how to add trim to upholstered chair

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When it comes to furniture, upholstered chairs offer comfort and style. Many people choose upholstered chairs for their homes and offices because of their comfort and the elegance they add to the room. However, as time passes, the cushions and fabric on these chairs may wear out and lose their charm. To enhance their aesthetic appeal, adding trim to upholstered chairs can be an excellent idea. Trim, such as piping or decorative nails, can transform a plain chair into a beautiful masterpiece. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to add trim to your upholstered chair.

Step 1: Gather Materials

The first step is to gather all the necessary materials you will require for your project. These materials include piping or decorative nails, a sewing machine, scissors, hammer, needle and thread, and hot glue gun. Check to ensure that your piping or decorative nails are of the right size and color to match your upholstery. Also, ensure you have the right quantity of piping or nails to cover all the edges of your chair.

Step 2: Prepare Your Chair

Before starting to add the trim, prepare your chair. Give it a good cleaning using a vacuum cleaner or a lint roller. Start with the back of the chair, then the seat, and the arms. Ensure that all the corners are clear of any dirt or debris. This is important to ensure that your piping or decorative nails will look neat and professional at the end.

Step 3: Add Piping

Now it’s time to start adding your trim. If you are using piping, start by pressing your piping into the seam, beginning at the bottom of your piece. Use a sewing machine in a straight stitch and press the piping into the seam as you sew. Make sure you sew right next to the cord of the piping, but not through it. When you get to the corners, cut the top of the cord and twist it to create a loop. Then press this loop into the seam. When you reach the end, cut any excess piping and sew the edges together.

Step 4: Add Decorative Nails

If you choose to use decorative nails, place them around the edges and corners of your chair. Hold them firmly in place and hammer them in gently, spacing each nail the same distance apart. Ensure that they are all facing the same direction. You can use a thick piece of cardboard to protect the upholstery while hammering the nails safely. Continue this process, working your way around the chair, until all the edges are covered in nails.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once the piping or nails are in place, inspect your work closely. Use a hot glue gun to reinforce any edges or corners that may need additional support. Ensure that your piping or nails are correctly positioned and that there are no gaps or bulges. Now, your newly trimmed chair is ready for use!


Adding trim to an upholstered chair is a rewarding project. It elevates the chair’s appearance and can transform your space into a stylish place. By following the above steps, you can successfully add piping or decorative nails to your upholstered chair. Remember to choose the right materials, prepare the chair, and work with precision. With a little patience and creativity, your trimmed chair will be an impressive addition to any room in your house.


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