How To Reupholster A Chair

  • How To Reupholster A Chair
  • How To Reupholster A Chair

Bring a charity shop bargain bang up to date with simple techniques for DIY reupholstery. 

To give an old chair a new look, all you need is a couple of metres of fabric, a staple gun, scissors and a packet of tacks. The supplies can be easily found in craft, fabric and hardware stores or online.

For new chairs, you can simply change the cover, but damaged or secondhand chairs will need to be completely reupholstered. 

Replace the foam or top the existing filling with cotton wadding. Buy standard infills or have the foam cut to size. 

Line the seat’s underside and back with hessian, about $7 a metre, then cover the chair with upholstery fabric.  

TIP If a new seat base is needed, cut it from thin MDF or plywood.

Step 1. Cut the fabric

Remove the original seat and back covers, discarding any staples or upholstery tacks. Use the covers as a template to cut new upholstery fabric and hessian with scissors, and foam and cotton wadding, if using.

Step 2. Cover the back

Line the back of the chair with hessian, securing it with upholstery tacks. Position the fabric on the seat and check the fit. Cover the back with fabric and secure with staples, making cutouts for the arms and frame.

Step 3. Upholster the seat

Turn the chair upside down, pull the fabric up over the sides and pin it temporarily in position. Pull the fabric taut as you go and secure it to each side with upholstery tacks and a hammer, folding it under at the corners.

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