Crafts, Recipes, Tips,
& Guides
Enter Contests
& Vote
Get Advice
Submit a

Share | Account | About

Reupholstering Dining Chairs

0 0EmailFollow
Pin It
Dining Chairs

Dining room chairs can often get a facelift with a good cleaning and some new upholstery. This is a guide about reupholstering dining chairs.



Here are questions related to Reupholstering Dining Chairs.

Question: Reuholstering Dining Chairs

Round dining table and four chairs.I bought some dining chairs and I want to recover them. The seat part is straight forward, but they have a back cushion too. It's surrounded by wood around the top and sides and open at the bottom where I can see staples. I can't find screws on the side to open the sides to get it out, any ideas how I recover it?

By Kylie

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie04/16/2012

I wonder, could the backs be held on with glue? See if you can put a flat head screwdriver between the seat back and the frame, and pry a bit to see if there is glue residue (jeez, I hope that made sense, lol!) Don't apply too much pressure. You don't want to splinter the wood backing, or gouge the frame. Choose a test area that is inconspicuous, too, just in case.

If the seat back is merely glued to the frame, you can use a thin paint brush to apply a nice coating of Gunk or a similar glue eater along the seam where the backing meets the frame. As the glue eater takes hold, slowly peel the backing away from the frame.

**Note: some of the glue eaters on the market nowadays also eat varnish, you may have to refinish the wood when you are finished recovering the chairs.

Once you have the backing off, recovering the back rest should be fairly straight forward. Look in a D-I-Y centre for a high quality glue to refasten the decorative back and use C clamps to hold the back in place while the glue sets (usually 24-48 hours). Protect the wood where the clamps touch it with padding like scrap towelling. You could use a teeny-tiny drill bit and create holes to drive screws in, but I don't think you'd be happy with the look.

I've seen this kind of construction before, usually in mid-high end ranges of furniture. The decorative backing isn't under the same sort of stress as the frame and seat areas, so using a strong glue makes for a safe fastener.

From the picture it looks as though you have got yourself a real bargain! Classic lines on the chairs, very nice.

Question: Reupholstering Kitchen Chairs

How much fabric will I need for eight kitchen chairs?

By Marga

Best Answers

By Sandi11/30/2011

If you can, take the original fabric off one chair, then you know for sure. If not, measure the dimensions, allow for about 4" all around for undertacking/stapling, then you will have a good idea. If you want to have matching table runner or table clothes, add another 2 yards. I hope this helps. PBP

Best Answers

By Frugal Sunnie11/30/2011

How much fabric you'll need depends on the kind of chair. Is there fabric on seat and back, or just back, or just seat? Look here for measuring and reupholstering advice:

Question: Reupholstering Kitchen Chairs

How do you do the corners of the seat so that it looks best? I'm talking about reupholstering a kitchen chair. The front, back, and sides are easy, but how do you do the corners? Do you cut the material a certain way or do you just crumple it up? What's best?

By Larry B.

Most Recent Answer

By Keeper09/04/2011

It depends on if they're rounded or squared corners.

There's 2 sites you can get info from: and

Question: Repairing an Old Dining Chair With Pressed Paper Seat

Where can I find material to repair old dining chair with press paper seats?

By Joyc

Most Recent Answer


You can call or email here to get the info. you want.

Question: Reupholstering Dining Room Chairs

How much fabric do I need for reupholstering six dining room chairs?

By Cathy from Townsend, GA

Best Answers

By Brenda J. Moore02/08/2011

You may find it easier to take one of the seats off the chair and take that current seat cover with you to a fabric store. The drapery fabrics are quite wide, sturdy and very often on sale. So, you can place your fabric on top of what's there, flip it over the number of seats you need. Get about 18" x 40" extra to make a table runner and voila! Easy peasy. Nicely coordinated chair seat covers and table decor to boot.
I hate that saying. LOL.

Best Answers

By Joan11/06/2010

You have to measure the width and length of the seats and then add about 4 inches to each measurement for folding under the seat. If the back is covered you do the same for that. Then figure the total number of inches and convert that into feet, then into yards, that will tell you how many yards of fabric you need. The amount will also depend on the width of the fabric.

Question: Removing Chair Backs for Reupholstering

When reupholstering a chair, how do you remove the old seat back? There are wooden dowels hiding the screws. Do I drill them out or just use a chisel and hammer?

Most Recent Answer

By Anna from Maine (Guest Post)07/18/2008

Is the chair fully upholstered or just the back? If it is fully upholstered you do not remove the back.
asellars AT

Question: I Removed Screws, Now They Won't Fit

I unscrewed the backs of my metal kitchen chairs and recovered them. Now I cannot get the screw to fit back into the chair back.

Cat from Boston, MA

Most Recent Answer

By Dean (Guest Post)11/30/2006

I suspect the material you covered the chairs with is preventing the screws from being screwed into the screw holes..I would enlarge the hole in the material you covered the chair backs with and I think the screws would be able to be reattached.

Question: Repairing Dining Room Chairs Vs. Buying New

Broken cane back chair.I have some dining room chairs that are probably over 40 years old.. The backing on the chairs is mostly caning with a wooden frame. It needs replacing in almost every chair. I am thinking it would be smarter to just buy new dining room chairs. Two of them have already separated within their wooden frames.

The dining room table is still very sturdy. Although, the wood in the chairs and the table match in color, the style isn't an exact duplicate. It simply 'goes together' and was purchased as a set years ago. Suggestions? Comments?

Are you going to tell me that the quality available now is not comparable to this set and that the chairs should repaired at any price? Right now, they are probably not safe to sit in and will require re-caning and re-gluing.. Maybe even some dowel repairing. I'll have the repair person take apart the two that are still holding up, because they are now unsafe. I am thinking this is going to run hundreds of dollars no matter what I do.

Holly from Richardson, TX

Best Answers

By Anna Shobe01/12/2009

You can find directions on the internet for repairing caning yourself there are kits etc out there that can help you. If your chairs are from the 20s they may be worth more than you think they are. Where yours is in the shape that it is in though I would probably go with cutting a piece of thin plywood to fit the wood and upholstering it. As to replacement cost versus repair cost you need to realize somethings and decide what is important to you. Finding good furniture that is actually solid wood and well made these days is very difficult to do if you are buying new. There is no longer really a good quality economy version it's either expensive solid wood or cheap particle board covered with veneer. Repairing chairs really isn't that hard you don't have to hire someone to do it unless you have an ornate and extremely valuable antique. Anybody can take a chair apart sand all the joints and put it back together with dowels etc. and glue and clamp it its not as difficult as it seems. There is also a glue that you used to only be able to get in Canada that you put in the joints that actually causes them to swell and fit again I don't remember exactly what its called something like Yancy's. Learning simple furniture repair is really just a matter of a little internet and Library research. If you really don't like the chairs though why not just give them to charity and seek out a good used set, or check the Penny's catalogue they often have good sales on medium quality furniture but for a decent set for six you going to pay at least 900 dollars also check eBay sometimes even with shipping it can be worth it if the quality is really good. However in the spirit of thriftiness and self sufficiency I would see about learning how to repair chairs myself. As it sounds to me like all they need is to be taken apart the joints sanded and a swelling wood glue used along with dowels to make the joints tight. Good luck!

Best Answers

By Paula11/27/2006

Hi Holly,

I can understand your dilemma about your dining chairs. I had a set that my grandmother had given me that was about 40 years old. I stripped and refinished the table and the hutch but I didn't bother with the chairs. They were very wobbly and I sat on one, it broke, and I ended up on the floor! I think that the cost of professional repair would be too high, and you could buy new chairs for the price of the repairs. I do think, though, if you were going to do the repairs yourself it would be worth keeping the old set. Instead of re-caning the backs of the chairs maybe you could cut wood to fit and upholster over it and re-upholster the seats to match? I certainly think that you should get a quote from a professional refinisher about your chairs and then with that price in mind go to the furniture store to see what new chairs would cost you.

Question: Advice on Reupholstering Kitchen Chairs

How do you recover kitchen chairs? The chairs are wood with a fabric covered cushions.

Maime from New York

Most Recent Answer

By janet06/26/2008

my chairs are wood& are the buttons on the back put on?

Question: Reupholstering a Side Chair

I am looking for instructions and tips for reupholstering a side chair.



Most Recent Answer

By Ken (Guest Post)06/06/2007

Reupholster a dining seat.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

Solutions: Reupholstering Dining Chairs

Do you have knowledge about this guide topic? Feel free to share a solution!