Reupholstering Kitchen Chairs: Ideas and Options

Freshen the look of old chairs with a new seat cover.
Rustic Kitchen Dining Table With Upholstered Chairs

Brown Transitional Kitchen Dining Table

Patterned upholstery adds a splash of color to the neutral space, while an Arts & Crafts-style chandelier fits right in with the lodge-like design of the kitchen.

By: Gina Hannah

If you like your kitchen chairs but they need new seats, you can make new ones yourself using ideas and options for reupholstering kitchen chairs. Recovering an old chair can freshen its look, improve its comfort, and save you money over buying new chairs.

Slipcovers for Chairs, Ottomans and More

See All Photos

Shop This Look

First, consider what you'd like the new seat to look like. Do you want a pattern on the chair seats? Or do you prefer a solid fabric in a color that complements your kitchen's decor? Measure your seats and visit a fabric store for ideas. Store staff can help you determine how much fabric you'll need as well as how much seat liner will be required for your project.

You'll also need a tape measure, staple gun with staples, straight pins, screw driver, fabric pen, scissors and batting if you want to add more cushion to the seats. After choosing your fabric and gathering your tools, you'll need to remove the old seats from the chair frame. This usually involves removing screws on the bottom of the seat, but sometimes the screws have been installed horizontally into the frame of the seat, near the legs of the chair. Once the seat is removed, inspect the chair to see if the frame itself needs painting or refinishing.

When you're ready to proceed with the seats, check the condition of the seat padding. If the old padding is in bad shape (or you simply want a softer seat), you can add batting now. Secure the batting to the seat with the staple gun. Now you can cut out a liner, based on the size of the old seat cover, and staple it to the seat. Start at the center point of each side and pull the liner tight as you go.

To make your new cover, use the old cover as a template and cut out the shape from your fabric. If your fabric has a pattern, once you've placed the seat on the back side of it, turn the seat right-side up so you can check that the pattern is centered the way you want it. Mark the corners of the fabric placement with straight pins. Stitch or serge the edges of the fabric to keep it from fraying.

When your new fabric cover is ready, lay it face-down on your work surface and place the seat on top of it, taking care to line up with the straight pins if your fabric has a pattern. Now it's time to staple the fabric to the seat, using the same method you used to staple the liner.

After your newly covered seat is finished, it's time to reattach it to the chair frame. Use the original hardware to do this. Next, turn your chair right-side up and admire your handiwork.

Decorating on a Budget: Thrifty Finds Transformed

See All Videos

Next Up

Upholster Chairs With Napkins

Follow the directions below to complete this DIY cloth napkin project from HGTV Magazine.

How to Re-Cover a Dining Room Chair

Update a set of dining room chairs by re-covering the cushions with a stylish new fabric.

How to Revamp a Rocking Chair

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine.

Flea Market Flip: Thrift Store Chair Gets a Fresh Upholstery Update

Once you flip one piece of furniture, you'll want to thrift and flip it all. 

How to Reupholster an Arm Chair

Upholstery can be an intimidating project, but it seems more complicated than it actually is. A thrift store arm chair with simple lines, a sturdy frame and good padding makes a perfect subject for a novice upholsterer.

Flea Market Flip: Eclectic + Indigo Arm Chair

An old rocking chair gets updated with chalk paint and smoky upholstery fabric.

How to Re-Cover an Upholstered Ottoman

Learn how to reupholster an ottoman and turn a thrift-store footstool into a gorgeous (and functional) piece of home decor — all with just a few yards of fabric and a staple gun.

How to Create an Upholstered Wood Screen

Upcycle flea market finds to create exciting new pieces courtesy of the DIY experts at HGTV Magazine.

Headboard 101: Making a Simple Upholstered Headboard

Never built a headboard before? Our pros will guide you through the process, from what to buy from the home improvement store to upholstering.

How to Refinish and Reupholster a Bench

Give an old bench a new lease on life by stripping then refinishing the legs and freshening up the upholstery with new foam and fabric.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages