Tips for Re-Upholstering Dining Chairs

 When I go shopping I’m that crazy person who is constantly saying to herself, “I can make that,” or “I can do that myself.”

 That was the case with my dining chairs. 


I had long been admiring fully upholstered chairs but I couldn’t stomach the $400 + per chair price tag that I saw at many stores.  

Table and chairs at the Wisteria store in Dallas

So, when I found my mint condition $450 table and chairs set on Craig’s list I didn’t hesitate when the fabric color was not my cup of tea.  That little voice in my head piped up, “I can reupholster them myself!” 


And, yes, I could.  But. I’m not going to lie…it took more time and fortitude than I had anticipated because I did several chairs instead of just one or two. 

If you’re like me and want to reupholster your own dining chairs, here are a few tips I have learned along the way:



Buy the correct amount of fabric yardage for your project by consulting an upholstery guide


Save the old fabric after removing to use as a guide for cutting. 

Invest in a good staple removerI bought mine from a local upholstery supply company.  You can find one near you by Googling “upholstery supply” or you can order one online.  Mine is exactly like this one and cost about $15. 



Carefully consider how you want your fabric pattern to present itself on the chair and then be consistent and carefully match the pattern as best you can.  Do it the same way for every chair for a consistent look.   


Buy a good staple gun.  It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but it shouldn’t be the cheapest one you can find.  A good one is easy to hold and “shoot.”   

(Mine is just like this one and is available at

Pay attention to staple size.  The staples not only need to fit your gun, but look at the depth of the staple.  For example, if you’re using heavy fabric and are going through several layers, you need a longer staple.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.  The blue guide shows you different staple lengths.





Be patient and remember it’s okay to re-do something if you have to. 


I will go into greater detail and will post a step-by-step tutorial in the next few days so you can see how I upholstered them.  It really isn’t rocket science, but it does require some patience and attention to detail.  



With some perseverance and a little muscle, I know you can do it to!


Thank you, again, for all your wonderful comments on my dining room!  I am so overwhelmed by the compliments and kind remarks I received. And, thank you, to all of you who came here from my guest post at Savvy Southern Style.  I hope to get to know you all better!


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12 Responses to Tips for Re-Upholstering Dining Chairs

  1. You did a beautiful job on the chairs…can’t wait for the tutorial….and so great to have a Wisteria store near you…I remember when going to Dallas tagging along with my hubby on business, the wonderful stores…including the multi-story Crate and Barrel…love that town!

  2. Pamela says:

    Your chairs are gorgeous! I have similar fabric that I purchased to redo some chairs I recently purchased.

  3. Robyn says:

    Your chairs are beautifully done! You have given me the extra oomph that I need to move forward on a mid-century chair. I got a quote for just stapling the fabric & foam back onto the chair …..I hope your sitting down…$150! I instead bought myself a little pan compressor and staple gun so I’m good to go for years to come! I love being a DIYer. Again I wish to thank you for the insentive I needed to move ahead on this project!

  4. Laura Turner says:

    Beautiful job and lovely, fresh colors! I have antique chairs to recover stuffed with horsehair and springs. I’m a bit baffled at how to proceed!
    Laura from

  5. NanaDiana says:

    You did a great job. Reupholstering is not for the faint of heart-that’s for sure. I used to do quite a few pieces but have kind of given it up now. I do make a slipcover here and there, though. Have a great day! xo Diana

    • Diana, I agree…reupholstering can be a very big job. It was so worth it in the end, though. I’m happy to have saved myself some extra cash. I’m about to tackle a bigger slipcover project, though. I’m a little nervous!

  6. malik aayan says:

    Your chair looks awesome, thanks for sach a great tips! You did a beautiful job. Top quality furniture company

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