DIY - How to reupholster your dining chairs

Maybe you've fallen in love with a pair of beautiful antique chairs from a second-hand shop or just want to give your current dining chairs a makeover. In this guide, we give you the best tips on how to reupholster your dining chairs yourself.

1. Remove the old upholstery

Always start by removing the dining chair's old cover before putting on the new one. The old cover will leave unsightly dents under the new cover if it is not removed. You can remove the cover by removing the old clamps on the underside of the dining chair seat.

2. Foam upholstery on dining chairs

Once you've got the old cover off, it's time to assess whether or not the old foam can be retained. Check the load-bearing capacity of the foam padding by pressing with a flat hand on the foam, especially in the middle of the seat, where the load will be greatest. If you can feel a difference in the foam or see visible cracks/wrinkles, you should replace the foam padding on the dining chair before reupholstering it. Remove the foam with a spatula or tear it off with your fingers.

It's super easy to apply new foam to the seat. Simply glue the foam in place with contact adhesive and trim away any excess along the edges of the seat.

3. The fabric

Now you're almost ready to put the new upholstery on the dining chair! If you have chosen a fabric with prints or stripes, it is important that you start by measuring and marking the centre of the seat on the fabric - this should be done on both the front and back edges. This will ensure that the pattern sits exactly as you want it.

4. Recover the seat with the new fabric

Now that you've made sure the fabric is positioned correctly, you can start stapling the fabric to the seat with a staple gun. Take special care not to staple too close to the edge, but a little further in.

Start by stapling on the straight sides and take the corners at the end.

It's best to start by pinning the fabric with just a few clips, so that the fabric has an easier time moulding itself to the seat as the fabric tightens around the seat.

A regular hand clipper won't always be enough. So borrow a staple gun with a compressor if you can't clip the fabric to the seat.

5. The corners

Some fabric will typically collect on the corners of the seat, which can quickly look unsightly if not folded. So make sure you distribute the fabric evenly in the corners and clip all the folds down with separate clips.

6. Cut

Now you're almost done and can soon enjoy your 'new' chair! Fix the last little details on the seat by cutting away excess fabric. You can cover the edge with real upholstery tape or coloured tape. Voila! You'll have a chair with a whole new look, ready to grace your home.