Recovering The Kitchen Chairs

The last time I recovered my kitchen chairs, I’m pretty sure all the kids were still in school, and since my “baby” is 26, I figured it was time for a ‘chairlift’. The old fabric has served us well, but was definitely becoming worn in spots, and stained in others.


I went to the store and purchased 6 yards of upholstery fabric at a very reasonable $2.99 a yard. I got 6 yards, figuring a yard a chair. Most likely it will be more than I need, but mistakes happen when cutting cloth, and I don’t want to not have enough, and have the store no longer carry it, so I like to buy more than I’ll need. I then assembled the tools I needed.

drill and tools

Scissors for cutting the cloth, a staple gun with staples, a flat head screwdriver and pliers in case you need to pull one of your staples out, and a drill to remove and reattach the seat of the chair. Not pictured, but definitely needed, is a small hammer to make sure that those staples are in securely.

First thing to do, is remove the seats from the chairs by removing the screws on the bottom with the drill, and set the seats aside. Then lay your cloth out flat, good side down, and place a seat upside down on top of the cloth. Make sure that you have an ample amount of cloth on each side of the seat to pull it up, and attach it, then cut out a square around it. Cut 5 more of these squares using your first template.

I chose to leave the old covering on the chair, as there is really no reason to remove it, and just gives added cushioning under your new covering. One more thing I needed to do this job was my husband. Recovering a chair is really a two person job. It is literally impossible for one person to hold the cloth taut, and staple at the same time.

When you have all of your squares cut, you place your first seat, upside down on the cloth. I like to start with the front of the seat, since that shows the most. Grasping the cloth firmly, you pull it up and over the side of the seat, and staple it to the bottom of the seat. Only staple the middle 1/3 of the seat at first. If you staple too close to the corner, you won’t be able to fold the corners in. Turn the seat, and firmly pull the opposite side up and over and staple. Continue this for all for sides, making sure to flatten any wrinkles in cloth before stapling.


Turn the seat so that the corner is aimed at you. Grasp the cloth at the corner, and pull it straight up, and staple.

Grasping the side of the corner firmly, fold it over the corner flap, making sure there are no bunches underneath your fold, and then staple.

Fold over the last side of the corner, making sure all is smooth, then staple. At this point, make sure all of the cloth in this corner is held down firmly with a staple.

Continue on to the other three corners. The corners are a little trickier, but with a little patience, you’ll master them no problem. Take care to use the small hammer to pound down any staples that don’t go into the seat firmly. When all is stapled down securely, cut any loose cloth you might have, so it doesn’t hang below the chair when turned upside down.

Your finished seat should like something like this:

Now it needs to be reattached to the chair. Place the seat, upside down, with the back of the seat towards. you on the table. Center your kitchen chair on top of it.

Using the drill, reattach the seat to the chair with screws in the appropriate screw holes provided.

Repeat for remaining chairs. I’m pretty happy with the results. My chairs look brand new, and it cost me less than $20.00 and 3 hours to do it!



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