Introduction: How to Reupholster an Office Chair | Replacing Fabric of a Chair | Home DIY Upholstery

About: XDIY with Itzik

I like my Office Chair. It took me some time to find a chair that is enough comfortable to me while working on the PC at home, and at affordable price...

So, when it's started to peel, I decided to fix it rather than buying a new one!

This is the second time I reupholstered chairs. On the first time, it wasn't because it was peeling, but as part of 3 bar chairs makeover with chalked paint and new fabric.(Photos later on this guide).

You're welcome to visit my YouTube Channel, subscribe, and also watch my additional projects.

Don't forget to click the 'bell' button so you'll be notified for new videos. Thank you! :)


General List of tools I'm using -

Tools in this Instructable:

  • Stapler Gun - I actually used a very simple unbranded staple gun, which I bought at the supermarket.
  • Or - Electric staple & nails gun such as -
  • Staples Nails
  • New fabric (I used "Leather-like fabric" or "Faux leather fabric"). Some examples online:
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver / drill driver

Step 1: The Video

Watch the full process video.

Step 2: Before We Get Started...

Reupholstering a chair can be easy project, but it depends on the type of chair.

I'm a DIYer and not a pro, and in this case I decided to take some shortcuts in this project.

Usually, when reupholstering a chair, it's recommended to remove its old fabric and sometimes also the cushion under it (depends on it's state). I decided to put the new fabric over the old one, which takes less time. Also the cushion in my case, seems still in good shape so I didn't replace it :)

In Addition, for more professional results, it sometimes required sewing few parts of the fabric, so it will wrap the seat cushion better, with less visible pleats on the sides. This isn't covered in this guide as well.

I think that when considering to make a DIY reupholstering, the decision of going with this simple approach like I did, can be the the decisive factor whether to give up ahead, since you think it's too complex, or to make it eventually :)

Anyway, I'm happy with the results. Let me know what do you think, in the comments.

Step 3: The Old Fabric - Peeling

As you can see, the old fabric started to peel.

I decided to use a fabric with the same color as the old one.

Step 4: Taking the Chair Apart

Depending on the chair type or structure, there can be different ways to remove the chair pieces.

Some chairs has a removeable backrest and a removeable seat. In my case the backrest isn't made of cushion with fabric but a Mesh, so the only thing to remove here is the seat cushion.

You should be able to remove the seat by removing some screws.

See the screws position in my case in the photos.

*** Make sure you remember how the seat was connected, so It will be easier to put it back together later :) ***

Step 5: Removing the Seat

Step 6: Setting Up the New Fabric

As I mentioned before, I decided to use the same old material & color that I had on the chair.

I went to a fabric store and asked for such material ("Leather-like fabric" or "Faux leather fabric")

If you want the same material and you'r not sure what to look for, maybe you can cut small piece of your chair fabric or take a photo and ask for something similar in the fabric store.

I unfolded the fabric on the floor, with the visible side towards the floor.

Then I put the chair cushioned seat over it, with the fabric towards the floor as well.

Step 7: Cutting Extra Redundant Fabric

After putting the seat over the fabric and wrapping it to see the required length, I cut with scissors the redundant piece of the fabric, so it will be easier to work later.

Make sure not to cut it to the exact size of the chair, but leave some margins from all sides so you won't have too short material.

Step 8: Preparing the Staple Gun

I put some staples in the staple gun.

Step 9: Starting the Reupholstery (1)

I selected one side, and started with it.

I put staples every 2-3 cm.

Before putting each staple, I made sure the fabric is stretched and tight.

Step 10: Reupholstery (2)

I turned the seat to the other side.

Step 11: Reupholstery (3)

Then I put staples, while pulling the fabric tightly before putting each staple.

Step 12: Peek on the Top Look

Step 13: Reupholstery (4)

The fabric I used is pretty thick.

This makes the reupholstery a bit harder, since it's required to fold the fabric into pleats around rounded places and specially the corners, so the fabric will be tight enough.

A thinner fabric will probably give a better results.

Step 14: Reupholstery (5)

Step 15: Another Peek on the Top Look

Step 16: Reupholstery (6)

I Continued to staple the fabric around the seat cushion, while pulling the fabric to be tight around.

In the corners, I cut extra fabric so it will be easier to fold.

Step 17: Reupholstery (7)

Step 18: Reupholstery (8) - Final Cutting of Extra Fabric

After finishing the stapling process, I cut all extra fabric around, using scissors.

Step 19: Initial Check on the Chair

As you can see, the result on the sides doesn't look perfect, but when putting the seat cushion on the chair, it hides most of the pleats made during the folding.

Step 20: Putting Everything Back Together

Whether you reupholster a seat or both seat and backrest, now it's the time to connect it back.

I Put all the removed screws back to place to connect the seat.

Step 21: The Result

This is the final result.

So, besides one major pleat in each side, I like the result. Specially for the time I invested in this chair renewal.

BTW, over 2 years were passed since I made it, and everything is still sits good and tight!

Step 22: Another Reupholstery Project Example

As I mentioned in the intro, this is the second time I reupholstered chairs.

Sometimes you like to reupholster your chairs not in order to fix them...

The first reupholstery project was for these 3 bar chairs makeover. I painted them with chalked paint, and replaced the black fabric to a new light fabric.

Step 23: The Video

If you missed it at the top of this instructable, this is the video with the full steps, for better understanding of the process.

You're welcome to visit my YouTube Channel, subscribe, and also watch my additional projects.

Don't forget to click the 'bell' button so you'll be notified for new videos. Thank you! :)

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