Introduction: Refinished Armchairs From the 1920's

I got two old armchairs from the 1920's for free, they where red and smelled a bit, but they were sturdy and I could see the potential. They are now the crown piceses of my livingroom :) This is a small step by step how I did the reupholstery.

Step 1: Remove the Old Fabric

Choose a quality piece of furniture. Reupholstering a piece of furniture is an extensive and time-intensive process. Start out on the right foot by selecting furniture that is high quality with an ugly ‘skin’.

Get all your tools ready. There aren’t any special tools required in reupholstering furniture, but you will need some for the job. You will need:
  • A flat-head screwdriver (or a butter knife - this will be for prying)
  • Pliers
  • A hammer
  • A staple gun with staples (the length of the necessary staples will depend on how thick the fabric you’re using is)
  • Sewing machine with associated supplies.

Remove the current fabric from your furniture. Work slowly and meticulously to remove the fabric from your furniture by pulling out all the staples/tacks/screws that are holding it in Place.

Take a crapload of pictures for every step you take removing the old fabric so when you are putting on the new fabric you can always go back and look at how it was done originaly. It's so easy to forget.

These 1920's Chairs you can take completely from eachother.

Step 2: Upholster, Staple the Fabric On

Get plenty of quality upholstering fabric. Although you can technically reupholster furniture with any kind of fabric, most fabrics won’t be thick and sturdy enough to last for many years. Look for special upholstering fabric, which is thicker and made to stand against wear-and-tear better than other types of fabric.

Clean the furniture. Removing the old fabric often exposes dirt and it is best to clean up any messes or dirty areas prior to adding new furniture over the top. For Use a bit of wood oil or cleaner to prepare the wood parts of your furniture, and seal it if necessary. If your furniture was damaged or scratched, you should take time now to repair it and prep it for new fabric.If you want to stain or paint the wood on your furniture, you should do so at this point.

Lay out all the fabric you removed from you furniture, making sure that you know which piece goes where. Layer your new upholstery fabric out, and trace the old fabric shapes onto the new. This will serve as your pattern.

If you need to apply extra layers of batting or cushion, do so prior to re-attaching the fabric, ut try to use the original as much as possible.

Staple your new fabric to the furniture. Work one section at a time, lining up your new fabric with its corresponding location on the furniture. Use your staple gun with staples of the appropriate length to attach the fabric securely to the furniture. Make sure there are no gaps

Step 3: Finish and Sew the Fabric

Add any finishing touches. When all the fabric has been re-attached to your furniture, you should sew on any piping, buttons, or attach the feet/legs to the bottom of your furniture.

Sew the fabric where necessary. Not all of the fabric you upholster will require sewing, in fact typically only cushion and arm covers or pieces of fabric with corners will require any sewing. Use the original fabric as your pattern, and mimic the same sewing pattern with your new fabric. Use a thread that will match the fabric, or use a clear plastic thread. If you’re able, use a serger along the edges to prevent the fabric from fraying.

There is a Magic easy way to sew with invisible stitches, its easy and goes fast. If you search YouTube you get a good how to.

Step 4: Before and Now

Put the chair together andr if you decide you’re completely finished, give your piece of furniture a once-over to verify that there are no loose threads so-to-speak, and that it’s ready to be placed as a permanent fixture in your home.