how to upholster a straight back chair

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Upholstering a straight back chair may seem daunting, but it can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. The process involves removing the old fabric, padding the chair, and attaching the new fabric. With the right tools and materials, anyone can upholster a chair to make it look brand new. In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to upholster a straight back chair.

Step 1: Remove the Old Fabric

The first step in upholstering a straight back chair is to remove the old fabric. Begin by flipping the chair over and identifying the underside of the seat. Remove any staples or tacks that are holding the current fabric in place. Use pliers or a staple remover to gently pull out the staples or tacks. Be sure to save the old fabric as it can be used as a pattern for cutting the new fabric.

Step 2: Prepare the Chair

After removing the old fabric, assess the condition of the chair. If the padding has worn out or flattened, it may need to be replaced. Use a foam padding of the same thickness as the old padding and cut it to fit the chair. Spray adhesive on the foam and attach it to the chair.

Step 3: Cut and Attach the New Fabric

Using the old fabric as a guide, cut the new fabric to the correct size and shape. Be sure to cut the new fabric about two inches larger than the old fabric to allow for any adjustments. Place the new fabric on the chair and begin attaching it. Start by stapling the fabric in the center of each side and work your way out to the corners. Pull the fabric tight as you staple it to prevent any wrinkling or sagging.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once the new fabric is attached, trim any excess fabric using a sharp pair of scissors or a rotary cutter. Use decorative upholstery tacks or nail-head trim to add a finishing touch to the chair. Place the tacks or trim about 1/2 inch apart, following the edges of the chair.


Upholstering a straight back chair is a great way to update an old piece of furniture. With the right tools and materials, anyone can successfully complete this project. Remember to take your time and pay attention to detail to ensure a professional-looking result. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced DIYer, upholstering a chair can be a fun and rewarding project.


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