How to reupholster a dining chair seat

By The Style Sisters - Friday, March 05, 2021

How to reupholster a dining chair seat easily! 

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I love quick easy decorating projects don't you? 

I want it fast and easy but I also want it to look fabulous when I am done. 

I also don't want to have to buy a lot of new tools either. 

That is why I love to reupholster chair seats! 

How to reupholster a dining chair seat

It makes such a huge difference just by changing out a little bit of fabric. 

How the chair seats looked before

I have had this same fabric on my chairs for the last 10 years (I have replaced it with the same fabric twice) and decided it was time for a change. The fabric below faded and had lots of stains on it. 

You can see what these chairs looked like from the very beginning (faux leather seats) here


Fabric Choice

With our 5 grandkids here all the time I really wanted to find a stain resistant and water resistant fabric.

I found this fabulous outdoor canvas fabric from Fabric Wholesale Direct that hit the mark for both of the things I wanted and needed. This particular fabric is waterproof and has a plastic PVC backing!

I am going to use it to recover some of my outdoor cushions too!! I love that it is also UV Resistant. 

Fabric Wholesale Direct has lots of great fabric choices besides waterproof canvas.  They also sell apparel fabric, Event decor fabric, upholstery and trims and notions. 

I really like the color combination of the turquoise, tan black and white. 

It works perfectly for the colors in my Karins Kottage Lake house. 

How to reupholster your chair seat

To start your project you will most likely need to unscrew the chair seat from the base of the chair. 

There is usually 4 screws. 
Removing screws from chair seat


Once you remove the the screws, the seat just comes right off.    

Flip the seat over and remove the staples that are holding the fabric in place.

Tip: We used a flat head screwdriver to lift the staples up and a pair of pliers to remove the staples. Be prepared as there is usually a lot of staples. 


Remove the old fabric but keep it to use it as a pattern of how much to you will need to cut from the new fabric. 



Lay out your Fabric Wholesale Direct canvas fabric on a flat surface. Lay the old piece of fabric on top. 

Cut around the old piece of fabric but add a few inches all around. It does not need to be perfect. 
Cut out new piece of fabric for the seat

Stapling the new fabric to the seat

Lay your new cut piece of fabric pretty side down. Lay the seat on top.



Tip: make sure you have your fabric going in the right direction if there is a pattern or words on it. 
Staple the fabric on one side of the seat


Begin by pulling the fabric on one side and put in 3 staples. Go to the opposite side and pull tight and staple 3 staples. 


Then go to the other two sides of the seat and repeat.

 Tip: You can add more staples later to hold the fabric down. This is mainly to hold fabric in place and make sure it is taught.  

How to reupholster chair seat corners

The best way I have found to get the corners to look good is to bring in the fabric together almost to create pleats or folds. You really have to use your fingers and gather the fabric to make it lay nicely over the corners. Then staple the pleats. 


The unique corner on my chairs is kind of an open square..... if that makes sense. I pull the fabric through the opening really tight. Then I fold fabric on each side to make it smooth and staple. 

Trim the excess reupholstered fabric off

You will have some excess fabric and all you have to do is trim it off. 

Leave opening for screw


Tip: Make sure to leave the area around the screw holes open. You may have to trim the fabric quite a bit in some areas. 

Put the seat back on base of chair

You are almost done! Place the seat back on the chair and use your drill to screw in the screws. 

Enjoy your new reupholstered chair seats!! 






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