How to Reupholster Antique Dining Chair Seats

These step-by-step directions enable a DIY homeowner to refinish antique chairs and restore the seat cushions with vintage upholstery or updated contemporary designs.

How to Reupholster Antique Dining Chair Seats
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Overview
You do not have to spend a fortune on new furniture to update your dining room. Enjoy distinctive decor on a limited budget by refurbishing antique seating found at flea markets, tag sales, estate auctions and antique shops. You can easily reupholster antique dining chair seats to make them look as good as new with a little fabric and common household tools.
Step 1
Turn the dining chair over to reveal the underside of the seating.
Step 2
Detach the upholstered seat by unscrewing the screws in each corner of the chair seat.
Step 3
Remove all nails, tacks or staples that are holding the old upholstery fabric in place. You may have to use both a hammer and a screwdriver to pry them up and pull them out.
Step 4
Inspect the padding of the seat. If it needs to be replaced, use the old padding as a template for cutting new cotton batting layered to the desired thickness.
Step 5
Use the old seat's fabric as a pattern, and cut a new seat cover. Before you cut the new fabric, ensure the design of the new fabric is going in the desired direction by holding the fabric onto the seat and flipping it over to view it as it will look when finished.
Step 6
Place the new piece of cut upholstery fabric so the right side of the material is face down on a flat surface, such as the floor or a table. Carefully center the padded wooden chair seat face down on the fabric, taking care to ensure that the padding does not shift or bunch up. The fabric should be about 1 1/2 inches bigger than the chair seat all around. Excess fabric can be trimmed after it has been attached to the seat.
Step 7
Attach the new upholstery to the seat with a staple gun. Begin in the center of the top edge of the chair seat. Fold the fabric over, and staple it to the wooden seat.
Step 8
Pull the fabric taut as you fold it over the center of the bottom edge of the chair seat. Staple it to the wooden seat.
Step 9
Rotate the chair seat and fabric one-quarter turn, and repeat Steps 7 and 8. You should now have four staples in place, one in each side of the chair seat.
Step 10
Pull the fabric taut over one corner of the chair seat, and fold and staple it. Do the same with the opposite corner. Repeat the procedure with the remaining two corners.
Step 11
Continue to stretch and staple opposing edges of the chair seat so the fabric will be smooth and tight when finished. Fold the corners neatly, as you would a gift package, before stapling them.
Step 12
Reattach the chair seat to the frame.
skill
1
ingredient
Screwdriver

Claw hammer

Cotton batting (if needed)

Scissors

Upholstery fabric

Staple gun and 3/8-inch staples

ingredients
Screwdriver
ingredients
Claw hammer
ingredients
Cotton batting (if needed)
ingredients
Scissors
ingredients
Upholstery fabric
ingredients
Staple gun and 3/8-inch staples
tip
Shop for fabric remnants at upscale interior design stores and upholstery shops.
tips
Shop for fabric remnants at upscale interior design stores and upholstery shops.
keyword
reupholster chair antique home decor
keywords
reupholster
keywords
chair
keywords
antique
keywords
home
keywords
decor

Resources
reference
Upholster.com: How to Upholster a Dining Room Chair Slip Seat
reference
Repair-Home.com: How to Reupholster Furniture