How to Reupholster a Chair – For Beginners

  • By: Ron
  • Date: October 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

how to reupholster a chair  for beginners

There are some basic things that you should keep in mind when reupholstering a chair. Those basics include what type of chair you’re working on, whether it’s dining, Cane-backed, or wingback, and whether to use a screw-on seat or a drop-in seat.

Cane backed chairs

Reupholstering cane backed chairs is a challenging task, but it can be done successfully. Measure the opening of your chair. This will allow you to find the exact width and height of the back. Once you know the dimensions, you can measure the width of the seat and welting and cut the fabric according to those measurements.

Lay the new fabric over the chair’s seat and back. Use low-tack masking tape to attach the fabric. Next, trace the chair’s inside back using a fine-point pen. Once you have the pattern ready, cut the fabric along that line. Then, lay the pattern on top of the new upholstery foam. Once it has dried, use an electric carving knife to cut the fabric according to the pattern.

Cut the gimp or double welt trim to the correct length. The length should not exceed the width of your chair back. Then glue the double welt trim or gimp around the fabric’s perimeter. This will help hide staples. Remember to align the ends so that they meet at the bottom edge of the fabric.

Dining chairs

The first step in reupholstering chairs is removing the old upholstery. Before starting, you need to measure the chairs to determine the amount of fabric required. Always choose extra fabric over too little. You can also refer to a photo for reference.

You can use a staple gun to attach the new material to the seat of your chair. Place the fabric about four inches from the seat. Next, use a staple gun to secure the new material to the base of the chair.

Once you have secured the new fabric, you can use the old one as a pattern. However, it is important to use the staple remover instead of tearing off the old fabric. Most staples are deep into the wood frame of the chair. Also, make sure that you use a seam ripper for removing sewn pieces.

Wingback chairs

Reupholstering wingback chairs can be a fun and affordable project. You can give your old chairs new life using a new fabric, no matter if you have a spare bedroom or dining room. DIY is a great way to save money as most reupholstering jobs are very affordable.

First, remove the old fabric cover. You will need to find a breathable fabric to cover the springs and webbing. You can also use burlap or canvas for the springs. If you have a wingback chair that’s made of leather, you can remove the leather covering and replace it with a new one. You can skip the welting if you are a beginner and wrap the chair in the fabric that matches its body.

The second step is to take off the sleeves and piping. Remove the staples by using pliers or a screwdriver. Once the staples are removed, you can use the pieces of the chair as pattern pieces for the new fabric. If the condition of the chair is good, you may even be able to reuse the cording, which is another good way to reuse old materials.

Drop-in or screw-on seat

You can save yourself the hassle of replacing the seat if you are a complete beginner. Simply attach the frame to the new fabric. You can also use muslin, which acts as a dust cover and a neat finish.

Before you start reupholstering your chairs, make sure to determine whether the seat is screw-in or drop in. A drop-in seat is typically attached to the chair frame using a matching screw. It is important that you use the same length screws as the originals.

Depending on the type of your chair, you may need to replace the seat with either a drop-in or screw-in option. These options may not be available for your chair so you will need to use high density foam or a foam-covered one. The foam should be at least one inch thick. You can use an electric knife to cut the foam. Next, attach the seat cushion using a screwdriver.

It may be necessary to remove the old seat material from your chair. The old fabric can be used as a pattern for a seat cover. Make sure to mark the chair with a number to ensure that the screws go through correctly.

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