How to Reupholster Dining Chairs The Right Way

Upholstery is important. It makes furniture more comfortable. Furthermore, it can contribute much to the feel of a room, thus enabling it to bring a room closer to the owner’s vision. Unfortunately, upholstery is impermanent. The Spruce and other sources point out it is possible to extend its useful lifespan through the proper measures.

Even so, upholstery will reach a point when it can’t serve its intended function anymore. When that happens, interested individuals should consider reupholstering, which should make the underlying furniture ready for use once more.

Can You Reupholster a Dining Chair?

Interested individuals should be capable of reupholstering a dining chair. If something has been upholstered, chances are good that it can be reupholstered unless the underlying furniture has sustained some kind of serious damage. If anything, reupholstering a dining chair should be easier than some of the other possible reupholstering projects. Size alone means reupholstering a dining chair should make for less work than reupholstering, say, a full-sized couch.

Of course, interested individuals will need the right know-how plus the right tools and supplies. Fortunately, they should be capable of picking up the know-how on the job. That is particularly true because Better Homes & Gardens, Family Handyman, and other sources are readily available to them. Similarly, interested individuals should be capable of finding the tools and supplies in hardware stores and other retailers. Once again, a good source can make it much easier for them to find everything they need.

How Can You Choose the Right Materials For Reupholstering a Dining Chair?

Everything starts with choosing the right materials for reupholstering a dining chair. This is important because upholstery covers a wide range of materials used in a wide range of ways. As a result, interested individuals can’t just assume that their choice of material will automatically work out. Instead, they need to put serious thought into this part of the process:

Going Luxurious Versus Going Casual

Architectural Digest says everything starts with figuring out how a dining chair will be used. Yes, a dining chair is a dining chair. The issue is that different dining chairs can expect very different experiences. Sometimes, a dining chair is as much a showpiece as anything else, meaning it can expect light use and nothing more than light use.

In those cases, interested individuals can get away with using more luxurious materials that look good but aren’t necessarily very practical for reupholstering them. Other times, a dining chair is very much stuck in the middle of things, meaning it can expect to see a great deal of rough use.

In those cases, interested individuals would be much better off with tough fabric, tough leather, and other materials that can take it with minimal issues. They can still use luxurious materials, but they shouldn’t be surprised if those luxurious materials suffer faster deterioration.

Choosing Based On Good Looks

Moving on, interested individuals should also consider their desired look and feel for their dining chairs when looking through materials. After all, those considerations are at least as important as durability.

That is particularly true when interested individuals prioritize their dining chairs and the rest of their dining rooms looking good over other concerns. Please note that looking good isn’t necessarily the same as looking valuable. In some cases, people prefer less valuable-looking furniture because they are scared of causing damage through careless movement.

That can make it rather difficult for them to rest and relax, which is a real shame because dining rooms shouldn’t be places of stress. Under those circumstances, it would be better to choose more casual and comfortable materials, thus creating a much more welcoming mood.

Keeping the Shape of the Furniture in Mind

It is also a good idea for interested individuals to choose materials while considering the underlying furniture. Generally speaking, they want to choose something simple and inoffensive for their larger reupholstering projects.

That is because it is much more laborious and time-consuming to change the upholstery for that kind of furniture, meaning there is a much higher chance of an eyesore remaining an eyesore.

For comparison, interested individuals should feel freer to experiment with dining chairs and other smaller reupholstering projects because they can always redo the upholstery if they come to dislike the results. Alas, not every kind of material will be well-suited for every kind of dining chair.

Eye-catching colors, patterns, and details tend to go better with more conventional-looking furniture. In contrast, something more solid tends to go better for more curvaceous and otherwise strangely-shaped furniture. What looks good when laid out on a table won’t necessarily look good when wrapped around a dining chair.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

In this as in other things, it is a good idea to experiment a bit before settling on a final choice. Even something as simple as draping a piece of fabric over the dining chair can help interested individuals imagine what the finished result will look like.

Furthermore, experimenting with every option in this way can help them get a much better understanding of the options available to them, thus increasing their chances of choosing the right materials for their dining chair.

How Can You Reupholster a Dining Chair?

Here is a list of steps that interested individuals can use for reupholstering a dining chair:

Remove the Old Upholstery

First, interested individuals are going to have to remove the old upholstery of the dining chair. After all, they can’t exactly reupholster the dining chair until the old upholstery is gone. Be warned that interested individuals can’t just hack up the old upholstery however they want. That could cause damage to their dining chair. Even worse, they need the old upholstery to guide their reupholstering.

Generally speaking, interested individuals should start by photographing their dining chairs from every angle. That should serve as a reference in case they run into unexpected complications. Afterward, interested individuals should loosen the cloth that lies beneath.

Then, they should remove the old upholstery piece by piece while taking care to document where each one went. If necessary, use a marker to write the relevant information on the pieces. This is critical because they can’t afford to get this information wrong. Otherwise, they can expect to waste a lot of time engaging in painful trial and error, particularly if they have either no or next-to-no reupholstering experience.

Touch Up the Dining Chair As Needed

Second, interested individuals should touch up the dining chair as needed, which can mean various things depending on its condition. For instance, dining chairs can have damaged springs, torn webbing, and worn-out batting. Each of these issues can be a major fix-job in its own right.

To name an example, interested individuals will have to remove worn-out batting, cut new pieces of batting, staple those new pieces of batting to the right areas, and then adjust those new pieces of batting to conceal those staples. Hand staplers, electric staplers, and pneumatic staplers are all capable of doing the job.

The best one depends on the scale of the job at hand. Besides these things, interested individuals might also need to touch up the frame of the dining chair. That could mean anything from sanding away some minor imperfections to priming and painting surfaces as needed.

Cut New Pieces Based On the New Pieces

Keeping the old pieces of upholstery is important because interested individuals are going to want to use them to cut new pieces of upholstery out of their chosen materials. Please note that they are going to want to cut an extra 2 to 3 inches beyond the edges of the old pieces because they are going to need that extra material when stapling everything in place.

The old pieces of upholstery would have been of the same approximate sizes when the dining chair was being made. They are the way they are now because their edges were trimmed off after they had been stapled into place.

Interested individuals should transfer the information about how the old pieces of upholstery were used to their new counterparts using whatever method they chose in the first place.

Put the Base Fabric In Place

Subsequently, it is time to put the base fabric in place. Interested individuals should use their documentation to figure out where everything should go. Along the way, they should use pins to keep everything in place because they shouldn’t use staples until they are sure they have everything right.

Chances are good interested individuals will need to do some tugging to make everything fits snugly. Once they have stapled the pieces into place, they should trim the excess fabric for the perfect look.

Tuck In the Corners and Install a Dust Cover

Interested individuals will need to tuck in the corners of the upholstery. The easiest method would be tucking in the center of each corner before tucking in the sides of each corner. Once that has been done, use staples to hold the corners of the upholstery into place.

After that, interested individuals should install a dust cover. That would be the piece of cloth at the bottom of the dining chair, which is useful for not just protecting from dust and other unwanted substances but also for concealing the signs of stapling.

Installing a dust cover is a matter of putting it in place, adjusting it until it covers everything it should, and then stapling it in place so that it won’t fall off.

What Are Your Alternatives If You Don’t Want to Reupholster a Dining Chair?

Not everyone will want to reupholster a dining chair on their own. It might not make sense for them to buy the tools and supplies needed to do so, particularly if they tend not to spend much time on DIY projects. For that matter, some people just don’t have the time to spend learning how to reupholster something.

When this is the case, interested individuals have other options available to them. One would be looking for an upholsterer to reupholster their dining chair for them. As always, looking up customer reviews is a good way for interested individuals to pick out service providers who offer consistently positive results.

However, points out that there are other important considerations they should keep in mind. One example would be the question of whether the upholsterer understands what they want or not. If not, they should move on because wrong reupholstering is effectively the same as bad reupholstering.

Another example would be the question of whether the upholsterer delivers. Something extremely important if people have to move heavy objects back and forth. Dining chairs are relatively lightweight. Anything heavier can pose a serious challenge for a wide range of people.

Not worth it?

Another option would be abandoning the idea of reupholstering a dining chair. Some projects just aren’t worth doing. Yes, a dining chair can last a long time with reupholstering. Despite that, a dining chair can be so damaged that providing repairs and replacements would be costlier than just replacing it with something new.

For that matter, interested individuals might also want to check out vintage stores for upholstered chairs, which are authentic but affordable. Brick-and-mortar vintage stores remain as useful for this as ever. Better still, House Beautiful offers a convenient list of online stores where people can find similar items at similar prices.

What Are Some Suggestions for Maintaining a Reupholstered Dining Chair?

People who reupholstered their dining chairs should look up ways to maintain their dining chairs for the longest-lasting usefulness. Unsurprisingly, much of the maintenance process consists of cleaning well and cleaning regularly, which is why they should look up The Century House and other sources for advice.

Suggestions include but are not limited to vacuuming to remove dust, wiping with a soft cloth, blotting spills right away, and always using appropriate cleaners for the materials in question.

The strongest cleaner isn’t necessarily the best cleaner. It is very much possible for them to be so strong that they cause serious damage when used, which defeats the point of offering proper maintenance in the first place.

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