Introduction: Dining Chair Makeover: DIY Upholstered Chairs

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Chairs can be an expensive addition to your home, especially when you need multiple chairs to seat your family and guests. Upcycling old chairs not only saves you money on buying new, but it gives you the chance to be creative with the finish and colours you choose.

For more detailed instructions, including information about cost, time, difficulty and the tools and materials used, head over to our blog post on The Handy Mano!

Step 1: Clean and Dismantle the Chairs

Brush down the chairs with the brush from a dustpan to remove any cobwebs, dust and debris. Turn the chairs over and twist the latches that hold the seat pad into the chair. Pop the seat pad out of the chair frame and set aside.

Step 2: Sand the Chairs and Paint

Attach a course sandpaper to your sander and begin to sand off any old varnish, paint splashes or watermarks. Don’t forget to sand the inside edges of the legs and seat. Wipe the dust away with an old rag. Use a small brush to apply a coat of clear varnish in a gloss or matt finish, depending on your preference.You could also paint the chairs.

Step 3: Upholster the Seat Pad

While the chair frames are drying you can move on to upholstering the seat pads. Lay the seat on top of your chosen fabric, leaving plenty of excess fabric to wrap over onto the reverse of the cushion pad. Cut to size, including this excess fabric allowance.

Place the fabric face-down and position the seat pad top-down in the centre of the fabric. Use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wooden base of the seat pad. Add one staple on all four sides, pulling the fabric tight before attaching it to the base. Work along the edges and, when you reach the corners, pull the fabric tight around the shape, stapling as you go to create a smooth sweep. Trim the excess.

Step 4: Reassemble the Chairs

Re-insert the seat pads. Turn the chairs upside down and twist the latches back into position.