simple is beautiful

How To Re-Cover a Dining Room Chair

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm slowly working through some of the projects that have been lingering around Cottage & Vine.  One project was to find a chair for our son's new (to him) secretary desk in his room.  I happened to find a great little chair for only $5 at a local thrift store.

The chair was small in scale and with a fresh coat of paint and a fun fabric, I knew it would be perfect!  Recovering dining chairs is easy enough, but I'm always surprised to find that people are afraid to try it.  I thought I would share the steps I go through - and really start to finish, it only takes five minutes or less. 

Most seat cushions are secured with screws so I remove those first.  You may or may not want to remove the old fabric - it is usually a good idea.  As a side note, I lightly sanded, primed, and painted my chair first.  I normally cut my fabric so that 2-3" will wrap the back of the seat.  I lay the fabric face down with the seat cushion top down and centered on the fabric.  This project is much easier if you work on a table so that you can stand while working.  Next, the fabric gets secured with staples every 2" or so inches.  I usually begin in the center of one side and work my way to the end, then the other end.  Then I start on the opposite side, pulling the fabric tight as I staple.

I continue stapling each side all the way to the corner.

The finally step is to staple the corners down and trim the excess fabric.

Once the fabric is on, I reattach the chair pad to the chair.

I'm a big fan of chair pads and those are a must for painted  wood floors.

P.S.  Are you on instagram?  You can find me at cottageandvine.


  1. They look the fabric!! Thanks for the tutorial - I seem to always do well until I hit the corners...

  2. Such cute fabric! A coat of paint and the new seat totally gave this chair new life.

  3. Love the fun punchy fabric you chose, what a great mix with the traditional secretary!

  4. Cute chair that stripe!

  5. Nice! It doesn't even look like the same chair.

  6. I recover my dining room chairs ALL the time because I have little children who like to decorate them with their food. Plus I just love fabric shopping and changing out a cover gives me an excuse to buy new fabric ;)

    One thing I find very helpful when I get to the step when you remove the old fabric is to use the piece I removed as a pattern for the new piece!

    Lovely project!

  7. It's terrific, Rene! LOVE that fabric. I just recovered my eight kitchen chairs, and I love the way they came out. I will say that I've never taken the old fabric off before, so now these chairs have three layers. ;) HA!

  8. What the hell is easier than that. I mean you just can't beat a simple makeover that uses a $5 chair and about a stamp sized piece of fabric!

  9. I love the fabric! Could you tell me where you found it?


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