DIY: Chair Reupholstery

Earlier this week I talked about the lamp that I redid. That was a much easier, more quick project that I had when I redid my chair.

My chair used to be something that my brother and I crawled over as babies when my parents took the legs off it. It has been as more of a staple in my furniture collection than anything else that I have. It may not be the prettiest chair you have ever seen, but it is my chair and it is special to me.

Since before my time this chair has been orange. Think Crayola pencil crayon orange. It definitely needed a change.


The first thing I did was pull all of the fabric off of the frame. The amount of dust that was built up in the padding was astronomical.

I took measurements of the wooden frames to get an idea of how much padding I would need. I also took note of the dimensions of the fabric that came off so I knew how many yards of fabric I would need to buy.

To be honest is took me a long time to find the fabric that I wanted. I knew that it had to be just right or it would bother me every time that I look at the chair. I searched both online and in local fabric stores until I found a wonderful upholstery fabric that has a soft yellow, light grey and off white pattern.

Once I got it home I started putting everything together. I added dense foam, held down by stapled down batting. Unfortunately I didn’t take into consideration the additional poof that my chair had when I cut my fabric. I had read online that one should trace the old fabric so that the new stuff fits. I had cut out a piece of the back of the chair and it was about 1.5″ too short. That did me no good!

My hand was so incredibly sore during this project. I borrowed my parents old hand stapler which required me to use my body weight to trigger. My right arm was showing much more muscle than my left for a week or two afterwards! It definitely proved that I should take advantage of the gym at work.

Ok! Back to my chair… Once I had everything stapled on, I got out my glue gun and fastened all the loose edges to the frame and attached a back panel. Finally, the hard part was done.

I was able to put the back portion of the chair pretty easily back on the base/seat with two nuts & bolts. The arms were a bit more difficult. Because of the additional batting I had to drill new pilot holes for the screws.  The batting on the chair didn’t like the drill bit and melted itself to it. Luckily I was able to free the drill and get the arms on!


I am happy with the changes to my chair but am thinking that I will stain the wood in the summer when I can do that outdoors. Just like my lamp, I am happy to modernize it to fit in with more current styles.

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