How to Reupholster a Dining Chair – Seat & Back

This guest upholstery tutorial is all about how to reupholster a dining chair with fabric on the seat and back. It was submitted by one of our regular contributors, Charlie Miller.


– Old dining chair with padded seat, back and arm rests. – Upholstery Fabric – Upholstery Staple Remover and/or Tack Puller – Cotton padding – Old Socks (optional) – 60 Grit Sandpaper (optional)

Step 1: Removing the Old Upholstery Fabric & Padding

The first thing I did in my quest to reupholster my dining chair was to remove the old fabric by prying out the nails and staples.

Step 2: Armrests

The previous fabric on the armrests was well worn on the corners from these wood pieces so I decided to sand down the corners of these sharp rectangular blocks of wood with 60 Grit sandpaper.

Step 3: New Padding

I did staple on some new padding but it still didn’t seem ‘cushy’ enough so I added in some old (but freshly washed!) socks.

Step 4: Re-Upholstering the Chair and Seat Back

I decided to pick a really bright and striking fabric so that it still ended up looking more modern even with the wood finish.

Step 5: Adding Decorative Trim

Once you have your upholstery fabric secured you will still have a visible staple line so this needs to be covered with some trim.