Upholstering a Chair ain’t so bad – Learn the Basics

In DIY, Refinishing, Upcycle projects by DanLeave a Comment

Re upholstering a chair 1

Re upholstering a chair

My wife decided that the side chair in our sun room, just didn’t work for her anymore. So… let’s upholster it she says. (We???  I know what that means)  Just how hard can upholstering be?

Here is the chair we started with. I didn’t think it was too bad.

chair 1

Tools Needed

Tear Down

We began by slowly removing the material, a section at a time. When you do this, take a LOT of photos, so you can look back at how it came apart. We used a marker to create match lines at the seams.  Meaning we drew one, two or three lines across the seams to help remind us how the pieces went together.

chair 2

chair 4

Save the specialized fasteners, like these tack strips, to use again.
chair 3

Going Back Together – Time To Start Upholstering!

Now take the pieces that you removed and lay them out on your new material as patterns.  Pin them down and cut  out evserything. Keep the pattern pieces pinned to the new ones, so you can use those match marks we talked about earlier.

Reassemble the chair, in the reverse order of how it came apart. You will need a staple gun (I recommend using 1/2″ or longer staples) and a tack hammer to re-attach the pieces to the chair frame.

The only sewing that was needed was for the piping around the arms. this was sewn to the larger cloth of the arm itself.  With some care, you could probably do without it, but we prefer this look, and I think it wears better.

chair 45

Fast forward and the chair is complete.

A friend with an upholstery shop offered to buy the chair to sell in her shop, so not to bad for a first try at a fairly complicated upholstery project.

Now I don’t worry when she says we should be upholstering a chair, even though I know what “we” really means.

chair 5

Please comment below and tell me what you think. Do you have any questions? I look forward to hearing from you.


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