How To Recover Chair Cushions

Changing the fabric on your chair cushions is easy to do and makes a huge impact.

I ordered upholstery fabric from Joann Fabric online for my project. Upholstery fabric has a heavier weight to it and is best for heavy use upholstered projects.

I painted our dining room with Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams which contrasts beautifully with the crisp white millwork. Otherwise there is very little color in the room.

I chose a bright floral print to bring in pops color but made sure that it had a dark background to tie in the wall color plus hide marks.

How do you decide how much fabric to buy? I used my drill to back out the screws and remove the chair from the seat.

What tools will you need?

-screwdriver or drill with a the appropriate bit to remove the screws

-assorted flat head screw drivers (try a few to determine which size fits under your staples best to pry up with)

-needle nose pliers (to pull out staples)

-staple gun and staples (if you don’t already have one…buy an electric staple gun. Trust me you will thank me!)

– hammer (if needed to pound in staples)

-measuring tape

-scissors to cut the fabric

Next, I used needle nose pliers and a flat head screwdriver to remove all the staples and the fabric.

The fabric piece that I removed measured 32”x29”. The fabric I chose is 54” wide. I figured I could recover 2 seat cushions per yard. I ordered 3 yards for our 6 chairs.

I continue to use a flat head and pliers to remove the prior fabric IF more than one layer was there. I have 6 chairs and some had a single layer yet some had 2. The table and chairs were left in the Virginia house so I had “inherited” them and didn’t know if they had ever been recovered.

2 layers especially of upholstery fabric is bulky and was just too thick to staple through with my new fabric and have a clean look. If I saw there was more than one layer I removed it.

Drape the fabric piece over the seat as it will appear. Make sure you like the direction of the fabric. This is a wild vining fabric that doesn’t have a true up or down making it easy to work with. Then flip it over to center it on the fabric piece.

1. Staple along most of the bottom edge of the seat then pull your fabric taught and staple the top of the seat. Leave a few inches from the corners unattached.

2. Flip and check that all is taught and smooth.

3. Next repeat on one side then the other pulling gently as you staple to make sure the fabric is taught across the seat. Save the corners for last and wrap like a present tucking the excess fabric under or you can trim it. **TIP- I had to hammer my staples in to make them flush.

4. Reposition the chair frame over the cushion and screw it back together. You shouldn’t have any issues. If you do check to make sure a staple isn’t in the way of the hole and reposition it again.

One down….just 5 more to go!!!

The captain chairs on the ends have armrests and the seat cushion was notched. It was very difficult to remove it but logically it HAD to come out and eventually it did.

You can “finish” the project by adding a piece of fabric or brown bag paper cut to the shape of the seat to cover all the staples.

Personally I skip that. The only things under the chairs looking up are pets or toddlers ….neither care or can tell us if they see your staples!!!!

If your chair seats are stained or you’ve been wishing you had different fabric GO FOR IT.

Happy upholstering!- Kristen

About Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

I am customizing our final house into a home one room at a time. This is our 11th and final home so every detail is curated to create our FOREVER home. I've worked on many homes of our own and client's home so there is plenty of inspirational for all home sizes and styles here. There are tutorial blogs for DIY projects to recipes- this blog is all things HOME. I hope you will join me and find inspiration here.

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