How to Easily Recover Dining Room Chairs

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Restoring your dining room chairs can really transform your dining room and give your chairs years of life. This tutorial will give you simple tips on how to reupholster your dining room chairs in no time – and on a budget!

DIY Reupholster dining room chairs

There are people who, when they have an idea, cannot stop them from completing it as soon as possible.

And then I am there. I have tons of ideas … I even buy materials for projects and I’m so excited to do them.

Then life happens … and two years later I realize I have a project that needs to be completed urgently.

This was the case with our dining room chairs. We got the table and chairs for a screaming deal at the restore a few years ago, but the chairs were TERRIBLE. They’re super sturdy, but the seat covers were impossible to clean – and with three little boys, let’s just say they got pretty grubby.

Case in point. Don’t judge me too harshly.

When I saw a friend bring her chairs back a while ago, I decided it didn’t look too difficult and ordered the supplies – with the intention of getting them done right away.

Well, that motivation waned and months turned into over a year before I picked up the idea again.

My brother was at home for an extended period and when I asked him to help me he enthusiastically said yes. This project would not have come about 100% without his help.

We learned a lot along the way (e.g., trusting that the chair actually contains screws – and that it wasn’t glued together), and I thought I’d share our tutorial on how to easily restore your dining room chairs.

If I just say – I mean, it doesn’t take a lot of skill. What it takes is time so keep that in mind.

Now enough babble – on the chairs!

What stuff to relax chairs

I was pretty sure that whatever I found these chairs with would have to be easy to clean and dark. It’s pretty much a no-brainer with kids.

A friend of mine who has reupholstered her dining room chairs sent me this listing for faux leather on eBay. It had great reviews, was a great price, and had tons of colors.

I spent $ 54.95 on five meters in Burgundy. So far, I’ve been very happy with the quality and appearance. It’s VERY easy to clean – much better for a family of three young boys!

How much does it cost to reupholster kitchen chairs?

The entire project was $ 54.95, but that was because we had a stapler with staples. If you don’t have these materials, it can cost a little. The cost also depends on how many chairs you have

How much material do you need to restore chairs?

As I mentioned earlier, I bought five meters of faux leather – and we used the last piece of it. I’ve messed things up a few times, and if I’d measured things more carefully, I would probably have had more left over. But I was glad that I ordered as much as I did.

For reference, we found eight chairs with oversized seats.

Should I remove the old fabric?

Many tutorials I’ve seen instruct you to remove the old fabric. We didn’t do that.

If you are laying a light material on top of a darker material, you may need to remove the old fabric. You can do this by using a staple remover to peel the fabric off.

However, if the old fabric doesn’t show through, I don’t consider this a necessary step and it will cut the time this project takes!

I recommend cleaning the pillows well if you are not removing the fabric so that dirt particles are not permanently pushed into the chair.

How to restore kitchen chairs

What you need:

  • screwdriver
  • Staples and staples
  • Fabric for chair covers


Flip your chairs over and unscrew the seat from the rest of the chair. Keep the hardware in a safe place.

Lay your material pretty side down on the floor or your cutting area and place your pillow on top.

Using a washable fabric pen or marker, draw a line about 5 cm around the entire pillow.

Remove the pillow and cut out the fabric.

Place the pillow with the padding side down.

Start with one edge and fold it over the edge of your pillow. Pull it very tight, making sure it is straight, and then baste the fabric in the middle of the edge and around the corners.

Go to the edge on the opposite side from the one you just stapled and do the same.

Now is the “fun” part – take one of the unstapled edges and pull it tight over the edge. At this point you need to start folding the corners by following the directions at the end of this tutorial.

This takes some time to make sure everything is nice and tight and that the corners fold without leaving a large gap or with too much additional material.

As you work on the corners, I recommend turning the pillow over to make sure you like the look of the corner.

Do this with the other corners and the last edge.

Cut off any extra fabric – there will likely be a bit of time – you only want about 1 / 4-1 / 2 ″ behind where you are basting it.

Once everything is the way you like it, place staples around the entire pillow to secure the fabric in place.

Turn your pillow over and enjoy how beautiful it looks.

Reattach the pillow to the chairs with the screws and enjoy!

How to fold the corners

By far the hardest part of this project was making sure the corners fit snugly and weren’t sticking out.

We always start by making a small V-cut in each corner (only one at a time). This made it easy to collapse – while we were doing this we would see if there was a lot of extra material clumping it up, and if there was I would cut more of a “V”. But you definitely want to start small!

Honestly, it’s like wrapping a gift like this – you just fold it up and it looks right, and then once it gets where you want it, pin it in place. I wish I had better instructions for this, but it’s hard to explain – just start with the “V” and go from there!


  • When disassembling your chairs, pay attention to which hardware goes with which chair. We only took apart two chairs at a time and made sure that everything stayed together
  • Measure twice, cut once. I’ve had a few times where I wasn’t as precise with my measurement as I should have been and I regretted it very much.
  • Be patient – this process takes time and can be frustrating at times. It takes time for everything to look perfect before you staple
  • Let someone else help you – while you can certainly do this yourself, I think it was MUCH easier to have my brother there to help me.

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