How to Reupholster a Channel Back Chair with Channeled Foam


The chairs in the front entryway here at Sailrite were starting to show their age. Their fabric was dingy and pilled, so we decided that it was time to give them fresh fabric. Our entry chairs have a solid oak frame and a simple channeled back, nothing too elaborate. Chairs like this with minimal upholstery are great beginning upholstery projects. Today, we’re going to share with you how we reupholstered our simple, channel-backed chair.

To start your reupholstery project, the first thing you want to do is to carefully disassemble your chair. As you begin pulling staples and removing fabric, take lots of pictures of how the chair was put together. This will be valuable to reference as you reassemble.

The way chairs are built and upholstered can vary greatly, but if you have a chair that is similar to ours, the same techniques should work for you too. One thing that makes our chair sort of unique is the way the channeling was created in the seat back. Instead of making separate pockets of foam, the back is simply sewn into pleats and those pleats are pushed into a groove that was created in the top of the foam. We chose to use the existing foam for our chair (it wasn’t in bad shape) but you could replicate this design with new foam as well.

Don’t be afraid to get a creative with your upholstery! Choose a bold color or pattern for an occasional chair, use a fun texture, or mix up the patterns like we did. For our chair we used a combination of 4 coordinating Sunbrella® Upholstery fabrics to create a fun look for our entry.

See the full materials list and video at when you search #200643XHT.

Have you ever reupholstered a chair before? Do you have any helpful tips to share on the process? Share your experiences, tips and stories with us in the comments!


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