How to Reupholster an Armchair

Do you have an old armchair that is looking dated but otherwise is still comfortable and nice? Pieces like that are the perfect candidates for new upholstery. Upholstery projects can look really intimidating, but if you take your time and work step-by-step they aren’t as tricky as they seem. If you can use a staple gun and do simple sewing, you can re-upholster a chair.

2015_July-Before

Here’s our chair that we’re giving a makeover. The frame of the chair is still sturdy and the cushions and plush and comfortable to sit on, but the upholstery is dated and we just weren’t loving the look of it anymore. We’re going to recover this chair in floral fabric, P/Kaufmann Temara Tumeric, and remove the skirt from the bottom to give it a more modern feel.

Different chairs can be very different on the insides, but many of the principles are the same, so although your chair may not be exactly like ours, you can use the techniques outlined in the video to redo most any upholstered chair.

Since we chose a patterned fabric for our chair, you will see Cindi carefully patterning the fabric pieces so the main flower in our pattern is centered on the chair. This does use more fabric and takes a little more thought, but the end result will look professional. She breaks down all of her methods in the video, so you’ll also be able to align your fabric’s pattern in the most eye-catching way.

2015_July-After

In this video, we’ll show you how to systematically disassemble and reassemble your chair and how to use cardboard and metal tack strips in your upholstery to get clean edges. You’ll also learn how to make bias piping and how to apply it to the edges of your chair.

Materials List:

Tools List:

Here are some of the speciality tools used in the video that are helpful for this project. Other basic tools needed include: a marker, pliers, wire cutters, scissors, a tape measure, and a sewing machine.

Our chair has an upholstered frame with removable cushions for the seat and the backrest. This first video will only cover the re-upholstery of the frame. We’ll be back next week with a tutorial on sewing the removable cushions.

If you’re unsure how much fabric you need for your chair re-upholstery project, check out our helpful Fabric Yardage Chart. This upholstery yardage approximation chart is the same chart used by professional upholsterers.

You can find all the materials and tools needed to complete your own re-upholstery project at Sailrite.com.

Have you ever re-upholstered a furniture piece? Are you up for the challenge? Share your experiences or ask your questions in the comments!

4 comments
  1. Cathy Bryant said:

    I have a question: at about 30 minutes on this video, she does topstitching on the lower front. I did not see where that section went when placed on the chair. The other seams were clear.

  2. Cathy Bryant said:

    …..its at 26:00 to27:00 minutes

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