reupholstered dining room chairs

Posted On November 27, 2010

Filed under Fabric, Projects

Comments Dropped 2 responses

The other night my husband decided to check out my blog.  He made this decision on his own, without any prompting from me.  At all.  Really.  While he was perusing, he noticed that I did not post anything on the dining room chairs we reupholstered.  And by “we” I mean “he,” which is why he was looking specifically for that because, while I did a little, he did most of the work.  So here it is.



My dining room set is only a few years old, but the fabric on the chairs just looked horrible.  Note: while off-white looks fantastic in the showroom, it is not a good idea for an actual home.  I wish I could blame this on the little guy, but the chairs looked bad long before he was born.  I’ve tried scrubbing the fabric with upholstery cleaner, but that only yielded mild improvements. The old me would have bought new furniture on my credit card and dealt with a mad accountant for a few weeks.  The worst part about that is he’s not only my accountant but also my husband so when he’s mad it’s twice as bad.  Then I happened across a few blogs where women were re-upholstering not only chairs, but whole couches and I decided that I can do it.  I’ve been looking for the right fabric.  In the dinning room I made these curtains; they are midnight blue with off white so the fabric I needed would have to go with these.

I first bought this fabric online from 

I thought it would be a good choice because it was heavy-duty fabric for outdoor furniture so I figured it would be easy to clean and durable.  However, in person I didn’t like it for the dining room so I’ll save it for another project that I’m sure I’ll have to make next summer.  Then I happened to run in to Joann’s Fabrics yesterday for a few Halloween projects (stay tuned for those in the next few days) and found this fabric.  I love it and think it is perfect.

Now for those of you who know me (and I’m assuming you do if you’re reading this…hi mom!), you know that I tend to jump into things without fully thinking out the details.  This is no exception.  I flipped over the chair, removed the screws holding the seat to the chair and used a flat screwdriver and pliers to help pry up the millions of staples holding the fabric on.  It was really hard prying the staples up.  Now I don’t think that my husband wanted to help (actually I know that he would rather not), but I think he felt obligated to help so he took over taking the staples out while I supervised. 

I did get him a beer to help express my gratitude. 

Once the first cushion was fabric-free, I used the fabric as a rough pattern to help me cut the new fabric for the four chairs.  I hate ironing and really, really, really didn’t want to iron the fabric.  I kept saying to my hubby, “hey, this fabric doesn’t look wrinkled.  I don’t think I have to iron it.”  After about five times he said, “you know you have to iron it, right?”  Yes, I know…I just didn’t want to; but I did.

We broke out our new staple gun, bought just for this occasion, and got to work.  We moved down to the basement because the little guy was sleeping and we were afraid the noise from the gun would wake him.  The next part was tricky.  I started stapling the fabric on but it was hard to do without any wrinkling around the corners of the chair.  It was frustrating.  Really, really frustrating.  I may or may not have stormed away out of the basement swearing that I was just going to buy new chairs and my husband may or may not have replied, “are you just going to quit?”  So that was fun.  Or not.  But while I was upstairs sulking, I was also googling.  There was so many conflicting strategies on line that it was hard to figure out where to start.  Some recommended doing each corner first, some last, some recommended starting with the sides, while others said to start with the back, and still others to start with the front.  I finally decided to go with the advice on this site…Re-uplolstering for Dummies.

We started stapling in the front center and then along the entire front of the seat.  Then we continued with the back center and along the back of the seat.  We followed with the sides and saved the corners for last.  We trimmed some fabric from the corners to make it less bulky.  Then we played around with it.  We stared with the center of the corners and stapled them down and then kept pulling and stapling until we had the entire corner secure.  There is some wrinkes, but overall it looks great.  We even compared it to one of the other chairs that still had the original fabric on it and there were no more wrinkles on our attempt then there.  So we were pretty pleased. 

By this time, it was pretty late so we saved the rest of the chairs for the next day.  That may or may not have turned into the next month.  But they are finally done.


2 Responses to “reupholstered dining room chairs”

  1. Jim

    I remember this pretty differently….. but feel free to bring another beer.

  2. Jim

    I remember this quite differently,,,,,, but feel free to bring me another beer.

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