How to Recover Padded Dining Room Chairs
It is Easy!
Dining room chairs with padded fabric seats eventually become worn and stained, even with the most careful use. Fabrics go out of style, and the padding becomes flat and uncomfortable. Many people are unaware that it really is very easy to recover the fabric on padded dining room chairs, and the padding is simple to replace as well. New fabric and padding can give new life to older dining room chairs, and as styles and room colors change, the dining room chairs can be changed as well. If you have padded dining room chairs, or if you are considering purchasing padded dining room chairs, you can recover them without spending a great deal of time or money. It really is very easy!
Choosing Fabric and Padding
Furniture-quality fabric can be purchased by the yard in upholstery shops and most fabric stores, but before searching for fabric, measure the seats of the chairs, and allow enough extra fabric to wrap around the sides and fold over the edges. To make certain the measurements are correct, remove the seats and the old padding before deciding on material sizes. Avoid choosing fabric with stripes since it can be tricky to line up perfectly along the edges.
If the padding is in good condition and the old fabric will not show through the new material, consider leaving the old fabric in place. This will save time and the job will go much faster, but if the pattern on the original material will show, or it if is ripped or heavily textured, you will need to remove it before recovering the seats to achieve a smooth and professional look.
Examine the padding, and if it appears lumpy, stained, or worn, consider replacing it with high-quality chair padding. You can also find padding at upholstery stores, or you can browse sewing stores for padding that can be used for chairs. It is worthwhile to change the padding if it is the least bit flat or worn. Padding is relatively inexpensive, and it can make a huge difference in the appearance and comfort of the chairs. More than likely the chairs will be more comfortable than ever if the padding is replaced.
Removing the Seats and Upholstery
Turn a dining room chair over to examine how the seat is attached. Most are simply attached by a single screw that goes through the bottom of each corner support. It really is very easy to remove dining chair seats. After the screws are removed the seat should be easy to remove from the frame.
Once the first seat has been removed, use a flathead screwdriver to pop out the heavy-duty staples holding the fabric in place. Before all of the staples have been removed, pay careful attention to how the fabric is folded so the seats will fit properly after recovering. Once the staples have been removed, take off the fabric and remove the padding if you plan to replace it.
Replacing Padding and Recovering the Seats
Begin by using the old fabric and padding as a pattern for the new pieces. Use a pair of sharp fabric scissors to cut the new upholstery about an eighth-inch larger in diameter than the original piece of fabric. The padding should be the same size as the original piece, and it should be cut with a pair of sharp scissors that are long enough to easily cut through the padding.
Once the new fabric and padding are cut to size, position the material face down on a clean flat work surface, and center the padding over the fabric. Center the seat over the padding, and wrap the fabric over the edges. For best results, staple the center front first, approximately one-inch from the edge of the seat, and after pulling the fabric taut, staple the middle back in the same manner. Next, staple the center of the sides before stapling the edges all the way around the seat.
You will be left with the corners, and they should be folded in the same manner as the original fabric. It might be necessary to trim away some of the upholstery around the corners, but be careful not to cut off too much. Securely staple the corners, and reattach the newly padded and upholstered seats to the chair frames.
Your dining room chairs will look completely different with new fabric, and you will be amazed by how easy it was to complete this do-it-yourself project. For the cost of new padding and upholstery, you will have a set of dining room chairs that look just as good as new.
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