Do-It-Yourself Wingback Chair Reupholstering


Give an old, tired wingback chair new life by reupholstering it. Whether it's a thrift-shop find or a well-loved piece of furniture you've owned for years, removing the chair's old cloth and replacing it with new fabric can transform a worn or dirty chair into an impressive piece of furniture. Along with reviving an old seat, reupholstering a wingback chair also gives decorators the opportunity to make changes to the chair and let it complement new decorative themes in the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 1/2-inch-thick batting or padding
  • 12 yards upholstery fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staples
  • Stapler
  • Rubber-tip mallet
  • Use needle-nose pliers to pull staples and fasteners from the chair. When all of the staples are out and the fasteners are removed and stored in a safe spot for later, carefully pull the upholstery from the chair. Keep the pieces of fabric as intact as possible so you can use them as patterns for making the new pieces of upholstery. Also remember which piece is which so it's easier to reupholster.

  • Lay the old fabric on top of the new fabric. Cut out new pieces of cloth based on the old shapes, leaving an extra inch or two for seam allowance. Again, take note of which piece is which.

  • Add extra padding or batting to areas on the chair that are worn down by laying the padding over the chair.

  • Place the specific piece of fabric on the front bottom of the chair. Staple it in place along the entire edge of the fabric, making sure the upholstery is taut.

  • Drape the pieces for the arms over the arm of the chair. Staple the fabric to the chair's wooden frame. Staple the fabric on the other side of the arm, again making sure the fabric is smooth and tight.

  • Continue returning the pieces of fabric to the chair, pulling them tightly against the frame of the wingback chair and stapling them in place. Reupholster the sides, below the arms, as well as the back of the chair.

  • Give some definition to the front of the arms by adding fasteners. Use a mallet to hammer them back into the front of the arms, like they were before you removed them. This helps hold the fabric in place while adding a decorative touch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use regular fabric if you'd like, although it may not hold up as well to frequent use.
  • Numbering the pieces of fabric is a helpful way to remember the order in which you removed them from the chair.

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