how to upholster a chair frame

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Upholstering a chair frame is a great way to give an old or outdated chair a new look. Upholstery not only covers the worn-out and stained fabric on a chair but also gives the chair a new lease of life. Upholstering a chair frame may seem like a challenging task, especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, with the right tools, materials, and techniques, upholstery can be an easy and achievable project for any DIY enthusiast.

Gathering the Tools and Materials

Before you start upholstering your chair frame, you need to gather all the necessary tools and materials. The materials you need are the new fabric, the foam or batting, and any new cushions if needed. The tools include a staple gun, a pair of scissors, pliers, a tack hammer, a utility knife, a saw, and a sewing machine. Depending on the type of chair you are upholstering, you may require specific tools. Once you have all your tools and materials together, you can start the upholstery process.

Dismantling the Chair Frame

The first step in upholstering a chair frame is dismantling the chair. You will need to carefully remove the existing fabric and any padding from the chair frame. Use pliers to remove any staples or tacks from the chair frame. Once you have dismantled the chair, you can measure the fabric you will need for the upholstery process. The measurement should be several inches more than the actual size of the chair to allow you to tuck in the fabric neatly.

Preparation of the Chair Frame

The preparation of the chair frame is crucial in ensuring the final product looks neat and tidy. Once you have the measurements of the fabric, you can cut and attach the new foam or batting to the chair frame. If some parts of the frame are too old and damaged, you may need to use a saw to replace the damaged parts. Once you have repaired or replaced any broken parts, sand down the chair frame and varnish or paint it to give it a new look.

Attaching the Fabric and Finishing the Chair

The final stage of upholstering a chair frame is attaching the fabric. Place the cut fabric over the padded chair and use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the frame. Start with the bottom of the chair and work your way through the upper parts of the chair, avoiding any bubbles, wrinkles, or creases. If there are any corners or curves, fold the fabric neatly and tuck it in. Once you have attached the fabric, you can add any finishing touches, such as decorative trims, fringes, or buttons, depending on your preference.


Upholstering a chair frame is an easy task that requires the right materials, tools, and techniques. With patience, care, and attention to detail, you can revive your old and worn-out chairs, giving them a new look and functionality. Remember to dismantle the chair frame, prepare it well, and attach the fabric neatly to achieve an impeccable result. If you are considering upholstering a chair frame, this guide will help you get started on the journey to creating the perfect chair.


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