So I just started here at (insert large IT company) and I was lucky enough to join a team moving into the new buildings on campus. I really wasn't feeling the plain gray and white cube walls in my part of the bullpen, at all. We decided to have a cube decorating contest amongst my team, so I took that opportunity to reupholster my cube walls. Looking around on the internet, I couldn't find any kind of guides or anything for taking apart cube walls or reupholstering them.. so I thought I'd make one, for all those of you out there wanting to know you're not alone in wanting to recover your walls.
The tools are common and easy to find in an office environment. Basic phillips-head screw driver (I found having two of these and a bored co-worker really helps), and a set of alan wrenches. Different cubicals require different tools.. but those are the only two I needed for taking mine apart. As far as the reupholstering goes: masking tape, fabric pins, scissors, and the fabric(s) of your choice. I also got fake grass, butterflies and some river rocks for my "atrium".
Step 1: Take it all apart
So this is probably the quickest and most fun step. Take apart the cubical!! Each cubical set is different, so because of that, I don't really see the point of describing it in detail. The first wall that you take apart will probably take you awhile to do, discovering all the tricks and what-not. But by the time you move on the second, it should just take a couple of seconds.
With my wall set, there were two screws in the top bar of each cube section. Once I removed those and the bar, taking the panels off was as simple as lifting them up a bit, tilting the bottom out towards me, and then lifting them all the way off. You have to remove the panels top to bottom, and the lowest panel is actually attached to the frame. I haven't figured out a way to remove it on purpose (one fell off on me when I knocked it on accident.. now I can't get it back on), but I found they don't really need to come off to reupholster them. The black cross bars are removed easily by removing two screws, and the vertical bars are just held in by a clip (no screwing required). If you're going to remove an entire cube section, you'll need the alan wrench to loosen four or so clips, which you can then twist up and slide the section out. I only removed a quarter wall from behind me so I can see my coworkers more easily, which just required removing a cross bar and two vertical bars. We did however remove an entire wall section across from us so we'd have a shortcut to our other coworkers.