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How to Reupholster Dining Room Chairs

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How to reupholster dining room chairs

Last week I shared how I painted these cane back chairs, and this week I am sharing how I reupholstered them.  I have found that reupholstering chairs sounds more intimidating than it really is!  All you need is the right fabric and a staple gun.  

While I am doing a full chair update, simply changing out dated or worn chair fabric can really give the whole room an updated fresh look! 

Step 1: Remove the Seat

To remove the seat you will want to turn yout chair over, there should be about 4 screws, one in each corner, that are holding the seat on to the chair frame.  Using a drill you should be able to quickly detach the seat from the chair. 

repairing cane chairs

Step 2: Thoroughly Clean Fabric (or Re-Cushion if needed)

Even though my chairs had this awful yellow velour fabric, the cushions and the fabric itself was in really good shape.  Therefore, I choose to leave the old fabric on and just clean it.  I first vacuumed the cushions and then used my Hoover SmartWash+ carpet cleaner with the upholstery attachment.  I then left the seats to dry completely. 

If you need to re-cushion your chairs you will need to start by removing the existing fabric.  Use a flat-head screw driver and a hammer to remove the staples and then pull off the fabric and the seat cushion.  You can buy new foam on Amazon.  Cut the upholstery foam using scissors to your chair shape and then use a spray adhesive to hold the foam in place.  You can double the layer of foam if you wish to have more padding in the dining chair seat. 

How to reupholster dining room chairs

Step 3: Staple on New Fabric

spline
furniture

Start by laying your fabric out flat, then place your seat in the center of the fabric.  First place a staple in the center of each side of the seat.  Next, place two stapes moving out from the center continuing to bring in the fabric.  Then, pull in each corner and place a staple to hold the corners in place.  Lastly, pull the excess fabric tight to make a fold on either side of the corner and place a staple to either side.  See the numbered diagram for the order and where I placed my staples. 

I then went back over the seat an placed additional staples where I felt the fabric or cushion needed more securing.  

I worked right on the floor of my dining room, during nap times and after dinners, to slowly get all the chair seats covered! 

upholstery staple

Step 4: Reattach the New Seat to Chair Frame

To reattach your seats you may need an extra set of hands.  You will flip your chair frame over and while holding the seat in place use your drill and the screws you removed in step 1 to reattached the seat.  Flip your chair over and take in the completed project! 

How to reupholster dining room chairs

Did you enjoy following along on how to reupholster dining room chairs? Check out our post on How to Paint Cane Furniture!

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how to reupholster dining room chairs

How to Reupholster Dining Room Chairs

Prep Time 1 hr
Build Time 2 hrs

Equipment

  • Staple Gun
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Scissors

materials
  

  • Staples
  • Fabric
  • Upholstery Foam
  • Cleaning Solution

Instructions
 

  • Remove the Seat
  • Thoroughly Clean Fabric (or re-cushion as needed)
  • Staple on New Fabric
  • Reattach Seat to Chair Frame
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