How to reupholster dining chairs

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08 Jul 2013

Bustle back or reproduction dining chairs are an elegant choice for dining and you will find these for sale at secondhand stores and online auctions.

Be fussy when choosing fabric for your new chairs. You don't need a lot of fabric, so splurge on quality fabric.

What scares buyers off is the work involved in reupholstering this type of chair, but reupholstering a dining chair is reasonably simple if done the right way. Here's how…

Quick tip

When doing upholstery workshops I always try to explain to those attending that you have to think simple.

Consider that every piece you want to reupholster is put together, which means it can be taken apart.

When buying dining chairs, look at how the upholstery has been added and what needs to be removed or replaced.

Be fussy when choosing fabric for your new chairs. You don't need a lot of fabric, so splurge on quality fabric. 

Step 1

Start by removing the existing upholstery.

As an alternative to welting or cord, upholstery pins or nail heads add a new, modern dimension to reproduction dining chairs.

Once you rip off the old fabric, straw or foam padding, the bare bones of the chair will be visible.

Gently prize out the tacks, nails or staples to reveal what lies beneath. 

Step 2

While the inner coil springs should still be useable, you will probably have to replace the strapping that supports them.

Most fabric shops have a selection of strapping that you can buy to replace the old strapping, or cut a piece of chipboard to fit the opening and screw in place. 

Step 3

Use string to hold the coils in place for reupholstering the seat.

Hammer in a few tacks on the seat frame to wrap your string around, and over the coils to the other side and then secure it.  

Step 4

Reupholstering a dining chair is reasonably simple if done the right way.

Top off the spring coils with a layer of hessian or canvas as a buffer layer.

Use a staple gun to attach it - if you own a pneumatic stapler this speeds up the process dramatically, but slow and steady works just as well.

Step 5

After adding foam and batting it's time to wrap your chair with fabric.

Cut a piece of fabric, larger than the area to be covered and staple this to the edge of the frame.

Start at one side and then move to the opposite side to gently pull the fabric taut before stapling. Repeat this movement for the other two sides.  

Step 6

Make up or buy welting or cord to cover up the staples and hot glue this in place.

I prefer to use a Dremel Hot Glue Gun for this process, as it has a low or high temperature adjustment that allows you to control the amount of glue applied.

To reupholster the back of the chair you’ll need to remove the back and be sure to keep the backing board intact so that you can recover and replace it.

As an alternative to welting or cord, upholstery pins or nail heads add a new, modern dimension to reproduction dining chairs.

Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za

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