Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Replacing the Fabric on Dining Room Chairs

          You can update the look of your dining room chairs in an afternoon by recovering the cushion with a stylish new fabric..
      Our dining room chair seats were looking a little tired.  Not only was the fabric worn, but, Goldilocks would have agreed, the seats were too hard.  The time had come for action.
     I chose an upholstery grade fabric that is stain resistant.  It comes in long 54 inch rolls.  One yard will cover two cushions.  I always like to get extra fabric to make a runner for the table.  It's better to have too much fabric, than too little.  So get more than you think you might need.
     I found a four pack of foam for seat cushions at Walmart.   I was upholstering five chairs, so I needed two packs.  I also used a light duty stapler, a tape measure, and an electric drill.  My stapler is old, but you can find a similar one at Amazon.
     Turn the seat over and look at the bottom.  The seat is attached by one screw in each of the four corners.  Use the electric drill in reverse to remove the screws.  Save those screws!  You will use them to reattach the seat.  The seat will lift off of the chair.
     Using a screwdriver and my considerable strength, I pried the old staples off the back and removed the old fabric.  If your seats have not been recovered before, you can skip this step.
     I cut a piece of the replacement fabric about three inches larger than the chair seat.  Note:  Pay attention to the pattern of the fabric so that it is consistent and facing in the direction you want it to be in on the chair.  I placed that top side down on the table.   My chair seats were tapered.  I used one of the extra foam cushions to cut a long triangle to place on either side of the seat.  These were set on the fabric and finally the seat frame was added.  I wrapped the fabric around the layers rather like a present.  The material needs to be pulled taunt while it is being stapled in place.  I started by putting a staple in the center of each side.  Then a staple for each of the corners.  Pay attention to the front corners to keep them neat.  Continue to pull the fabric tight and work your way around the seat.   Extra material can be trimmed away by following the staple line.
     Place the chair on the now cushioned seat and replace the original screws.
     Turn the chair right side up and give it the Goldilocks test!  Our cat, Luna, was the first to try out the new cushions.


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