How To Reupholster Dining Chair Cushions | Step-by-Step DIY Tutorial

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Want to change your dining chair cushion fabric? Here’s the cost effective way how to reupholster cushions the easy way with a staple gun!

Do you have dining room chairs that could use a little bit of sprucing up? Maybe the fabric on the cushions is looking a bit tired and worn or stained. Or maybe you just want to change the look of your dining area by using a different fabric. If so, then reupholstering the chair cushions is a great, cost-effective way to do it! In this step-by-step tutorial, I will show you how to reupholster chair cushions using a staple gun. It’s an easy process that anyone can do!

In this article we will discuss: How to reupholster dining chair cushions. Can you reupholster a chair yourself? What kind of foam do you use for dining room chairs? How thick should dining room chair cushions be? How much does it cost to reupholster chairs?

wooden chairs

I purchased six farmhouse styled dining room chairs off of Facebook Marketplace with the intent to make them over. They had no seat cushions, only the frame and the wooden seat base. Overall, they were in decent shape, but definitely had some grime and blemishes. The wooden frame was a pale yellow/cream color, which just doesn’t go with my home.

After a few hours of work, I am excited for the transformation that these chairs have gone through! Let me teach you how to reupholster dining room chairs yourself!

How To Reupholster Dining Chair Cushions

First, you will need to remove the old fabric from the cushion. To do this, simply use a flathead screwdriver to pry up the staples that are holding the fabric in place. Once you have removed all of the staples, the fabric should easily come off. If it is stubborn and not budging, try using a putty knife to help loosen it.

Next, lay your new fabric out on a flat surface and place the cushion on top of it. Cut the fabric around the cushion, leaving about two inches extra all around. Now it’s time to start stapling! Begin by pulling the fabric tight and stapling it into place along one side of the cushion. Continue pulling and stapling the fabric around all sides of the cushion until it is completely covered.

Finally, trim any excess fabric and reattach the cushion to the chair. That’s it! You’ve now successfully reupholstered your dining chair cushions! Enjoy your new look!

If you want to change the look of your dining area but don’t want to spend a lot of money on new furniture, then reupholstering your existing furniture is a great option! And reupholstering chair cushions is a relatively easy process that anyone can do.

Can You Reupholster A Chair Yourself?

The cost to reupholster dining room chairs is quite pricey. From the supplies need to the labor. Labor costs will vary depending on your location, but you can do this simple task yourself for a fraction of the cost!

What Kind of Foam Do You Use For Dining Room Chairs?

Dining room chairs can be reupholstered with a variety of materials and styles. Options include memory foam, batting or even synthetic surfaces like polyester down if you’re looking for extra durability!

To find the right type of foam for your dining room chairs, consider what you want them to do. Do they need extra support or shallow contours? Memory Foam will give better results in both cases but it’s more expensive than other options like batting found in most craft/fabric stores.

Using the right kind of foam for your dining room chairs will not only make them more comfortable but also increase their life span.

Want to change your dining chair cushion fabric? Here's the cost effective way how to reupholster cushions the easy way with a staple gun!

How Thick Should Dining Room Chair Cushions Be?

The average thickness for a dining room chair cushion is around 2″. With less than 2″ of foam, the chair is stiff and you feel like you are sitting on the wood base. More than 2″, the height of the chair beings to get too tall for some people to fit their legs under the table.

What Kind of Fabric Do You Use For Dining Room Chairs?

When it comes to your dining room chairs, you want something that will last. A heavier fabric and foam is preferred because they are more durable than lighter weight ones which can show wrinkles or bunching after extended use due the lack of weight against them (so just like how clothes work; if someone sits on an area too much then eventually their clothing gets creased).

Using upholstery fabric or a duck fabric is a great option. Lighter weight fabrics will tend to show wrinkles and bunching because it is not as heavy of a fabric. The more you sit on it, the more the fabric and foam breaks down. So start off with something heavy weight and dense for a long-lasting seat cushion!

You should also consider what type of upholstery material has been used for these particular pieces before buying anything else–if they’re made out duck cloth…then we recommend going ahead with purchasing some extra pounds!

Remember, lighter colors can show signs of wear quickly – so start off by purchasing a fabric that is heavy weight, darker in color or has a pattern that will easily hide stains and general wear.

supplies for redoing seat cushion - chair, foam and upholstery fabric

How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster Chairs?

Here is the total price breakdown for my six chairs that I reupholstered. This does not include the tools needed: scissors and staple gun.

ITEMCOST
Chairs$75 from Facebook Marketplace
1″ High Density Foam 3 yards$24.99/yard
1″ Foam Batting 3 yards$14.99/yard
3 yards upholstery fabric$45/yard from Joann’s
Staples$5

How Long Does It Take To Reupholster a Dining Chair?

The time will vary depending on your skill level. However, this is a very beginner level project and can easily be accomplished in around 30 minutes per chair. The hardest part is picking out the color fabric you want to use!

The most time consuming part might be picking out which color fabric will look best on your piece of furniture. There are so many fabric options! Have fun shopping!

Let’s Make Them Over Together!

The process of reupholstering these chairs together is so easy!

Supplies:

1″ Upholster Foam

1″ Batting

Upholstery Fabric: Sorry, I could not find a link. I used the thick, upholstery fabric on the roll from Joann’s for $45/yard

Fabric Scissors

Power Shot Staple Gun (used for the shorter staples)

3/8″ Staples

Heavy Duty Staple Gun (used for the longer staples)

9/16″ Staples

Loctite Spray Adhesive

Video Tutorial

In this video I show the step by step process to create a foam cushion base for a dining room chair as well as how to reupholster it in fabric.

YouTube video

After

For my chairs personally, I love the way they turned out! The cushions are comfortable and thick enough that you do not feel like you are sitting on the wood frame.

I washed my chair frames using White Lightning. Then I painted them with chalk paint in the color Dried Sage. I sealed them with Gator Hide.

dining room chairs painted light gray with floral seat bottom
floral seat cushion on dining room chair
floral fabric print on formal chair. Arms and legs of chair are painted in Dixie Belle chalk paint dried sage

How To Reupholster Chairs with Fabric

In this tutorial I will teach you how to reupholster cushioned seat bottoms of dining room chairs with new foam, batting and fabric
Note: for my 6 chairs, I used 3 yards of fabric, batting and foam. The amount of supplies you will need will depend on the size and quantity of chairs you are reupholstering.
Author: Stephanie | Gathered In The Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1″ High Density Foam
  • 1″ Foam Batting
  • upholstery fabric
  • Power Shot Staple Gun
  • 3/8" staples
  • Heavy Duty Staple Gun
  • 9/16″ Staples
  • Loctite Spray Adhesive
  • Heavy duty fabric scissors

Instructions

  • Remove all fabric and cushions from old chair
  • Use old fabric and cushion to create a template
  • Trace and cut 1" foam to size of previous cushion. Be sure to use heavy duty fabric scissors to be able to cut through the foam
  • Spray with adhesive glue on one side and apply to chair seat base. Add staples using appropriate length staples to go through the foam to the chair seat base
  • Cut batting with at least a 2" over hang on all sides
  • Spray with adhesive glue on one side and apply to top of foam. Flip chair seat base over. Pulling tight on the batting, staple around the entire perimeter of the chair. Cut away any excess batting
  • Cut upholstery fabric at least a 2" over hang on all sides
  • Spray with adhesive glue on the wrong side of the fabric and apply to the top of the batting. Flip chair seat base over. Pulling tight on the fabric, staple around the entire perimeter of the chair. Cut away any excess fabric
  • Screw seat base back into chair frame
Like it? Pin it! Gathered In The Kitchen
Want to change your dining chair cushion fabric? Here's the cost effective way how to reupholster cushions the easy way with a staple gun!

More Fabric Tutorials

Check out: Before & After Projects Using Dixie Belle Chalk Paint

10 Comments

  1. Cindy Rust says:

    Great job on this upholstery! The color you chose to paint the chairs is perfect with the fabric! Pinned?

  2. The chairs look awesome. The only thing I would add would be to cut heavy duty craft paper and attach to the bottom for a professional finished look.

  3. Kathaleen says:

    I LOVE how everything came out. The color on the chairs is my favorite color for green.(I am a green hater most of the time. ) Now the re-upholster bug is nipping at my heels again. I bought a vintage chair several years ago, and the fabric. So far I only have the footstool re done, so those re-upholstery bugs are really nipping at me. You did a beautiful job. Hope I can do even half as well when I tackle my chair.

  4. Paula Skinner says:

    Beautiful. I love your fabric and paint choices!!!

  5. These chairs are beautiful. My dining room chairs have a cloth back as well. Any thoughts on that?

    1. Hi Dana! That’s a great question. I would search YouTube for tutorials on how to replace that. Is there binding around the edges? Or it it stapled in? I would search for images of chairs that look like yours and then look up those keyword terms that they use to describe the chair…and then search for how to replace that type of fabric. Good luck!!

  6. Thanks for the instructions. However, I am confused about the depth of the cushion. Is it 2” as mentioned early in the article or 1” as in the instructions?

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