How to Redo a Dining Room Chair

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Dining room chairs with fabric-covered seats are prone to looking dingy from use or dated by fabric choice. When you find a great set of solidly built dining room chairs at a thrift-shop or estate-sale find, don't pass them up because of stained -- or just plain ugly -- fabric seats. The same goes for your own well-worn dining room chairs -- they can be saved. With little more than a lick of paint, a yard of fabric and the ability to use a staple gun, you can redo a dining room chair to make it look bright and new again.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Jar
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Spray paint
  • Small brush
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Upholstery staples
  • Paint mask
  • Straight pins
  • Quilt batting (optional)
  • Turn chairs over and remove seats by removing the screws on the bottom. Put screws in a glass or jar so you won't lose them.

  • Hand sand the chair frame lightly to get out any scratches or rough spots. Wipe with damp cloth to remove any dust.

  • Prime chair with a good primer. Let dry at least two hours or until the primer is no longer sticky.

  • Spray paint chairs with color or finish of your choice. Move the can back and forth in a slow even motion. Watch for paint runs. Correct runs with a small brush while paint is still wet. Let dry.

  • Remove old fabric and staples from chair seat. Use old fabric as a pattern. Place old fabric on new fabric. Pin down with straight pins. Allow an extra 2 inches all around. Cut fabric.

  • Center fabric on seat. Align any pattern that's on the fabric. Secure the center of each side with a staple from a staple gun. Pull the fabric tight and smooth out any wrinkles. Staple around the base. Make sure corners are even. Trim excess fabric.

  • Place seat on frame and secure underneath with screws. Place chairs around table.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the padding on the chairs is worn, apply one to two layers of quilt batting over the original seat, before you put down the new fabric. Stapling the fabric, also secures the new padding.
  • Use acrylic spray paint that cleans up with soap and water.
  • You can mix different styles and coordinate with fabric.
  • Always follow safety directions when using tools.
  • Use paint mask when spraying paint.
  • Spray paint outside or in a well-ventilated area.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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