How to Reupholster a Dining Chair
Furniture expert Matthew Haly shows how to bring new life to a worn chair seat
Adding a new cushion and fresh fabric to a dated wood chair is a great way to bring it back to life. Here, Matthew Haly, owner of The Furniture Joint, an upholstery studio in New York City, demonstrates how to reupholster a dining chair.
1. Unscrew the seat base from the chair frame. If the base is in good condition, remove the old fabric and staples with an awl and pliers.
2. Create a new seat from 1/2-inch plywood. Either trace the old base, or measure the seat frame and mark the wood with the dimensions minus about an 1/8 inch all around. Cut the wood with a jigsaw.
3. Cut the seat cushion from high-density foam that's at least one inch thick. Stick the cushioning to the wood with a fast-drying spray adhesive. Round the edges by spraying the edges with glue and folding them over to stick to the seat base.
4. Cover the foam with a 1/2-inch layer of Dacron polyester batting. Start by stapling the batting to center of each side of the seat, then work your way around, pulling the batting tight as you go.
5. Cut the fabric to the seat base's dimensions plus 1/4 inch all around. If you use a pattern, center it on the chair before cutting the fabric.
6. Pulling the fabric as taut as possible, attach it to the seat base with the staple gun the same way you attached the batting.
7. Cut a dust cover to the seat's dimensions out of black cambric fabric and staple to its underside.
8. Screw the seat back down to the chair frame.