How to Reupholster a Recliner: DIY Guide for the Home

Reupholstering a recliner is an excellent way to spruce up your living room, making it look brand new for less. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to update the look of your space, this DIY project is perfect!

We’ll go over how to reupholster a recliner from start to finish in this article so that you can get started on yours today.

How to Reupholster a Recliner

What You’ll Need for Reupholstery: this is a list of what you will need when reupholstering a chair

  • Screwdriver (if provided)
  • Fabric that matches the color of your chair–you can use
  • A remnant or cut a section of fabric from an old chair
  • Upholstery needles and thread
  • Scissors (if provided)
  • Paint (for touchups–optional but recommended!)
  • A new foam cushion if needed will depend on the type of recliner you have.
  • Foam adhesive
  • Staple gun and staples
  • A measuring tape (if provided) or yardstick if not.


Steps on Reupholstering a Recliner

Step 1. Remove the old fabric: Before you can start reupholstering your recliner, you’ll need to remove any existing upholstery. This is a fairly straightforward process that consists of removing all four legs from the chair and flipping it over onto its armrest side so that you have easy access to the underside.

Step 2. Next, measure out how much fabric you’ll need and cut it in half. Then, simply pull the existing material off of the chair–you may want to use a vacuum cleaner or brush to help get some of the dust out before doing this step.

Step 3. Staple one side: Once your old upholstery has been removed from both sides of the recliner, you’ll need to work on one side at a time.

Lay the fabric out and then fold it in half so that there’s enough length to cover all of the staples. Staple one side of the material onto the chair–staples should be as close together as possible without overlapping each other. Then do this for the other side.

Step 4. Staple the fabric: Once you’ve stapled both sides of the material onto either armrest, use a staple gun to finish securing it in place. Be careful not to pull too hard when using this tool–you don’t want your new upholstery coming loose!

This will work for just about any recliner that has the armrests as a part of the frame.

Step 5. Fold and cut excess fabric: If you have any excess material left, be sure to fold it in half lengthwise so that each side is equal, then use scissors or a sharp blade to trim off some of the extra upholstery from either end.

Since you’ll be cutting the material, it’s best to use fabric scissors when doing this. If your recliner doesn’t have armrests as a part of the frame and has ones that attach separately, then skip this step.

Step 6. Reattach seat: Place back on the chair and secure with screws or nails–if the screwdriver is provided

Step 7. Plan the trim: If your recliner has armrests as a part of the frame, you’ll need to measure and cut them. Take one side of the fabric (the same color) and fold it in half lengthwise so that each side is equal–you should have two pieces, both with a crease down the center.


Why do you need to Reupholster a Recliner?

As much as we love our recliners, they wear out over time. One of the most common reasons for a worn-out recliner is that it’s been used to prop open doors or hold heavy objects. This causes both tearing and stretching in the padding material on top of which your body sits while using the chair. When reupholstering your recliner, sometimes the padding has to be replaced.


What is the average cost to reupholster a recliner?

The average cost for reupholstering a recliner ranges from $150 to $400, and that’s not including the fabric.


How do I know if my chair needs reupholstery?

One of the easiest ways to tell if your chair requires new upholstery is by looking at it closely. Start by examining the arm and seat cushions. If they have tears, stains, or are worn out it’s time for new upholstery.


Is it cheaper to reupholster or buy new?

It is often cheaper to reupholster a recliner because you are only paying for the fabric and labor. Buying new means that you have to pay for both furniture and upholstery, which can be costly.


Is it better to reupholster or buy new?

It depends on your situation. If you have a lot of money to spend, then it’s worth buying new furniture that will last for years and never need reupholstering. However, if you are looking for less expensive options or want something more custom-made, then reupholstery is the best way to go.


What is the easiest way to reupholster a chair?

There are two main ways to reupholster a chair. You can do it yourself or hire someone like us.

If you want to get the job done quickly and cheaply, then we recommend doing it yourself with the steps on this guide.


Benefits of Reupholstering a Recliner

  • Reupholstering your recliner can help save you money in the long run as it is cheaper than buying new furniture.
  • It also allows you to choose a fabric that suits both your home and personality!


Reasons You May Want to Have Your Chair Upholstered

  • If you no longer like the color of your chair, then reupholstering it is an easy way to update its look.
  • If you want a new pattern or texture on your furniture, this method can help make that happen.