Do you have dining room or kitchen table chairs that need an update? Maybe the fabric on the chair seats is just not quite right, is worn, or stained? Today I’m going to share with you how to recover a chair seat to make it look brand new and updated!
A few months ago I shared with you how to re-upholster a chair seat. The old fabric and padding on that chair was in very bad shape, so we started from scratch and added new foam and fabric. I did a video for that post that shows how to re-upholster a chair seat. It might be a good idea to watch that video, to get the basic techniques of re-upholstering this type of chair seat.
This post will cover recovering a chair seat instead of re-upholstering a chair seat. I’ll also share a couple of new techniques – how to add cording around the edge of the chair seat, and how to clip the cording to go around odd corners.
How To Recover A Chair Seat
In this post we’re going to recover a chair seat that’s in pretty good shape. It’s one of a set of six chairs that go around my client’s kitchen table. The fabric and padding are fine, so I just added the new fabric on top of the old. This is fine to do for a couple of layers. If your chair has two or more layers of fabric already, I would remove the extra layers of fabric.
Here’s a very bad before picture of the chair. It’s very hard (or impossible) to see the cording that goes around the edge of the seat.
This chair is different from the other chair we re-upholstered. It has cording around the edge, and also has two unusual corners where the back of the seat meets the seat, that we’re going to address. I love how adding cording around the chair seat gives it a nice finished look, a little extra custom detail.
While the chair seat fabric didn’t need to be removed, the cording that was already around the edge of the seat did need to be removed before adding the new fabric. So, if you have cording around your chair seat, remove it first before recovering seat.
1. Lay new fabric face side down on table. Lay chair seat face side down on fabric, and cut new fabric 4″ – 5″ inches bigger than chair seat. You can see that I numbered each of the six chair seats so that I could match up the chair with the seat when putting them back together.
2. Pull new fabric over chair seat and staple one staple in the center of each side. Top and bottom first and then each side. Making sure to pull fabric snugly. I like to use a ( affiliate link) forward action staple gun or a pneumatic staple gun for this type of project.
3. On the top and bottom edges, staple from center of side to 2″ away from corner. Do the same for the side edges. Making sure not to cover the screw holes that you’ll need to re-attach the seat to the chair.
4. These chairs had more of a rounded corner, so I stapled them differently than in the chair in my previous post. Pull the center of the fabric over the corner and staple. Then gather the fabric and staple into place, trying to keep the gathers even.
5. These chairs had odd corners where the chair seat meets the chair back. I gathered and worked around the odd shape the best that I could. I forgot to take a close-up picture of the back corners.
Here’s a picture of the seat with the new fabric stapled on it. You can see the unusual corners too.
**If you’re not going to add cording around the edge of the chair seat, you’re done! You can skip the rest of the steps and re-attach the seat to the chair.
6. If you’re going to add cording around the edge of the seat, measure the circumference of the chair seat. Add 5″ – 6″ to that measurement. That is how much cording you will need to make for one chair. Multiply this figure by the number of chairs to get the total amount of cording needed.
7. Make your cording. I’ve made a video that shows how to make cording, if you’re not sure how to make it.
8. Staple the cording to the edge of the seat. Start on the back edge (the side that butts up against the chair back), and make sure to leave 2″ – 3″ of the cording loose.
9. I had to clip the cording to go around the two back corners of my client’s chairs. I made a video to show how I clipped the corners.
10. Join the two ends of the cording where they meet in the back. I’ve made a video showing how to do this too.
The finished chair – with the new fabric and cording on the seat. My client and I were both very happy with how the chairs turned out!
Have you ever updated some chairs by recovering the seats?
I’m joining these parties!