Are you looking to add some flair to your home without breaking the bank? Why not give an updated look to your tired wooden chairs by turning them into stylish upholstered chairs? This easy-to-follow guide will take you through the process of transforming your basic chairs into comfortable and luxurious furniture with materials you can find in most home supply stores. You won’t believe how easy it is to take a dull piece of furniture and turn it into a stunning upholstered chair – all it takes is a few hours of work and the right tools and supplies to get you started. So forget about buying a new set of chairs; use this guide to breathe new life into those wood chairs and turn them into upholstered chairs.
How to Turn Wood Chairs into Upholstered Chairs
Transform your old, boring, wooden chairs into stunning and comfortable upholstered chairs with the right fabrics and padding! Whether you’re looking to add a touch of luxury and elegance to your dining room or upcycling old furniture in your home, it’s easy to give your chairs a total makeover. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through all the steps necessary to learn how to turn wooden chairs into upholstered chairs, from gathering the materials to the finishing touches. Let’s get started!
Tools and Supplies Needed
How to Turn Wood Chairs into Upholstered Chairs
Tools and Supplies Needed
Making your own upholstered chair is a great way to repurpose an old or out of style chair. It can save you money, and the process is actually quite easy. Here are the tools and supplies you will need:
- Upholstery fabric
- Upholstery tacks
- Staple gun
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife
- Cotton batting
- High density foam (or spring foam)
When purchasing upholstery fabric, be sure to get enough to cover the entire chair, plus an extra two or three inches on each side to account for any irregularities in the shape of the chair. Additionally, make sure to buy upholstery tacks that are the proper size and shape for the job.
The screwdriver and staple gun will be used to remove and reattach fabrics, and the measuring tape and utility knife will help you to measure and cut fabrics. Cotton batting will provide a soft padding for the chair, and the high density foam or spring foam can be used to offer extra support and comfort.
By having the right tools and supplies on hand, you can turn your wood chair into a new, comfy upholstered chair.
Removing the Existing Chair Cushion
Before you start to upholster a wood chair, you first need to remove the existing cushion. This is best done by using a flat-head screwdriver to carefully remove any staples that may be holding the cushion in place. Once all the staples are removed, gently pop off the cushion and discard it. If the cushion includes foam, use the flat-head screwdriver to cut the foam and discard it as well. Be sure to remove any fabric or webbing that may have been strongly adhered to the chair frame. This is critical for ensuring a smooth upholstering job. Even if the fabric looks like it is firmly attached, it is still important to remove it. This will help to prevent any bumps or lumps from occurring when applying the new fabric to the chair.
Preparing the Upholstery Fabric
Before you can upholster a wood chair, you must prepare the upholstery fabric. Since not all upholstery fabrics are alike, it’s important to take your time and choose the right fabric for your project. There are many types of fabrics to choose from and each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Cotton is a popular choice for upholstery fabric and is available in a variety of colors and designs. It’s relatively easy to clean, but may be prone to wrinkling. Linen also provides a ready, clean look but is more expensive than cotton and may require ironing. Outdoor fabrics, such as Sunbrella, are fade-resistant and ideal for outdoor seating. No matter the fabric, it’s important to consider the weight and texture of the fabric when you are selecting it for upholstering a wooden chair.
Once the fabric is chosen, you’ll need to prepare it for the project. This means pre-washing the fabric to remove oils, dirt, and other contaminants that may interfere with the fabric sticking to the wood. Use a mild detergent, warm water, and a gentle cycle on the washing machine. Allow the fabric to air-dry completely before attempting to upholster the chair. Additionally, if the fabric looks wrinkly, iron it before cutting it to size. This can help to ensure that the fabric won’t bunch up when you are upholstering the chair.
Upholstering the Chair
When upholstering your wood chair, it’s important to take time and patience to ensure it’s done correctly. Begin by cutting a large piece of fabric that covers the entire seat of the chair and extends beyond the sides. Make sure the fabric is comfortable to sit on and suits your décor. Next, bring the fabric over the seat and secure it to the back of the frame.
If the chair has arms, it’s important to make sure the fabric also covers them and is tucked in securely. To do so, you can use a tight circular stitch pattern. Once the fabric is in place, wrap batting around the arms and use a curved needle to pull the fabric, batting, and chair all together.
For a professional, polished look, create a pleat in the center of the seat by folding the excess fabric inward and securing it with a few tacks. Finally, use a staple gun to attach the upholstery to the chair frame. Be sure to staple firmly and evenly along the edge of the frame. With these steps, you can turn your wood chair into an upholstered, comfortable seat in no time.
Adding Foam and Padding
One of the most important steps in upholstering a wood chair is adding foam and padding. The foam and padding you add will be the foundation of the entire upholstery job, as it will provide comfort and support to whoever is sitting in the chair. It is important to choose the right type of foam and padding. You will want to pick a foam that is thick enough to give ample support, but also firm and supportive enough to maintain its shape over time.
When choosing the padding, consider the type of fabric you are using in the upholstery. High-traffic fabrics such as velvet and microfiber may require a firmer foam and padding, while lighter-weight fabrics such as cotton can use a softer foam and padding. Depending on the type of use the chair is intended for, you may want to choose a foam and padding combination that can be maintained over time.
When cutting your pieces of foam and padding, always use sharp, clean scissors and use a cutting mat to protect the surface of your work area. Cut the pieces in an even manner and make sure there are no jagged edges that can ruin the look of your upholstery. Once the foam and padding is cut, use a staple gun to attach them to the chair. Make sure to anchor the staples securely into the wood frame of the chair. This will ensure that the cushion will stay firmly in place.
When adding foam and padding to the chair, be sure to use enough to fill the surface area. You should also take care to avoid flattening or smashing the foam and padding, as this can cause it to become compressed over time. Once the foam and padding is in place, use a foam roller, or your hands, to press firmly on the foam and padding, as this will help keep the shape and provide a comfortable seating experience.
Attaching the Upholstery Fabric
Now that you have prepared the fabric and padded the chair, it’s time to begin attaching the upholstery fabric. Before you get started, it’s important to make sure the upholstery fabric is cut accurately so that it fits snugly onto the chair.
Here are the steps to attaching the upholstery fabric:
- Lay the fabric over the chair and align it so that it fits snuggly.
- Start by stapling the fabric on the inside edges of the chair, about every 3 inches or so.
- Staple the fabric on the outside edges in the same way.
- Pull the fabric taunt as you go. Pulling the fabric too tightly can cause the fabric to tear.
- Check to ensure that the fabric is aligned correctly and that there are no puckers or bunches.
Once you’ve attached the upholstery fabric to the chair, you’re now ready to begin stapling it in place. Start stapling the seat cushion first, and then move on to the arms, sides and back. To ensure a more secure hold, begin stapling in the center of the chair and work your way outward. As you staple, be sure to keep the fabric pulled taunt.
Also, make sure to double check that the fabric is lined up correctly, and that there are no puckers or bunches. You want your upholstered chair to look clean and professionally done.
Once you’ve attached the fabric and each staple is in place, you’ve successfully upholstered your wood chair!
Stapling the Upholstery
Once all of the material is cut and positioned, stapling the upholstery into place should be the next step. Use a heavy-duty staple gun and staples to secure the fabric to the chair frame. Place staples near the edges of the fabric and between 4 to 6 inches apart. Start from the top of the chair and work your way down, stapling the fabric as you go. Make sure to pull the fabric tight to avoid any wrinkles or creases.
When stapling, special attention should be paid to the corners of the chair. This is where the fabric will build up the most tension and can become bunched up. Use multiple staples to make sure that the corners are secure and tight. Use scissors or a utility knife to trim off any excess fabric on the corners.
Once the upholstery is stapled down, check for any gaps or unevenness in the fabric. If needed, use scissors to make minor adjustements or add more staples to secure the fabric better. Once satisfied, use scissors to trim off any loose threads and tie off the ends.
Once you have finished attaching the fabric to the chair frame, the last step is to add the finishing touches. This includes adding tacks and tufts, sewing on decorative trims, adding fabric piping, and attaching fringe.
Tacks, or nails, are small metal objects typically used to secure upholstery fabric to the frame, giving the chair a finished look. They can be added with a tack hammer, which is a special type of hammer designed with a slim, sharped head designed to easily slide the tacks into the fabric.
Tufts are an excellent way to add texture and interest to your upholstered chair. They are created by gathering a small section of fabric and using a large-headed needle or tufting needle to secure the fabric, creating a wonderful texture in the upholstery.
Decorative trims are strips of fabric, lace, ribbon, or other materials that you can sew onto the edges of your chair fabric to give the finished product a polished and stylish look.
Fabric piping can also be used to add an extra layer of detail to the finished chair. It is a line of fabric that is usually sewn into the seam line between two pieces of larger fabric. This layer of fabric helps give the chair cushioning and structure for a more comfortable seat.
Finally, you can add fringe to the edges of the cushion for a more luxurious look and feel. Fringe is usually made up of decorative trims, such as tassels or strands of fabric, which hang down from chair’s seams.
These are just a few of the many possibilities when it comes to finishing touches. With a bit of creativity, you can easily create a one-of-a-kind upholstered chair that is sure to impress.