DIY Recovering Dining Room Chairs

My dining room chairs are finished, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the result.  This project did not require any sewing or cording, so it is an easy DIY.  The time it takes to complete the job varies according to which tools you use.  Since I am an expert in efficiency (or as impatient as a 3-year-old toddler), a new tool was the key to me finishing this job quickly with excellent results.Dining Room Chairs DIYDeeds

Like I mentioned before, I found these chairs at a store here in Houston called Native Citizen.  This shop is the real deal when it comes to reclaimed furniture and/or repurposing materials.  Their inventory is always changing, and the best part is that the website is kept up-to-date!

The chairs were already reupholstered with a chocolate microsuede, which would have worked for me about 5 years ago.


 I decided to leave the chocolate on the chairs, (I know one day this will pay off!) and went with a dark gray microsuede.  Detaching the seat was easy enough.  When I flipped over the chair, the seat was attached to the frame using 4 screws.

Before I attached the new fabric, I cut out the 6 seats and the 6 inside backs from the fabric and marked them so the nap (not sure if this is the correct term) went the same way on the chairs.


The first two chairs I completed with a manual staple gun.  I learned a few things along the way, but found the best way to do the corners using a method I found here.  On her blog, Jenny describes how to do it so well, so I’m just going to show you some pics.

First staple it like this…(see link above for specifics).  You have to cut off some fabric before the next step, so definitely read Jenny’s post before attempting this yourself.


Then, fold it down and staple it like this:


I bought and tried three different manual staplers during this process.  All three did not live up to my expectations, since I had to use a hammer to tap the staples in all the way.  Each seat used about 50 staples which created some loud racket.  Not to mention, it was taking about an hour for each piece.  So, when I figured out how the inside and outside backs were attached to the chair, I decided to ditch the manual stapler.


Oh yes…those are nails!  This was how the outside back  was attached to the inside back.  The inside back was attached to the frame with 3 screws.  I decided to address putting them back together after I recovered them using my new air-powered upholstery stapler!  (The other tool is an upholstery staple remover.)


This handy-dandy tool made recovering the backs a BREEZE!  I was able to do all 12 pieces in 3 hours!  Even though my husband picked out a pattern (Sunbrella Fischer Graphite) to put on the outside backs, placing the fabric was easy enough.  I took this picture and referenced it each time before I began stapling the fabric to the outside back. (In the picture you can see a different fabric I tried for the outside back as well as a crazy, failed attempt at using velcro to attach them.)


After a few failed attempts and some lessons learned at attaching the outside backs to the inside backs…


I figured out a way to make it work so changing the outside back would be an easy switch or when I find this Schumacher Shock Wave fabric on MAJOR sale one day!  (Inspiration Pic)

I used Weldbond, 1/2″ foam board, and industrial strength velcro to make this work.  Here is a quick step-by-step:

1.  Attach the 1/2″ foam board to the inside back (no reason why I chose the inside back compared to the outside back) using the Weldbond.  Of course, being the math teacher that I am, I made a template (green paper) to have less waste on the foam board.


2.  Attach one side of velcro to the 1/2″ foam board using some Weldbond in addition to the self-adhesive the velcro has.


3.  Using some magical powers (ruler, template, trial and error) attach the opposite pieces of velcro to outside backs and you’re done!


I love my new dining room chairs, as they add a modern/contemporary vibe to the french antique table that I have.  Mom, I know the chairs don’t match the style of the table, but that is what I wanted.  I like the eclectic look of the mismatched styles and have confirmed that this is something that is done.  (See here, here, and here.)

The only problem I have with this picture is that the rug has to go…one project leads to another.


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One comment on “DIY Recovering Dining Room Chairs
  1. Jennifer says:

    D – These look great and make me even more excited about the chairs you are re-upholstering for my office! Thanks, J

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  1. […] in two days without any sewing! We used my air-powered upholstery staple gun, which I wrote about here, and some Fabric-tac to attach the trim. I only have pictures of one of the completed chairs, and […]

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