out the quote of how to search that you used. I'll do that! If I can do this half way right I'll be amazed! LOL

  • Diana Clifford Diana Clifford on Dec 13, 2016

    Paint it with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Check out videos on YouTube on how to paint fabric. Have fun

  • Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis on Dec 13, 2016

    have you thought of looking to see if seat covers for a car would work, looks about like some of the bucket sets they have, then just get matching or contrasting material and wrap the arms

    • See 2 previous
    • Jlp16623674 Jlp16623674 on Jan 01, 2017

      You wouldn't need to take anything apart to use car seat covers. They will just slip over the chair back and seat as-is.

      For the seat I'd just buy a really good chair seat cushion and just place it there. Actually an outdoor cushion like for patio chairs might work.

  • Karen Tokarse Karen Tokarse on Dec 14, 2016

    Hi. I just recently recovered an office chair just like yours except it was orange. WAH! Because I couldn't find suitable material, I bought two stretch "suade" dusty BLUE chair covers from and I reversed and stretch-fitted over the chair back and bottom for the patterns. After I had my "pattern" and dry-fitting several times, I sewed the sides and hand stitched the bottom of the material for both the chair back and seat. Since the material was stretchy, it filled in for the gaps that would have been there with regular upholstery material. I wanted the fabric to show on the back as well because it was visible when entering the room. The arm pads were black, so I didn't need to cover those. My accent color was a lighter blue, so I spray painted my in box, pencil holder, and other office desk items to match. Too cute. This was a fun project that was done in a few hours.

  • Kmmquilts Kmmquilts on Dec 14, 2016

    Absolutely get a SureFit stretch chair slipcover. You can fit the top and using "T" pins gather up the extra and pin it securely into the bottom of the chair back. Cut away the seat, gather the extra and secure it to the bottom of the seat (staple gun?). If you cut the excess carefully you can get enough for the arms too.....Less than $20 on either Wayfare or Overstock....

  • Carolyn Davis Carolyn Davis on Dec 14, 2016

    was thinking more about not removing any thing and just sliding it over the plastic too.

  • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Dec 14, 2016

    I agree with Diane. You can paint it with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Try it on the arms first to see if you like it., because those are the easiest to cover up if you don't. I'll send a how-to link.

  • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Dec 14, 2016

    Painting fabric with chalk paint: Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • Chr4787838 Chr4787838 on Dec 14, 2016

    Lived in Burlington most of my life. Used to work at Domino's Pizza in late 80's and early 90's , then Pizza Hut in mid 90's after that I worked for Vista Bakery in the Quality Assurance. Dept. Left on Disability then I moved down to Ft. Madison after I lost my rental home in a fire. Worked as an Shift Manager for McDonalds in Fort Madison then in 2006 I moved to Paranoid AR. Now I am totally disabled

  • Chr4787838 Chr4787838 on Dec 14, 2016

    Have to put tablet on charger . Down to less then25% . Will be back on after 10 p.m. Is it possible that we know each other? I use Gmail for my emails. If you would like to write me easier.

  • Karen Rae Lvine Karen Rae Lvine on Dec 15, 2016

    Three Karens responding! I like the sure-fit idea too. It's also cheaper than a can of chalk paint.

  • Gail Gail on Jan 01, 2017

    I was an upholsterer in a former life. The plastic on the back and seat can be pried off with a large pry bar of long screwdriver. Underneath you will find the fabric stapled to the wood or plastic base. Each will pop back on when the job is done. Just mark top/bottom, front/back with chalk or grease pencil as you remove. Good luck, very rewarding when finished.

  • Sherian Beasley Sherian Beasley on Jan 13, 2017

    I have a sewing chair looks just like black plastic on back. I took my fabric cotton.

    I used a butter knife an a screw driver. Cut out fabric with maybe 5 inch fabric extra larger then chair. Stuffed it between old material and plastic back of cair it was super tight and my chair took some work, but came out very nice. I did this two years again still in great shape. I also before stuffing into chair I embroidery the back out cotton fabric . It as I say was tight watch not to put hole in fabric.

    It made a nice tight fit.