Skip to Content

DIY Chair Upholstery

Last month a friend called to asked if I could do a chair upholstery for his two chairs. I said yes, of course. I was excited to bring those vintage chairs back to life with new upholstery fabric, foam, webbing, cotton batting, burlap, and Dacron.

**I enjoy DIY furniture makeovers, so I have included more amazing makeovers by some talented bloggers at the end of this post.

DIY Chair Upholstery

My friend won these gorgeous channel-back style vintage chairs in an auction; however, they needed an overhaul. We used modern upholstery techniques to recover and repair his chairs.

Chairs before new upholstery

Chairs before new upholstery

Worn upholstery on chair arms and seat

Worn upholstery on chair arms and seat

Worn, water stained, and tattered loop fringe on chair upholstery

Worn, water-stained, and tattered loop fringe on chair upholstery

How to Reupholster a Chair 

I like to wear gloves when removing the old upholstery fabric, staples, and tacks.

Carefully removing the old upholstery fabric

Carefully removing the old upholstery fabric

Removing the fabric from the chair back

Pulling the fabric from the chair back

The first step was to remove the old fabric. I gently removed the channel-back panel to use it as a guide to constructing the new seatback.  Once the material is off, we can assess what might need repairing. After I removed the chair’s fabric, I noticed that the seat cushion foam was falling apart and the frame was broken.

Broken Upper Chair Back

Broken Upper Chair Back

Wood Repair

The upper chair back frame was constructed with two pieces of wood joined in the center with wooden support attached under the joint. The joint support on one of the chairs was broken. I cut new support out of hardwood and attached it to the frame with glue and screws.

Gluing and clamping the repaired frame

Gluing and clamping the repaired frame

Clamped chair frame

Clamped chair frame

Supplies

 

Assembling the Channel-back

Note: if you want to refinish the wood frame, do so before starting this step. You can see how pretty this vintage chair frame looked after painting it with chalk paint for an updated farmhouse look.

Marking the channel-back sections on the burlap

Marking the channel-back sections on the burlap

All the channel-back pieces cut and ready to sew

All the channel-back pieces cut and ready to sew

Pinning the the face fabric to the base fabric

Pinning the face fabric to the base fabric

Learning how to staple the fabric to the wood frame after creating the backchannel back section is key to getting the perfect result along the back edge.  Learning to upholster channel-backs is not an easy technique to master.

 DIY Chair Upholstery Completed

Fabric pattern repeat matched

Fabric pattern repeat matched

Furniture Upholstery DIY Completed (2 chairs)

Furniture Upholstery DIY Completed

Recovering furniture DIY - Back view of chair after re-upholstery

Recovering furniture DIY – Back view of the chair after re-upholstery

Side of new chair upholstery

FurSide of new chair upholstery

**More DIY Furniture Makeovers

My friend Tarah from Grandmas House DIY has been updating her Grandmother’s farmhouse one project at a time. Her latest project is this gorgeous hickory workbench and shelves.

Workbench and custom shelves

Workbench and custom shelves

Niky from The House on Silverado shares how she updated her barstools.

DIY Barstools

DIY Barstools

I enjoy seeing an antique piece of furniture being updated and finding a new life. My friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells shares how she transformed her 100-year old cabinet into a bedroom cabinet.

Antique cabinet bedroom storage

Antique cabinet bedrooms

This dropleaf table and chairs got a paint makeover by Chas as Chas’s Crazy Creations.

Furniture update

Furniture update

I love slipcovers for a quick furniture update. Mary from Life at Bella Terra shares her dining room chair slipcover update.

Slipcover chair update

Slipcover chair update

Andrea from Design Morsels shares how she updates furniture without paint. 

Update furniture without paint

Update furniture without paint

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you found some inspiration and are ready to start your chair upholstery.

See you soon,

Kippi

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carla from Kansas

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Amazing, especially matching the pattern! Was hoping to get the video but guess I'm too late.

Daniel CA

Sunday 11th of April 2021

Your Upholstery guide will help me to fix my dining chair. thanks for your information

Mary from Life at Bella Terra

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Kippi, WoW! I have always wanted to learn how to reupholster. What a wonderful talented friend you are! These chairs are just gorgeous. The transformation is amazing. I would imagine that doing the channel back is very difficult. The end result is just stunning. You are just amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Chas Greener

Monday 5th of April 2021

Wow Kippi, what an update. I love the new fabric and I'm sure those chairs are loved again. I'm in awe of this project and how beautiful it turned out. Thank you so much for sharing.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Monday 5th of April 2021

What a wonderful DIY project Kippi! I l just love the fabric and the shape of those chairs. So amazing!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.