How to upholster a chair step by step?

It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Are your kitchen or dining room chairs worn out and just crying out for replacement? Or maybe you are dreaming about a metamorphosis of your interior? Before you throw away your old furniture, think about refurbishing and upholstering it yourself.

Furniture renovation not only allows you to give a second life to your favourite old chairs and armchairs, to which you still feel sentimental. It’s also a great way to cut down on waste and save money – replacing upholstery requires a small outlay and a few basic tools

Besides, renovating furniture on your own can be a great idea for spending your free time. And contrary to appearances, it is not very complicated at all. We guarantee that after finishing the work you will feel satisfaction, and your apartment will gain a unique piece of equipment.

Material for a good start

First take care of all the necessary materials and tools. Think about the look you would like to give your chairs. There is such a variety of fabrics on the market that you will surely be able to choose one that will match your interior design

Consider not only your aesthetic preferences, but also your needs. If there are children or pets at home, it is worth choosing the material characterized by resistance to mechanical damage and easy cleaning. Also, in the case of renovation of furniture that will be standing outside, it is better to consider the purchase of a weather-resistant fabric.

Tools in hand!

To upholster a chair on your own, you will need such tools as:

  • upholstery stapler,
  • upholstery glue,
  • scissors,
  • screwdriver,
  • pliers.

If the chair’s wooden legs also need refreshing, get some wood varnish. It is also worth buying new upholstery foam to replace the filling of the furniture.

Chair upholstery step by step

Step 1: Remove the back and seat

First, slowly disassemble the chair and gently remove the old fabric. Don’t throw it away – it will come in handy as a template die-cut. If the staples are too tightly pressed into the fabric, use a screwdriver or pliers to lever them out. You can refresh the chair legs at this stage by varnishing or painting them with paint, but wait for them to dry before moving on to the next steps.

Step 2: Cutting out the fabric

Cut out the appropriate size of fabric. To do this, measure the chair and add a few inches to the result, so that you leave room for the fabric to fold and curl.

Step 3: Replacing the seat filling and covering with fabric

It is a good idea to replace the upholstery foam in the seat. Buy one with a similar thickness to the previous filling. Place the die-cut fabric over the sponge, smooth it carefully, wrap it under the seat, and attach it using an upholstery stapler. You can also use glue here, but the advantage of staples is that they can be pulled out if you make a mistake. Remember to stretch the fabric tightly!

Step 4: Upholstery in the corners and on the backrest

We suggest that you upholster the seat on all four sides first and leave the corners for last. Cut off the excess fabric with scissors, then form an overlap, fold and pin to the underside of the seat using a stapler. Do the same with replacing the fabric on the backrest.

Step 5: Twisting the chair

Finally, carefully twist the chair and fix the seat and backrest on it in the new look. Be careful not to damage the fabric. Done!

Main photo: Eduard Militaru/

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