How To Reupholster Dining Chair: Easy 7-Step DIY Tutorial

If you have a few hours to spare, you must learn how to reupholster dining chair. Worn out chairs are not comfortable to sit on during casual dinner nights, and you must do something about it. With the help of this tutorial, you can transfer a drab-looking room into a more family-friendly setting.


how to reupholster dining chair

Materials Needed

You must gather your old dining chairs and get ready to rejuvenate them. Make sure the chairs you will upholster are worn out and really need replacement. Otherwise, the chairs might need just a simple repair.

Likewise, prepare the staple tools for any DIY activity. Prepare at hand tools like the screwdriver, scissors, tape measure, staple gun and a utility knife. Organize them beforehand and designate a working place to avoid potential accidents.

Additionally, prepare ½ yard of fabric with the design of your choice. Floral patterns usually work best and compliment wood. You can also choose a solid color for a fresh, clean look on a modern dining table.

Same as the fabric, you must also have ½ yard of batting. You will secure this later on with a staple gun.

Don’t forget the high-density foam! The standard for this project is 2 inches but you can also adjust the thickness to your liking for a more cozy experience. With a temporary fabric pen, mark the foam board beforehand for you to easily cut it later.

If needed, also prepare a thin piece of plywood. The range we’re looking at is around ½” to ¾”. To increase the sturdiness of the chair, use the plywood as replacement for the old piece of wood supporting the weight.

Now you are ready to upholster that dreaded chair! Below are the simple steps you can follow for a successful DIY project.


Guide On Reupholstering A Dining Room Chair


Step #1. Removing the seat cushion

You will remove the damaged cushion one step at a time. Begin by detaching the cushion from the wooden frame using a screwdriver. Once you accomplish that, proceed to remove the fabric by pulling out the staples

Finally, you can remove the old foam. You can discard the materials you won’t use anymore.


Step #2. Make a seat out of the plywood

This step is optional, but doing so won’t hurt. Using the plywood, trace the shape of the old chair and cut it with a circular saw for added ease. To match the contour of the other chairs, soften its edges with a router or sanding paper.


Step #3. Cut out the foam

If you didn’t skip the second step, use the shape of the seat to cut out the foam, or trace the old seat with a fabric pen. Begin by tracing the outline of the foam with a bread knife, with short strokes and mild pressure.

The direction of the knife must be pulling towards you. Then, place the piece of foam on top of the seat.


Step #4. Install the batting

Next, you must cut the batting according to the same shape, and let around 4″ hang in excess. You will hold the foam in place by putting it on top. Using a staple gun, staple the batting on top of the foam and lock them into place.


Step #5. Install the fabric

After installing the batting, the fabric comes next. Depending on the layout you want, you can change the angle of the pattern any way you like. If there are any stripes, position the fabric horizontally for an appealing look.

Pull the fabric as hard as you can until it’s taut. When it comes to corners, the fabric must fit snugly to avoid any tucks on the cushion. If it doesn’t fit even if folded, don’t hesitate to trim the excess bits.

Finally, you can staple all the excess fabric at the back end — it’s alright if this side is messy since this will be covered anyway.


Step #6 Attach a dust cover

This step is also optional. If you want to hide the excess fabric, you can do so with a dust cover.

The best cloth to use would be landscape cloth. Since the bottom of the chair never shows, you can leave it as it is too, if that’s what you want.


Step #7. Reattach the cushion to the frame

Hang in there, you’re almost done! Now grab the original chair frame and think of how you will assemble it. With the help of the screwdriver, return the cushion back to its place.


How do I make the upholstery look more expensive?

What distinguishes between cheap upholstery and a luxurious one is the shape of the seat itself. Flat dining chairs are usually cheaper than their bulkier counterparts. The round shape of the chair is called a “crown,” and you can achieve this look by adding more cotton to the seat or by carving the foam in curves.



Now you know how to reupholster dining chair on your own. Instead of paying an insane amount  for upholstery, you can do it on your own. If you want to elevate your dining experience, refer to this tutorial and start your DIY project soon!

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