Upholstery Made Easy

One of the first home decorating projects many people attempt to tackle is re-covering the fabric on their dining room chairs. While the basic rules of this are pretty simple, there are a few simple tricks that can take your 1st attempt at upholstery 101 to the advanced class. I will demonstrate the basic principles of re-covering a chair using a project I completed recently for my guy that involved custom door panels for a Miata. Oh, the things we do for love (and blogging!)

This would be like the board you would find under the fabric on   your chair
This would be like the board you would find under the fabric on your chair

Imagine if you will a sad, unfortunate chair, stripped of its fabric, only board and foam cover remaining. Place your board on the back side of your fabric to get an idea of how much fabric you will need.

You will want to trace about 2 inches out around your board to make sure you have room to tuck over and staple later in the process. (note: if you are using very thick foam you will want to add an additional inch or more all the way around)

Next you will cut the fabric to size. I had to do some tricky tracing to make sure I left space for the speaker, door handles, etc. but thankfully you won’t need to do any of that on a chair!

Once your fabric is traced and cut, you can begin stapling. Make sure you have placed your foam as you want it in the center of the board. You will want the pieces in this order: 1. Fabric face down on the table, 2. foam, 3. board. You will be stapling from the top. Always a good idea to make sure you work on a surface you don’t mind getting “antiqued” – I have stapled into my table inadvertently more times than I would like to admit!

Re-covering a chair is a lot like stretching a canvas. To get it smooth and even, it is important to secure one side, then its opposite, then do the same on the other two sides. Working this way will ensure your fabric doesn’t wrinkle or bunch. Once you have finished stapling, you can reattach your covered board to your chair using the original hardware and you are done! Chairs that look brand new and a fun and easy project completed!

Stapling the  fabric to the board
Stapling the fabric to the board
Finished Recovered Door Panel
Finished Re-covered Door Panel

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