How To Reupholster A Chair : Complete Guide

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If you have an old, tired-looking chair that you love but just can’t seem to part with, don’t despair. You can give it a new lease on life by reupholstering it yourself. It’s not as hard as you might think, and the results can be really impressive.

Reupholstering a chair is a great way to update its look and make it feel new again. It’s also a relatively easy project, as long as you have the right supplies and follow the correct steps. In this article, we will outline everything you need to know in order to reupholster a chair like a pro.

Why Should You Reupholster A Chair?

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Before we get into the details of how to reupholster a chair, let’s first discuss why you might want to do this in the first place. 

There are many reasons why someone might want to reupholster a chair. Maybe the chair is an heirloom that has been passed down for generations and is in need of some TLC. Or perhaps you found a great vintage piece at a flea market or garage sale, but the upholstery is dated or damaged. Also, if you’ve ever moved houses, you know that furniture can sometimes get banged up in the process. Reupholstering a chair is a great way to give it a fresh start.

Whatever the reason, reupholstering a chair is a great way to give it new life. Not only will it look better, but it will also be more comfortable to sit in. And if you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money compared to buying a new chair or paying someone else to do it for you.

What You Will Need

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Before you start reupholstering your chair, you will need to gather the following supplies:

  • Fabric: You will need enough fabric to cover the entirety of your chair. Be sure to factor in extra fabric if you are using patterned fabric.
  • Foam: You will need new foam for your chair if the existing foam is damaged or too old. Also, if you want your chair to be more comfortable, you can use thicker foam. Just be sure that the new foam is not too thick or it will make it difficult to put the fabric back on.
  • Plywood: You may need to replace the plywood on your chair if it is damaged or warped. It can be helpful to trace the old piece of plywood so you know what size and shape to get.
  • Scissors: You will need scissors to cut the fabric.
  • Measuring tape: You will need a measuring tape to measure the fabric and foam. It comes in handy for measuring other things as well.
  • Staple gun: A staple gun can also be used to attach the fabric to the frame of the chair.
  • Upholstery tacks (optional): Upholstery tacks can be used in place of a stapler for attaching the fabric to the frame of the chair.
  • Hammer (optional): If you are using upholstery tacks, you will also need a hammer to drive them into place.

Now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary supplies, you’re ready to start reupholstering your chair!

Steps For Reupholstering A Chair

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  1. Remove The Old Fabric

If your chair has existing fabric, you will need to remove it before you can start reupholstering. Use a screwdriver to remove any staples or tacks that are holding the fabric in place. Once the fabric is removed, discard it or set it aside to use as a pattern for cutting the new fabric.

  1. Cut The New Fabric

Place the old fabric on top of the new fabric and use it as a template to cut out the new piece. Be sure to add an extra inch or two around the edges so that you have enough fabric to work with.

  1. Attach The New Fabric

Begin by stapling or tacking one side of the fabric to the frame of the chair. Then, pull the fabric taut and staple or tack it into place on the opposite side. Continue until all sides of the fabric are secured.

  1. Trim The Excess Fabric

Once all sides of the fabric are attached, trim away any excess material. Be careful not to cut too close to the staples or tacks.

  1. Reattach Any Removed Components

If you removed any components from the chair during step one, reattach them now. Screw or nail them back into place using a screwdriver or hammer. Be careful not to put the screws or nails in too tight or they may damage the new fabric.

  1. Add New Foam (optional)

If you are replacing the old foam, do so now by cutting it to size and attaching it to the frame of the chair. Be sure to wrap it in fabric before attaching it so that it doesn’t damage the new upholstery.

  1. Enjoy Your New Chair!

Now that you’ve finished reupholstering your chair, take a seat and enjoy your handiwork! You can be proud of the fact that you saved money by doing it yourself, and your chair will look great in any room.


Reupholstering a chair is a great way to save money and update your furniture. With a little time and effort, you can have a brand new chair that looks fabulous and is much more comfortable to sit in. Be sure to gather all of the necessary supplies before you begin, and follow the steps outlined above.  So what are you waiting for? Get started today!


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