Tutorial: Recover dining chairs

Recover your dining chairs

We are here to show you how we would upholster a dining chair base – a satisfying way to spend a weekend.

Prepare the frame

First things first – remove the seat base from the chair, if possible. Then, strip the existing material and dispose of any materials that can’t be reused. Think outside the box whether they can be reused, for example you could make a kneeling pad for gardening by layering a couple of the foams together. It’s essential at this point to fully remove any staples left in the frame; you don’t want those poking through once you’ve finished!

Measure Up

Next you need to pattern up the cloth before cutting. Measure the material in relation to your seat pads. Remember that it’s better to cut a little too big than too small; you can always cut more away but you can’t add on! If you do cut a piece too small, consider making some matching scatter cushions; have a look at our cushion cover tutorial if you’re not sure how. Use tailor’s chalk or upholstery pens to mark the fabric.

Add materials to frame

Now that you have an empty base and your material to hand, here comes the exciting part; beginning to put it all together. Make sure you check if you need new foams! We’d recommend adding a layer of Dacron to the seat as well, for a softer, more rounded finish. Using spray glue, attach the foam and Dacron to the seat pad.

Finish with fabric

Now is the time to attach your material. Lay out the material and place the base on top, face down. Start stapling the material on, from the middle outwards as demonstrated below. This allows you to finish your corners in a smart fashion. We use pneumatic staple guns as these are best for upholstery; however many successful dining chair base projects have been carried out with staple guns. If you do know someone you can borrow one from that would be a perfect result!

Finished Product

There you have it! You have brought a new lease of life to your dining chairs to last another few years.

Require Assistance?

If you’re still a little unsure about what to do but really want to give it a go, you are very welcome to talk to us for advice. We can also supply the fabric, foam, Dacron, and other materials you may require.