Dining Room Chair Make-over

A couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to start the process of reupholstering my dining room chairs.  I redid the kitchen/dining room over a year ago and the coverings on the chairs just didn’t ‘go’ anymore.  I actually bought the fabric to recover the chairs about 9 months ago, but just never got around to starting a project (you know how the story goes, I’m sure).  I finally decided to buckle down and just do it.  I figured there wouldn’t be much time to do it once Baby #3 arrives.

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I started by removing the seat from the actual chair.  There were 6 screws on the bottom of the chair that needed to be removed and required a Phillips head screwdriver.  This is what the underside of the chair looks like once the seat was removed.

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The black fabric had upholstery staples that needed to be removed.  I used a flat head screwdriver and just pried them up.  They came out rather nicely.  There were also staples in the middle of the black fabric, but I didn’t remove those because they weren’t in the way and I didn’t want to detach the black fabric completely because I probably wouldn’t be able to line it up properly and reattach it.

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I then began to remove the staples from the decorative fabric.  These were a little trickier. The staples were smaller than the ones in the black fabric and many of them broke when I tried prying them up.  I did find a good method that seemed to work though.  I pried them up with a smaller flat head screw driver (positioned in one corner of the staple) and then grabbed a needle-nose pliers to pull them out.  It went rather smoothly.  If I did happen to break a staple in half, I used a regular pliers and just rocked it in one direction and it came out pretty easy too.

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Always take plenty of pictures to see how they had the fabric folded.  You will thank yourself in the end :-)

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This is after the fabric has been completely removed.  It also shows the shape you will need to cut the new fabric.  Of course I didn’t take a pic of me cutting the new fabric (fail).  Oh well, it’s not that hard.  Some people may choose to trace the pattern and cut it out, but with this small of a piece, I didn’t bother.  Just lay the old fabric (right side down) on top of the new fabric (right side down) and cut around it.  I did cut mine a wee bit larger (about 1/2″ on all sides) to allow for room if needed.

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Here are the staples from 1 chair.  Yes, 1 chair.  I had 8 to recover.  Lovely.  It’s not a hard process, just very time consuming.  Removing the staples is what takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

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Once you have the fabric all lined up, start to fold over the sides and get your trusty staple gun and go to town.  This process goes rather quickly.  Just be sure to smooth the fabric slightly to make sure it’s laying nicely on the front side.  You will also need to keep an eye on the foam padding.  It tends to slip around a bit and you don’t want to have it uneven.

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Once you have the fabric attached, unfold the black fabric and begin to staple it down.

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Tada!  Here is the final product.  Each chair took me about 2 hrs, but I also had 2 kiddos that “helped” me.

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Before and After.  I must say, the new fabric really dresses up the chairs.  Those of you with kids probably have the same issue of keeping your furniture clean.  I have no shame…that’s how it goes.  We’ll see how long these ones stay clean ;-)  To help with that though, I have placed a towel on 2 of the chairs and designated them each a spot.

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Speaking of my little helpers, here is one being put to work :-)

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I think everyone needs a flashlight to do this job ;-)

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