Recovering dining chair seats, perhaps the easiest upholstery project, still requires organization.

Recovering Dining Chair Seats

Peeling Away the Years

I always love seeing the layers of history. The photo below shows the jaunty floral fabric wrapped around the original batting and wooden seat. It’s 90’s and awful, I know. The staples are already out, so let’s see what’s underneath.

Recovering Dining Chair

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a plump seat. Instead, imagine a pancake. One layer down and we’re at the dirty, original, yellow fabric stapled securely in place.
MCM Yellow Stripe Fabric

How about delving down more layers? Here we are at the thin, sad interior batting:
Dining Chair Old Batting

Foam and Batting

Luckily, Joann’s offered a 50% discount on their $59.99 high-density foam the day I ordered online. After seeing it in person, I absolutely recommend the high density. A roll of 2″ x 18″ x 82″ is perfect for covering 4 dining chair seats.2" high density foam
I traced the wooden chair seat onto the 2″ foam with a thick black marker. David grabbed the electric knife and cut out four pieces of foam.
Dining Chair Foam CutThe foam will provide a far more comfortable cushion. Below, there’s the wood seat, 2″ foam, batting, and the ivory microfiber upholstery fabric. By the way, we found the fabric in Joann’s remnant fabric bin. Four dining chairs require 1.5 yards of fabric, which we purchased for $9.
Recovering Dining Chairs

The Process for Recovering Dining Chair Seats

  1. Spray glue on the wooden seat and the pre-cut foam. Let both sit and get tacky before adhering together. NOTE: David prefers using 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive. After he unsuccessfully used the spray pictured, he went out and bought the 3M spray and tried again.Recovering Dining Chair
  2. If rounded edges are desired, spray the glue on each raw edge of the foam and compress. We used a punch awl to help with the fold.Recovering Dining ChairRecovering Dining Chairs
  3. Cover with batting and staple down.Trim excess. Recovering dining chair
  4. Cover with upholstery fabric; use hands to smooth the fabric, and staple. Cut excess.Recovering Dining ChairRecovering Dining ChairRecovering Dining Chairs
  5. Fold the corners neatly, making sure to cut excess fabric to eliminate bulges of batting and fabric.
  6. Fold corners and trim excess material before stapling.Recovering dining chair seats
  7. Optional but simple, this next step involves stapling a cambric dust cover to the seat’s underside. It finishes off the piece by hiding all your fabric edges and staples.Recovered Dining Chair Seats
  8. And a quick photo of the recovered chair seats:Recovered Chair Seats

Sure, the hands-on experience proved more challenging, but we saved a lot of money and, really, that’s all there is to recovering dining chair seats. They’ll look stylish with the matching dining table.

Thanks for stopping by. David and I will be back with a new project in no time!

Ann Marie and David


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12 Comments on Recovering Dining Chair Seats: Mid-Century Modern

  1. Diana
    January 12, 2017 at 3:22 am (5 years ago)

    Such great tips–great to see it done the “right” way. I’ve always just kind of wung it! Thanks for linking up your posts with us at Vintage Charm, guys!

    • irisabbey
      January 12, 2017 at 6:09 am (5 years ago)

      Hi, Diana, and thanks for the comment. You are wonderful at providing comments. Sometimes blogging can seem a lonely business. It is so very good to know you’re out there.

  2. Brenda E Young
    January 12, 2017 at 5:45 am (5 years ago)

    Wonderful tutorial on a simple reupholstery done properly, thanks for sharing at Fridays Furniture Fix!

    • Brenda E Young
      January 12, 2017 at 5:46 am (5 years ago)

      It’s this weeks feature as well!

      • irisabbey
        January 12, 2017 at 6:05 am (5 years ago)

        Brenda, thanks for the news. You just made my day.

  3. JaneEllen
    January 15, 2017 at 6:58 am (5 years ago)

    Great job, imagine, doing it the “right way”, thus saving trouble down the road when somebody or yourselves decided you needed to change seat upholstery again.
    We bought a pub dining set many years ago and one of things I did soon after was replacing upholstery.
    Didn’t have any idea how long had been since anybody changed seat covering so decided I had to do it “right so got down to bottom layer, replaced batting and put some foam in also. The seats were small so maybe when they were built people were lot smaller in posterior area.
    Getting a refresher course was good, maybe redo my office chair seat, not comfy at all but is quite old. Bought chair at used office furniture store close to where we lived “many” years ago. Yes, still using chair but it could use some snazzying up. I am of generation that keeps things until no longer need or wears out. Raised by depression era parents.
    Thanks for wonderful tutorial.
    Happy New Year

    • irisabbey
      January 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm (5 years ago)

      JaneEllen, thanks for your kind comments. My husband agrees with your philosophy of using things until they wear out — and then he’ll fix them. Good luck with your office chair seat!

  4. Pili
    January 19, 2017 at 11:39 pm (5 years ago)

    Professional job once again. People sometimes try to get bargains but they don’t imagine how much work it involves.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration.

    • irisabbey
      January 22, 2017 at 11:05 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much. Pili.

  5. Cindy
    January 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm (5 years ago)

    Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

    • irisabbey
      January 22, 2017 at 11:06 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for your kind comments, Cindy.


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