How to Recover a Chair Seat the Easy Way

(Last Updated On: July 23, 2019)

 Check out how easy it is to recover a dining chair cushion and update your living space!

I’m going to recover a chair seat that’s in pretty good shape. It’s one of a set of six chairs that goes with an antique table.  The seat padding and lining are in good condition, so I’m only going to replace the top layer of fabric.

If you only have one layer of fabric that’s in good shape, you can recover over the existing fabric layer, but If your chair has two or more layers of fabric already, I would remove the extra layers.



I found chair cushion fabric by going to the Home Decor Fabric tab located at and found the exact fabric weight, design, style, and color I needed for this project.


Remove seat cushion from chair frame. Turn the cushion over and detach the dust cover if there is one. Remove all the staples or tacks that are attaching the dust cover.  You can use a staple remover tool like this one here  to remove the staples.

Tip: keep your screws in a baggie until project is complete. You would be surprised how easily you can lose small screws while tackling small projects like this. Remove old fabric layers and staples if necessary.


Place lined seat frame face down on fabric. Trace 3-4 inches out from edge of cushion around entire frame using temporary fabric pen. (it’s better to have a little bit more fabric to work with then not enough. Cut along line. Tip: If using a patterned fabric, appropriately position the design on the seat cushion.

cut fabric for recovering chair


Place a staple in the middle of all 4 sides.  Next, on each side of cushion, staple from the center towards the corners. Leave a few inches at the corners. Run your hand over the front as you go to tighten the fabric.

staple seat cushion


If your initial center staple is too loose, just remove it and staple again.

staple fabric to cushion

For the corners, pull the center of the corner towards the middle and staple. Fold over one edge and staple to form a pleat. Then fold over the other side to form a second pleat. Repeat for all the corners.

attach fabric and recover


To hide the wood and fabric raw edges underneath seat, you may want to attach a dust cover to the seat dimensions and attach to the underside- It’s not necessary but, if you’re lookin’ to get into the biz of flippin’ furniture, a dust cover gives the piece a finished look. Check out this DIY Guide if you want to attach a dust cover.


Once you have finished securing the fabric, your upholstered dining chair is complete! Reattach the seat to the chair base. Use the screws that you saved to reattach the chair to its base.

It’s actually fun doing these DIY projects and It’s nice to give your living space a fresh NEW look. This simple project can easily update a room and make such a difference!