Reupholster a Chair

Reupholstering a chair is not a complicated as it sounds.
Reupholster a Chair
The cost and time involved is much less than decorating. (Dreamstime/TNS)

With some splashy new fabric and a staple gun you can transform the upholstered seat of a dining room chair. We admit it might not be as dramatic as painting or wallpapering the walls, but new fabric gives new life to even old dining room furniture. And the cost and time involved is much less than decorating.

The job involves unscrewing the seat and removing the old fabric and padding. Then use long-nose pliers to pull out the old staples or nails. To replace an old seat cover with a new one, the job involves measuring and cutting new batting and fabric using the old fabric as a pattern. Add a 2-inch border on all the sides so there’s fabric to overlap and staple to the bottom of the seat. For professional-looking results center the pattern of the fabric and pull it taut before stapling. Begin at the center of each side and work toward the corners with the staples. Secure it to the chair frame by refastening the seat with the screws.

An upholstery shop will charge $250, including the labor and moderately priced fabric and batting, to reupholster an 18-by-20-inch dining chair seat. You can do the job for the cost of a heavy-duty staple gun with staples (less than $20) plus fabric and batting. When shopping for a seat cover look in the remnants bin, where you might find something you like. Doing one chair will give you confidence and experience so you'll be able to do all the chairs. This is an inexpensive and goof-proof project for even the newest do-it-yourselfer.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit and on smartphones.

Pro Cost—DIY Cost—Pro time—DIY Time—DIY Savings—Percent Saved

$250—$95—2.3—7.5—$155—62 percent

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©2022 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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