Dining room chairs can often get a facelift with a good cleaning and some new upholstery. This is a guide about reupholstering dining chairs.
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I have redone my antique dining chairs from caned seats to padded fabric seats without altering the cane part by cutting plywood seats that are slightly larger than the open area of the seats and adding thick blocks of wood with window hardware that turn to give a positive leverage under the wooden frame. I then cut foam padding and canvas and upholstered the plywood. I painted the canvas first. You could use any fabric of your choice. I varnish the canvas for wipe-ups.
By Donna from Newell, IA
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Here are questions related to Reupholstering Dining Chairs.
How much fabric will I need for eight kitchen chairs?
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:
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
How much fabric do I need for reupholstering six dining room chairs?
By Cathy from Townsend, GA
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.
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.
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?
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 roadrunner.com
How do you recover kitchen chairs? The chairs are wood with a fabric covered cushions.
Maime from New York
my chairs are wood&fabric.how are the buttons on the back put on?
I am looking for instructions and tips for reupholstering a side chair.
By Ken (Guest Post) 06/06/2007
Reupholster a dining seat.
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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?
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.
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.
Where can I find material to repair old dining chair with press paper seats?
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
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.