You will need
• staple gun
• glue gun
• screwdriver (with a flat tip) and pliers
• fabric for seat top
• fabric for under the seat
• matching upholstery trim
• universal undercoat
• enamel paint in the colour of your choice
• brushes and sponge rollers
• paint tray and drop sheet
• 120-grit sandpaper
Note The foam cushion on our chairs was still in good condition, but replace it if necessary. Have new foam cut to match the old if you think you can replace it yourself, but ask a professional upholsterer to do it for you if you are unsure.
1 Turn the chair upside down so that the seat is resting on your work surface. Insert the tip of your screwdriver under the staples and loosen them one by one. Use your pliers to remove them. Be careful not to damage the wood. Remove the old fabric from under the seat and put it aside – you will be using it as the pattern for cutting the new bottom fabric.
2 Place the chair upright again and remove all the old upholstery trim. Remove all the staples that were under the trim. Remove the old fabric from the seat and put it aside.
3 Sand the chair lightly and wipe off the dust with a damp cloth. You can now paint the chair. Apply the undercoat and leave it to dry overnight then paint two or three coats of enamel paint (we used Plascon Velvaglo). Leave to dry properly.
4 Now cut out the seat fabric according to the old fabric, but add a few centimetres extra right around – you can always trim it later if necessary.
5 Place the new fabric onto the chair seat, with the right side of the fabric facing upwards. Check that it is hanging correctly and that the corners are over the legs. Staple the fabric to the front of the chair frame in the middle, then at the back in the middle and the same on both sides – the fabric must be taut. Fold the fabric at the two back legs about 1cm so it fits neatly around the legs – trim it a little if necessary. Staple it firmly in place around the legs.
6 Continue pulling the fabric taut and stapling, crisscrossing between the sides as before, until you reach the corners. To finish off, fold in the fabric neatly at the front corners and staple to secure. Trim away the excess fabric next to the staples.
7 Now take your glue gun and stick the upholstery trim all around the edge of the fabric, over the staples. Start and end at the back of the chair so that the join in the trim is hidden.
8 Cut out the fabric for under the seat using the old piece as a pattern.
9 Turn the chair upside down and staple the fabric in place – fold in the edges as you work for a neat finish.
Text and image source: Ideas magazine