How to Recover Dining Room Chairs
I’m going to show you how to recover dining room chairs to spruce up the look of your dining room and ultimately, your home. So as much as I wanted to get new dining room chairs, I didn’t want to spend that kind of money. The chairs themselves weren’t in bad shape frame-wise, but the chair pads were another story. They were awful! But if you are like me, you’re watching every dollar and how it is spent. This is such an inexpensive and easy way to give new life to chairs. It kind of made me want to reupholster everything in the house.
When it came time to putting the house on the market, not only did we have to declutter (in a major way), we had to prepare the house for prospective buyers. If you are like me, you have seen all the popular HGTV shows – Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, and Property Brothers (hubba hubba!). And one of the things that happens right before the house is shown, or put on the market, is staging.
Home staging is the act of preparing homes for sale in such a way as to appeal to potential buyers and generate higher selling prices. There are professional services that one can hire to attain a staged look. This of course, comes with a price. But projects like how to recover dining room chairs can give to a sleek, staged look which is great for when it’s time to sell the house.
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- I purchased 2 yards of a home decor fabric from Joann’s but the pattern I purchased was not available online. If you are interested in the fabric I used, it is called Home Essentials Print Fabric 45″-Swavelle Millcreek Prestwick Panorama Shadow. Otherwise, here is an example of something similar: Swavelle/Mill Creek Trepassey Smoke Fabric By The Yard
- Screwdriver – this will depend on the types of screws that are holding the pad in place to the chair frame.
- Scissors – my mom always had separate scissors for cutting fabric and nothing else. I packed mine so I had to use my kitchen shears.
- A staple gun is required. I’ve had mine forever but if you need one, this is a good one: Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun
- I used 3/8 inch staples. Here are the staples to use with the above-mentioned staple gun: Stanley Trc606T 3/8 Inch Heavy Duty Wide Crown Staples, Pack of 1000(Pack of 1000)
- For extra cush, I used batting. Here is the brand I used: Soft & Bright Batting 4oz Baby 45″x 60″
- Chairs with removable pads. I had 4 chairs that I was covering. I’m guessing that if you are doing this project, the chairs are a given, but you might be a stickler.
Steps on how to recover dining room chairs
1. Start by removing the pads from the chairs. The pads are typically held in place by screws. Make sure to hold onto the hardware so you can refasten the pads back once they are recovered. Once removed, you can paint your chair frames if you are so inclined. I just wiped mine down.
2. Lay out your fabric, face down, and the batting over that. You can measure out the amount of fabric and batting that you will need to reupholster your chairs. Personally, I eye-balled it and allowed at least 5 inches from the edge of the pad on all sides. Remember to allow for enough material to fold over the edges and secure with the staple gun. Once you have your fabric and batting measured, or eye-balled, cut it out with scissors. Then cut the remaining materials for the chair pads that you have left using the first cut-outs as your template.
3. When your pad is centered on your materials, make sure to mark on your fabric where the screw will need to be put back to the chair frame. This is important so please don’t skip this step. If you do, you may have to either drill new holes in your pad to affix it back to the frame or remove the staples to find the hole and then staple again. Either scenario is a waste of time.
4. Make sure that your staple gun is loaded with staples and ready to rock. In order to have smooth fabric, make sure to pull the materials taut and staple into place. When starting out, anchor one staple on each side of the pad to ensure a smooth, tight and even look. Think of it like the head of a drum.
5. My chair pads have a slight curve on one side, so I saved this side for last. Start stapling in a line from your anchor staple along all sides of the pad up until you reach the corners. Do not staple the corners at this point.
6. If you have a chair pad with a curve, like I do, follow this step. If not, skip it. On the side with the curve, add slight folds or darts (sewing term) to avoid puckering on the cushion of the pad. Staple on the fold to secure it. I had to add two folds or darts to accommodate for the curve of the pad.
7. Time to affix the corners, which should be saved for last. Think of it like fixing the top sheet of your bed and tucking in the corners. In order to have the corner lay flat, tuck in the fabric on both sides and staple the folds to secure the corners. Make sure to staple along the fold lines and the center of the corners to flatten it out.
8. At this point, all the sides of the chair pad should have staples securing the materials. If you find that there is too much bulk, feel free to trim the extra fabric. You can do this for aesthetics too.
9. Time to put the newly covered chair pad back onto the frame from where it came. Get your saved chair frame hardware and secure the pad to the frame.
10. Turn your chair over and make sure that the pad is securely in place and do a quick sit test. Admire your work for a few moments and then move on to your other chairs.
11. Get the chairs back in place with the table and you have a new-looking dining room. This project took about an hour to do and it really paid off big time. I love the look and for less than $20, the chairs look awesome – and that’s how to recover dining room chairs.
If you decide to give this project a go, please comment down below. I’d love to hear how you made out. Time for the next project in the “Sell the House” experience that is currently my life. Until next post, Lovelies!