A Beginners Guide to Chair Upholstery

In the midst of giving my spaces a refresh and learning to live with less clutter at home, I’ve also been helping to put together the decorative details for my childhood home Loblolly Manor. My parents have lovingly been restoring the home for about a year now and the floors are set to go down in a few weeks.

Once the floors have acclimated we’ll be able to start bringing in furniture and creating a retreat like experience for our family to enjoy. My mom has been pinning things for months now and yesterday she brought a few items over so we could start knocking out the project to do list. We found this chair at an estate sale back in May for $32. The chair was well built but the color and cushion wasn’t really her style. I didn’t let that stop us though. I knew we would be able to give it a new look even though we’re relatively new at upholstering.

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Since we wanted to paint the frame of the chair our first step was to remove the chair cushion from the chair. This was relatively easy given all we needed was a screwdriver to back out the four screws.

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My mom is creating a cozy cottage style for the home and she chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White for the frame of the chair. While I was busy painting the chair

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she was busy removing most of the staples and tacks from the cushion fabric. Just a little tip the plastic container helps to keep all of the hardware from getting lost given you’ll reuse it when you put the chair back together.

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It took a while to remove all of the staples. The tacks gave us a fit but we once we got them out we were on our way. She chose linen for the seat cushion fabric. Using scissors made for cutting material, we set the cushion on the piece of fabric leaving a little extra room for the sides and cut around the cushion. Then we used a staple gun to staple the fabric to the cushion.

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We found it was easier to staple the sides first

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 and the corners last. Don’t worry we removed the extra staples.

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We reattached the chair cushion to the chair frame using a screwdriver and the screws that came with the chair and my mom couldn’t have been more excited about the way the chair turned out.

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I gave the frame of the chair a coat of clear wax and used a tiny bit of dark wax on the detail of the back of the chair.

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Here’s a quick look at before and after again:

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I don’t know that we’re ready for anything major like slipcovers or sofa upholstery but these small projects give us the confidence to take on bigger projects. We gave this $32 chair a totally different look using materials we had on hand and a willingness to step out of our comfort zone. In fact, we were so pleased with the way these chairs turned out we talked one of my sisters into letting us recover her chairs too. I still need to paint them but so far they look fantastic.

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I hope you guys have a relaxing and happy weekend. See you back here on Monday for the Something to Talk About Link Party and on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest this weekend.

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Many blessings,



  1. says

    Beautiful makeover, and I love your upholstering tips. I’ve done a chair cushion like this one but never anything harder. On a whim I bought a couch from a thrift shop with the intention of recovering it but it’s been sitting under my covered patio for nearly 2 months now because I think I bit off more than I can chew and I’m afraid to start taking it apart :).
    Amy | Canary Street Crafts recently posted…When To Prep Before Chalk PaintMy Profile

    • says

      I can totally relate, Amy! I’ve passed up so many bigger pieces because I was afraid to take them apart. I hoping that fear will pass for both of us soon and we’ll be able to rock a new skill 🙂 Hugs, Coco


  1. […] In case you missed any posts from last week, as you know we’re in the process of giving all of our spaces at home a refresh. On Tuesday, I shared other changes we’ve made around the house. Wednesday, I shared a neutral inspired bathroom makeover. Thursday, I shared how to make a headboard from a mantel. Finally on Friday, I shared a beginners guide to chair upholstery. […]