How to Easily Recover Chair Seats

Last week when I revealed my new-to-me Dining Room chairs, I promised to break down how to easily recover the chair seats.

When you are looking at or for vintage chairs, don’t ever be turned off by old fabric.  Old fabric can usually be removed and replaced with very little time and money.  (check out what was under the fabric on this chair!!)

These are the vintage Art Deco chairs my sister found for me and I love their shape!   old Art Deco wood chairsArt Deco chairs before refinishingThe material on the seats was not in bad shape it was just dated (and not my taste).  It was not the original fabric and had probably been put on in the 80’s or 90’s.a chair seat off of an old Art Deco chair ready to be recoveredIf you are like me and love the shape of the chair, but not the fabric, here are the steps to recover them…

Easily Recover Chair Seats…

You will need to start by separating them from the chair frame.  There are usually just a few screws holding them onto on.  adding a layer of polyester batting before recovering an old seatFor my recovering, I left the old fabric on the seats since it was holding on some batting.  I did however, decided to make them a little more cushy by adding a new layer of batting over the fabric.

If you want to add some batting, cut the batting to the size of the seat.  It only needs to be on the top of the seat, not the bottom.  cutting a new piece of fabric to recover an old chair seatNext, Choose a new fabric and cut it several inches larger than the seat on all sides.

Don’t forget to wash and iron the fabric before attaching it!  beginning to attach the fabric to recover an old chair seatOnce you have the batting and fabric ready to go, begin to attach it.

The first staples go in the middle of the largest side.  This will hold the fabric in place as you begin the stretch and attach it.  attaching the fabric to the seat of a chairNext, pull the fabric taught and attached it directly across from your first staples.

Always work across, and not next too what you just did so that your fabric gets pulled tight with no ripples or folds.

The Corners… attaching fabric around the corner of a chair seatOnce you have the four sides pulled tight and stapled, you can begin working on the corners.

Make sure with each pull and staple that the fabric is smooth on the top of the seat. Turn the seat over frequently  to check as you are working.  attaching fabric around the corner of a seatMove around the corner, pulling, smoothing and tightening as needed while you are stapling.  creamy coloured linen fabric used to recover dining room chairsDon’t forget to make sure that the pile (or nap) of the fabric is going in the same direction on all of the seats. This will give you a uniform look between the chairs.  an Art Deco chair seat recovered with new Linen fabricOnce your chairs are painted, screw the seats back on and they are done!

I also recommend giving your new chair seats a quick spray of Scotch Guard as well.  With chairs that get used a lot, it will protect them for spills and stains of all kinds.  a dark coloured dining set painted with cream coloured paintI am love, love, loving how these Art Deco chairs look with the table and room.  I couldn’t be happier with their size and shape and how easy it was to change out the fabric.

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An easy step-by-step guide to recovering dining chairs

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