Reupholstering Dining Room Chairs

Giving life to old dining room chairs.

While home in Richmond over Thanksgiving, I did some DIY shopping with my mom. I’d been staring at our dining room table and chairs for over two months now, knowing that their current state just wasn’t living up to their potential.

I bought the table off of craigslist before Brian and I moved in together for $100. It came with 5 Parsons that I plan to ambitiously reupholster at a later date (only two of them of the five).

The chairs, I bought for $65 from my neighbor who works at Clash in Trash in Ashland, Virginia. This shop is one of my favorite places to go for inspiration and furniture browsing. They always have unique pieces that inspire me to DIY even more.  I think I have about 4 pieces of furniture from there (and that’s a lot considering I live in a small DC apartment).

Okay, back to our shopping trip. We started at Thrill of the Hunt  in Ashland to pick up some much raved about  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Thrill of the Hunt is another one of my favorite, inspiration inducing stores. I’ve seen so many pieces they’ve  given  new life. Woowee, they have some serious DIY skills. Also love that it’s owned by one of my high school friend’s family! So needless to say,  I knew there was only one place to go to pick up my DIY supplies.

In case you haven’t heard of Annie Sloan chalk paint, it’s supposed to be this very pristine paint that can be used on most any DIY furniture project. I was drawn to it because you can paint over a piece of furniture without sanding or priming it.  I haven’t tested it out yet, so when I do paint the table I’ll be sure to blog about it!

Our next stop was to U-fab Fabrics, a discount fabric store located in the Fan in Richmond. I had heard a lot about this place from Thrill of the Hunt owners and from  Young House Love.

Walking into the store, with rows and rows of brightly colored fabric, U-fab truly felt like a fabric wonderland. I seriously wanted about 5 different fabrics and I only needed one. With some help from the friendly U-Fab Fabrics employees, I picked this awesome Waverly pattern. I’ve lusted over a few Waverly patterns online, so I’m not surprised the one I picked was Waverly.  My fabric was about $15 a yard, but U-fab has plenty of discounted fabric even as low as $2.99 a yard. Pretty darn awesome.

waverly fabric

reupholster dining room chair

Reupholstering time!

What you’ll need:

  • Staple Gun
  • Pinking shears or really sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • A fun male model (optional, but highly  recommended)

So I didn’t look up anything for reupholstering. Just figured I’d wing it.

Lucky for me the the chair seats were already removed from the chair base so we didn’t have to unscrew them.

I first decided what pattern I wanted on the chair. Brian and I decided each chair should have a different pattern.

I then cut the fabric about 3 inches longer on each side of the seat to make sure I would have enough to pull the fabric tightly around the seat.


I stapled two parallel sides with about 3 staples, leaving enough room to fold the other sides.


Then, I basically just folded each side like I was folding a present. See how I did it below.

folding steps for chairs

It honestly was a super easy project and I finished it pretty quickly! I cleaned up the chairs with goo-gone and Brian is planning to screw the seats unto the chairs. I just love the way they turned out.  Now the chairs have new life! I may paint them at a later date, but for now I’m happy.

Total Cost for this Project:

  • $65 for 5 chairs
  • $50 for 3 yards of fabric
  • $10 for goo-gone and screws

Total Cost: $125

Here are some other reupholster blog posts that may be helpful:

Also you can check out some inspiration on my pinterest diy board.


And then things got real silly…

If you’re wondering what to do with your extra fabric I highly suggest having a photo shoot.

camouflage_fabric modeling _chairs sleepy

Happy DIYing!



Filed under DIY Projects

9 responses to “Reupholstering Dining Room Chairs

  1. Heather

    They look great! Can’t wait to see the parsons chairs when you get to them.

  2. Kelly

    This is awesome! You’re inspiring me to do some sprucing up of my own 🙂

    • Thanks Kelly! It’s a pretty easy project. It’s crazy how this fun fabric instantly gave the chairs new life! Now get to diying;) can’t wait to see what your creative mind comes up with.

  3. Anonymous

    Haha what a hilarious male chair model! Cute chairs!

  4. Pingback: Chalk Paint Dining Room Table | Gypsy Soul

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