How to reupholster a chair

Looking for a new DIY project to do around the house? Here's how to reupholster a chair, in a few easy steps.

By Kathleen Dore

How to reupholster a worn-out chair

Don't pass up that forlorn-looking chair at your local antiques store. Reupholstering is easy and adds a coordinated finish to your decor. Here's how to reupholster a chair:

Note: Instructions are for spring-cushion chair. If your chair does not have springs, not all steps will apply.

Supplies
• Upholstery-weight fabric, 148 cm (60 in) wide. To determine how much fabric you'll need, use the old fabric piece as a guide. If there is no old piece, measure the width and length of the seat surface. If seat is round, treat it as a rectangle, measuring at the widest point. Add to this measurement the thickness of the polyester batting and foam. Allow extra if using patterned fabric.
• Burlap
• Jute webbing
• Twine
• Polyurethane foam (1 ½ in think, or thickness or original chair padding)
• Polyester quilt batting (5/8 in to 1 in thick)
• Piping cord
• Packing needle (curved upholsterer's needle)

Tools
• Staple remover
• Pliers
• Hammer
• Webbing stretcher (available at upholstery supply store for about $20)
• Staple gun
• Trimming knife or scissors
• Glue gun
• Tape measure

Instructions
1. Remove old fabric, stuffing, webbing, tacks and staples; set aside springs to reuse.

2. Turn chair upside down. Measure and mark on frame positions of new webbing strips. Space between webbing strips should be a little less than width of webbing strip. Cut webbing strips to length, adding 6 in. When attaching webbing strips to frame, attach front-to-back strips first; then attach side-to-side strips, weaving over and under front-to-back strips. For each webbing strip, fold back 1 end of strip 1-1/2 in; staple strip to chair frame through folded end, stapling on angle for maximum strength. Fasten other end of webbing strip to spiked end of stretcher vertically against opposite side of chair frame. Using stretcher as a lever, stretch webbing strip taut by pulling stretcher down until it is horizontal to work surface. Staple webbing strip; fold back 1-1/2 in flab and staple again. Trim excess webbing. Continue with remaining strips of webbing.

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