How to Recover a Dining Room Chair

Posted on April 24,2013 by Jennifer

Dining Chairs makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Duck Egg Annie Sloan Chalk PaintOn Monday I shared my weekend makeover project – painting my dining room table and chairs. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments! I’m so happy you like it as much as I do! Today, I want to share with you how I covered the dining room chairs with fabric.

wooden chairs Before the makeover

I first got these chairs last October at a local junk furniture shop. I totally scored and got these three chairs for $25 total. Yep, one was $5 and two were $10 each – happy day!! I like mismatched chairs so this was all-good in my book. Here’s how they looked at first. I love the shapes and I actually prefer that they are mis-matched – since I knew I’d be painting and recovering them – that would “unify” them enough for me.

To remove the cushions from the frames you need to flip the chairs over and unscrew them from the base. You will need a flat head or phillips head screwdriver for this task. Once you’ve detached the cushions you are ready to paint the chairs. Since I talked about painting on Monday, today we’ll focus on covering the cushions.

Supplies to recover a dining room chair

In my craft room I have a bunch of random throw pillows so I decided to re-use/recycle one of them for this project rather than purchase new “filler”. This one toss pillow provided enough stuffing for all three of my chairs!

how to recover a dining room chair, stuffing step

To begin, pull out all the stuffing from your pillow.

how to recover a dining room chair, stuffing stepNext, I laid the cushion on the floor and “covered” it with stuffing to determine how much stuffing I needed (not very scientific, but it worked!).

ReStuffing a dining room chair, how to recover a dining room chair

Now for the real work! First, you need to remove the staples from the cushion base. I removed the staples from the front and each side leaving the back attached and peeled the fabric back. This revealed the original foam cushion and the cushion base. The original foam was still in ok shape and it provides a very smooth surface for the fabric to lay on giving the finished product a “professional” look. But, it was flat, so I decided to make a stuffing sandwich with my pillow stuffing, layering it between the cushion base and the foam as you can see in the photo above. Now you can pull the original fabric back over the top (having it still stapled gives you something to pull against which is quite handy) and restaple into place.

ReCover cushion

Keeping the original fabric on provided me with a good “framework” making this project even easier. Now that I’ve got it back on, it’s time to add the new fabric.

Cutout Fabric to cover dining room chair

Lay your fabric over the cushion to determine how much fabric you need. Remember to allow a few extra inches on each side for folding and stapling. I left the selvedge edge on my fabric since it would be hidden under the chair. By the way, my fabric is a linen/rayon blend by P.Kaufmann called “Brissac” in Jewel. I bought mine at Fabrics Unlimited. I love it!! Once you’ve cut out your fabric be sure to iron it. I encourage you to not skip this step because ironing it after the fact won’t be an option so go heat up your iron, I’ll wait :-)

Staple Fabric to dining room chair cushion

Is your fabric ironed and ready to go? Great! Lay it right-side down on your work surface (the floor in my case!) and then lay your cushion down (also right-side down) on top of the fabric centering it. I started in the back by pulling the fabric up over the back and placing a staple in the center and then working my way around, tugging and folding as needed. Fortunately no one sees the bottom once it’s finished so it can be a bit wonky and that’s ok!

Covered Cushion from how to recover a dining room chair project

And there’s your cushion, ready to be screwed back onto its newly painted frame!

Dining room chair in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg and Chair cushion in P. Kaufmann "Brissac" in JewelThe foam top makes it so smooth but that filling really “fluffs” it up! YAY!

Dining room chair in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg and Chair cushion in P. Kaufmann "Brissac" in JewelI’m so happy with how these chairs turned out! I have more plans for this fabric so you’ll be seeing it again!

I hope you see how easy it is to recover a dining room chair and will give it a try on your own chairs. I was able to recover all three of these in about an hour – yippie!

I’m sharing this DIY project over at Monday-Funday on Uncommon Designs!

Happy Celebrating!

Jennifer Carroll. Celebrating Everyday Life blog

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26 Responses to “How to Recover a Dining Room Chair”

  1. April 24, 2013 at 9:11 am, Diane | An Extraordinary Day said:

    I love your fabric choice Jennifer!! It’s so fresh and yet fun and colorful and classic. It’s you!! What a clever idea to stuff between the foam and the wood to make a nice cushion. I have to remember this!
    Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!


    • April 24, 2013 at 11:46 am, Jennifer said:

      > Oh, thanks Diane! How sweet you are!! ~ Hugs, Jennifer


  2. April 24, 2013 at 11:11 am, Leslie Stewart @ House on the Way said:

    I love the transformation changing the fabric on a seat cushion can make! Your table and chairs look amazing!


    • April 24, 2013 at 11:46 am, Jennifer said:

      > Thank you so much Leslie!! I agree – a little paint and some fabric can make SUCH a difference :-)


  3. April 24, 2013 at 11:41 am, Terry said:

    The chairs look amazing. I didn’t even notice that they were mismatched until the before picture. I especially love the fabric! Do you remember where you bought it?


    • April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am, Jennifer said:

      > Thank you so much Terry! Yes, I bought my fabric at Fabrics Unlimited but it was a while ago…. here’s their link: http://www.fabricsunlimitedva.com/


  4. April 24, 2013 at 11:43 am, Laura J said:

    That fabric is so lovely. The colors really make me smile. Nice job! Let us know how that stuffing holds up . . . . .


    • April 24, 2013 at 11:49 am, Jennifer said:

      > Thank you Laura! So far so good, I will keep you posted :-)


  5. April 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm, Gee said:

    About to recover my dining room chairs. Presently going back and forth with the fabric choice.
    I find it rather interesting that you placed stuffing under the foam pad… hmmm… will be interested to know how that holds up.
    Thanks for the inspiration Jennifer.
    Hugs, Gee


  6. April 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm, Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... said:

    They look fantastic Jennifer,
    The fabric is beautiful! I adore how the miss matched chairs marry so well with paint and fabric… it gives such a charming effect!


  7. May 03, 2013 at 7:33 pm, Jennifer said:

    Visiting from Monday Funday. I’d like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at thejennyevolution.com. And who knows, you may just get featured next week.



  8. May 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm, Drop Cloth Chair Skirts said:

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  9. May 15, 2013 at 6:14 am, cheri said:

    Thanks so much for sharing your project. The mismatched chairs look great together, and the “stuffing sandwich” is a brilliant idea! I have a mismatched set of four, and I will give a sandwich to each of mine. 😉 thanks to you!


  10. May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm, Debbie reFresh said:

    The cushion look great, love the fabric and love the whole room!


  11. July 01, 2013 at 9:29 pm, Beth said:

    Hi, I absolutely love the chairs, and am feeling inspired now to re-do my dining room. I love the fabric and color choices too – perfection! Do you know the approximate yardage you needed for one cushion? Congrats on a great makeover – I’m a new visitor to your blog but will definitely be coming back!


  12. August 07, 2013 at 9:34 pm, Katie said:

    Jennifer, these chairs look amazing! You did such a great job redoing them. I love the paint color and fabric used. Thanks for sharing!

    Katie @thecasualcraftlete.com


  13. January 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm, Laura said:

    You may have answered this already somewhere, but what kind of staple gun do you use? I have to do this project on my dining chairs and I’ve never done anything like this before 😉 Thanks!!


  14. September 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm, Kerry said:

    We just recovered our dining room chairs in this fabric-thatnk you for the inspiration. The fabric is absolutely gorgeous and looks perfect with out inherited dining room set that is a medium stain color. :-)


  15. October 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm, Sommer said:

    Hello, great job! Can you recall how many yards you purchased to recover the 3 chairs? I am looking to recover 4 chairs and would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


  16. October 20, 2014 at 8:12 am, budget decorating | The Honeycomb Home said:

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  17. January 08, 2015 at 11:57 am, amy said:

    I would love to hear where you got the curtains.


    • January 08, 2015 at 12:06 pm, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Amy, I sewed those myself using Waverly’s “Groovy Grille” fabric. Thanks so much!


  18. April 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm, Lisa Rigby said:

    I love this! What is your wall color?


  19. May 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm, Kerry said:

    I chose the same fabric to recover our dining room chairs. Thank you for the idea, I had been stuck on what to do with them for years!!
    They look amazing-the wood is a medium/to dark stain.


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