how to upholster a wooden rocking chair

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Upholstering a wooden rocking chair is an excellent way to give new life to an old piece of furniture. A good rocking chair is an essential piece of furniture that provides relaxation and comfort in your home. However, over time, the fabric on your favorite rocking chair can become worn and stained. In such a situation, your first reaction might be to replace the entire chair. But with a little effort, you can learn how to upholster it and give it a new look. In this article, we will take a look at the steps involved in upholstering a wooden rocking chair.

Step One: Stripping the Chair

The first step in upholstering a wooden rocking chair is to strip the chair down to its frame. You should remove any old fabric, padding, and staples. You will need the following tools for this step: a flathead screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a staple remover. Begin by removing the seat cushion, then remove any fabric that is still attached to the chair. Use the flathead screwdriver to remove staples and the pliers to pull out any tacks or upholstery nails. Be sure to remove any old padding or foam that is attached to the chair.

Step Two: Sanding and Painting the Chair

Once you have stripped the chair, you will need to sand any rough spots or areas where the old finish is still on the frame. This will ensure that the new fabric adheres correctly to the chair. Use medium-grit sandpaper for this step. Once you have sanded the chair, you can paint or stain it to your liking. Be sure to allow enough time for the paint or stain to dry completely before proceeding.

Step Three: Cutting and Measuring the Fabric and Foam

After painting or staining the chair, you can now measure and cut the padding and fabric for the seat and backrest. Measure the width and length of the seat and backrest and add a few inches to ensure a good fit. Cut the foam padding to the same size as the seat and backrest. Then, lay out the fabric and cut it according to the measurements you have taken. Make sure the fabric is large enough, so it wraps over the edges of the seat and backrest.

Step Four: Upholstering the Chair

To upholster the chair, place the foam padding on the seat and trim any excess foam with scissors. Then, lay the fabric over the foam, making sure it is centered. Starting in the center of the chair, staple the fabric to the underside of the seat cushion. Then, move out towards the edges, stapling as you go. Be sure to pull the fabric tight as you staple it. Repeat this process for the backrest.

Step Five: Adding Finishing Touches

The final step in upholstering a wooden rocking chair is to add any finishing touches. You may want to add piping or trim to the edges of the fabric. You can also add new buttons to the backrest. If you have replaced the seat cushion, you may want to add ties to the corners to keep it in place.


Upholstering a wooden rocking chair is a fairly easy process that can be done in one weekend. With a little bit of patience and effort, you can give new life to your old and worn-out rocking chair. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you will have a beautiful and comfortable chair that will provide years of enjoyment!


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