Reupholster Your Swivel Dining Room Chair in 8 Easy Steps

Have you ever grown tired of how your old, worn-out furniture is looking? If the answer is “yes,” then it may be time to reupholster that chair. Swivel chairs in particular are a pain to reupholster because they have so many curves and crevices.

The good news is that with these 8 easy steps, you will have your swivel dining room chair looking as good as new!

Swivel Dining Room Chair

Steps on Reupholstering a Swivel Dining Room Chair

Step One: Remove any stuffing that is left in the chair. You should be able to tell how much stuffing is remaining by how high up on the armrest it reaches, and how low down on the bottom of the seat cushion it extends to. Place all of this material in a bag or garbage can for later disposal.

Some people also choose to re-use the stuffing. If you plan on recycling your old stuffing, be sure to remove any pieces that are dirty or have sharp edges.

Place a garbage bag in and around the chair before removing all of the material out so as not to make a mess!

Step Two: Cutaway fabric from outside of chair frame

Be sure to measure how much fabric you will need. Measure from the outside of the chair’s armrests and down to where the seat cushion begins.

Cutaway material until it matches your measurements, then cut two more pieces that match; this is so that when we sew them together, there are no exposed seams on the seat!

Remove any old staples or nails in the frame. This will help to ensure that your new fabric is tightly secured and won’t fall out of place as you sit down on it.

Step Three: Sewing time!

Take one of the cut pieces from Step Two, lay it over the top where the other fabric piece will be, and pin the two pieces together.

Sew straight stitches all the way around to connect them in a tight seam that won’t unravel. Be sure to leave an opening for turning!

Turn your fabric inside out so you can see how everything looks on the other side of it – then sew up any remaining holes or openings.

If you’ve done this correctly, your fabric will now be neatly turned inside out and pinned shut with straight stitches the whole way around it – how easy was that?

Now remove the pins from both sides of the chair frame. Pull one end of your new upholstery taut on each side so that it’s tight and even.

Get your staple gun ready with the appropriate size staples for your chair (check how many you need in advance)

Line up a staple by one end of the frame, then press down gently but firmly with the stapler to put it in place through both layers of fabric. Keep going all around the frame, staggering how you start the staples so that they don’t end up too close or overlapping.

Now repeat all of this on the other side of your chair!

As soon as both sides are done, sit in it and see how well everything fits – if necessary pull more fabric from one side or another to make sure that everything is nice and balanced.


How much does it cost to reupholster a swivel chair?

A new chair would cost around $100-150. If you’re just recovering an old one, it will be less than that because the materials are cheaper. Generally speaking, how much your final price depends on how fancy fabric is and how many yards/meters of fabric you want to use (which come at different prices).


Is it cheaper to slipcover or reupholster?

Typically, reupholstering is cheaper because you’re not buying all new fabric.


What are the benefits of upholstery?

Upholstery will help to protect your chair from damage and wear and tear caused by spills or accidents that might happen on a bare wood surface. Adding an extra layer of protection will help to maintain your seats for years to come.

Another benefit of upholstery is how you can completely change the look and feel of an old chair with a few simple steps. The fabric choices are endless, from bold patterns or textured solids to fun prints that will bring life into any room they’re in.


How much fabric do I need to reupholster a chair?

For the average chair, you’ll need about one yard of fabric.

If you’re reupholstering a dining room swivel chair, which will have to accommodate the back and sides as well as seat cushions, plan on using approximately two yards for each side and four yards for the bottom (seat). This will work for chairs that are about 50 inches wide by 19-20 inches deep.


What should I do if my chair is not the same size as most dining room swivel chairs?

If your chair isn’t going to be reupholstered with seat cushions, you’ll only need one yard of fabric. If you’re reupholstering your dining room chair with seat cushions, plan on using two yards of fabric for each side and four yards for the bottom. This will work for chairs that are about 50 inches wide by 19-20 inches deep.


What should I do to prepare my chair before actually reupholstering?

Step 1. Remove the fabric from your chair.

Step 2. You’ll need to remove any staples or tacks that may be holding your old upholstery in place.

Step 3. Put on gloves and a mask (if you are sensitive) for protection against dust.

Step 4. If necessary, use a putty knife to separate

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