The Art of Reupholstering

From Drab To Fab

By CHT Media Created: November 7, 2012 Last Updated: November 7, 2012
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Reupholstered Zebra print stool. (CHT Media)

Reupholstered Zebra print stool. (CHT Media)

Dear Marc:
I have an old stool (chair height) that needs some TLC. It’s old and ratty and I’ve had it for over 20 years. It’s one of those small armless stools that give extra seating when friends come over. I’ve never reupholstered anything. Can you walk me through the steps?

Dear Joel:
I think the art of reupholstering is one that everyone needs to be able to appreciate. Who doesn’t have a piece of furniture that needs a little TLC—or rather fabric, staples and elbow grease.

However, I don’t recommend that your first reupholstering attempt be a complicated piece such as a French provincial chair. It’s best to start out with a small piece such as a chair seat or, in this case, a lovely stool.

Stool with upholstered top
Flat screwdriver
Needle nose pliers
Heavy duty stapler
Upholstery fabric

Step 1: Remove the seat from the stool. Flip it upside down and, using a flat screwdriver and pliers, remove the fabric covering the seat.

Step 2: Place the new piece of fabric under the seat. Cut the piece of fabric in a larger square than the size of the seat, leaving ample fabric in each direction to cover the sides and partly under the seat.

Step 3: Starting on one side, staple the new fabric to the bottom of the seat. Then move on to the opposite side. You will want to stretch and staple the fabric to that end as well. Once the two opposing ends are secured, repeat the same process for sides three and four.

Step 4: Think of the corners as when you are wrapping a gift. You want to staple each side to the corner so that you can form a “peak,” then fold the peak and staple it to the back of the seat. Screw the seat back to the metal base and you now have a beautiful Zebra print (in this case) stool.

Marc Atiyolil is a celebrity designer, the Editor-in-Chief of Home Trends Magazine, a design expert on CTV, host of the TV series DIY Hotline and the host of the Marc Atiyolil Show on To submit a question, visit

COPYRIGHT 2012 -- Marc Atiyolil Media Inc.

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