Recovering Kitchen Chairs




About: I've had a lifelong interest in reducing my impact on the environment, (reducing my footprint so to speak). In my early 20's a few friends and I started a curbstop recycling project called Envirobox. This pr...

Do you have kitchen chairs that appear a bit outdated? Perhaps they are still useful but the pattern remind you of the shirts worn in the mid-80's? Here is a project you can do provided you have time and patience and a bit of skill. There won't be a lot of picures in this instructible as I neglected to take them asI went along (just use your imagination),

Step 1: Dismantle Chair

Using a screwdriver unscrew the screws that fasten the seat to the legs and frame of the chair.

Step 2: Remove All of the Staples and Set Fabric Aside.

Typically chairs have a padded seat and sometimes a padded back like this one. I used a flat head screwdriver and pair of needlenose pliers to remove all of the staples off of the botton of the chair to dismantle the seat. In my case the seat bottom was covered with a piece of thin cardboard to cover over the edges of the fabric stapled onto the bottom of the chair to make the seat.

Step 3: Use Old Fabric As a Template for the New Fabric You Plan to Recover Chair With.

I estimated in the case of the chair(s) shown that I would need 5 metres of fabric, as the fabric I purchased was wider than expected so I only used approximately 2 and a half metres to complete this project. Also keep in mind that the new fabric should either be of a darker fabric or pattern (or in the case of these chairs) I used microfibre fabric which is very water and stain resistant. Flatten each piece of original material using a iron and then trace around it using a pencil crayon to draw the outline onto the new fabric. Cut the fabric out and then you are ready for the next step.

Step 4: Reassemble Chair Seat

This step is much easier if you have a helper, if not it will just take you a bit longer. place the fabric for the seat face down on a flat work surface, place the padded seat face down on top of the fabric. Alternating from opposite sides begin by pulling fabric to bottom on one side of the seat and staple fabric to seat. Continue by stretching the fabric on the direct opposite side of the chair and staple. Alway work in an opposing fashion so that you can ensure the seat fabric is flat and not wrinkled once completed. When you start you should begin in the middle of the seat on one side, continue by stapling on the middle of the seat edge on the opposite side. In all cases work the additional "slack" in the fabric to the corners of the seat. Once you are at the corners of the seat gently pleat the fabric in such a manner to minimize the wrinkles that will show on the top.
Once the seat has the fabric on it you may decide to staple the cardboard back onto the bottom to hide your work.

Step 5: Reassemble Chair

Using screws that you put aside in step one fasten the seat back to the frame of the chair. Sometimes you can feel the original screwholes on the bottom of the seat and try to orient the screw through the seat frame and into these holes and other times you will have to position the seat as centred on the frame and make new holes int he bottom of the seat when re-fastening the seat to the frame. You can use a screwdriver like i did but if you have a drill with a screw bit this step will be a lot easier with a lot less blisters.
In the picture I have shown you the back rest part of the chair as I recovered this as well. In the picture there was a round flat peice that was uphostered and screwed into the front piece of the chair back, the front piece needed to be detached by unscrewing the screw that held it to the frame of the chair. Basically the same steps dismantle, remove staples, cut new fabric using old as template and restaple new fabric to the pieces. shown. All in all this took me 6 hours to complete this project.



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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    There's a few tutes like this. I was wondering, what kind of stapler do you use? I've got normal office staplers, but nothing more heavy duty or bigger. Do I need to buy a particular sort for this? I've been meaning to redo my kitchen chairs for a while.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think regular staples are going to cut it for this project. You will need either a light-duty or heavy-duty metal stapler from a hardware store. Depending on the brand and materials the stapler is made from, it will cost you around ten to twenty bucks. Just be sure to buy the right staples to go with it! The back of the box usually has recommended staple sizes.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    sorry whos...I was already half into the project before I remembered to take time


    12 years ago

    Great... Another project I "gotta" do! :) Something I've been meaning to get around to for a long time. The new ones look so much better!

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    Thanks they took a bit longer than I expected however like I said in the instructible it sure helps to have a helper when you are restapling the fabric back to the seat.