how to reupholster an office chair

Reupholstering an office chair can be a daunting task. It’s often hard to know where to start, and the finished product can look anything but professional if not done correctly. But with a bit of elbow grease and some patience, I’m here to prove that anyone can reupholster their own office chair!

With my step-by-step guide on how to reupholster an office chair you’ll have your old dull seat looking better than ever in no time. All it takes is a few tools, plenty of fabric and some dedication – so let’s get started!

Is It Worth It?

Is it worth the time and effort to give your furniture a makeover? Well, if you have an office chair that’s seen better days, then it might be. Maybe the seat cushions are worn or saggy and the fabric cover is frayed at the edges. You can take on this project yourself, but you’ll need to gather supplies first.

adjustable office chair supports proper posture during work

Giving your office chair a facelift doesn’t require much skill – just a screwdriver for removing its screws and staples, some needle and thread, plus new fabric and foam for the seat cushions. You’ll also need to measure precisely so that whatever you make fits correctly – otherwise you may end up with an ill-fitting cover that looks lumpy or misshapen.

But if all goes well, you’ll soon have a revitalised piece of furniture that looks brand new! Reupholstering can save money too as buying new chairs can be expensive. Although the process may require some time, it can be truly rewarding at the end when your old chair is revitalised and given a brand new lease on life!

Gather Supplies

Gathering all the materials you need is key for a successful project, so make sure you’ve got everything before getting started! From fabric to cushions, upholstery fabric to chair seat and back, furniture grade foam to sewing machine – it’s a long list. To break it down simply, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Upholstery fabric
  • Outdoor fabrics (for added protection)
  • A seam ripper
  • Trim and fabric glue

Don’t worry if the idea of gathering supplies seems daunting – with some research and planning you’ll be well-equipped for your project. Plus, there are plenty of online resources that will help guide you through every step of the process.

And since this is an office chair we are talking about, consider going all out with heavier-duty quality materials such as industrial-grade foam and outdoor fabric for added protection from everyday wear and tear! With the right tools in hand, you’re ready to begin your reupholstering journey – time to get tearing apart that chair…

Dismantle Chair

Now it’s time to take your project to the next level: dismantling the chair! Before you get started, consider this interesting statistic – almost 8 million tons of furniture is thrown away each year. So, let’s make sure we don’t add to that number by giving our chair a second life!

To begin, remove any excess fabric from the chair and cut away any seams with scissors or a seam ripper. Then, locate all the screw holes and nails on the wooden chair frame. Use an electric drill or screwdriver to remove screws or nails from the wood base of your chair. Be careful not to pull too tightly as you want your fabric to be taut but not tight when reassembling your chair.

Finally, if staples were used in upholstering your chair use heavy-duty pliers so they can be removed without breaking them off deepset in the wood base. Now you are one step closer to giving your office chair a brand new look with some fresh fabric!

Select Fabric

comfortable office chair promotes better work productivity

Selecting the right fabric is essential for giving your furniture a fresh, modern look. There’s no better way to spruce up an old office chair than with some brand new upholstery that stands out. When selecting fabric for your project, choosing something unique and durable is key.

For reupholstering a desk chair or dining room chair, you’ll need to select a medium-weight fabric that won’t tear easily and can withstand regular usage. It’s best to get extra fabric in case of any mistakes during installation – there’s nothing worse than running out of material halfway through!

You’ll also need some fabric tacks or staples if you’re going for the traditional look, as well as sharp fabric scissors and a staple gun if you’re feeling ambitious. To ensure your project looks professional once done, make sure the fabric is taught and evenly stretched across each panel of the chair.

If opting for multiple colors or patterns, keep in mind which fabrics will work together – black goes with almost everything so it makes a great base color when used with brighter hues or prints. Once you’ve chosen all of your materials, it’s time to start applying the upholstery weight fabric over the existing covering on your chair!

Apply Fabric

Installing the fabric is an important step for giving your furniture a fresh, modern look – so take your time and make sure it’s done right! Before you start, figure out what type of chair you’re working with. Whether you are working on a basic office chair seat or a more intricate upholstered armchair with decorative trim, the fundamental steps remain the same.

Gather all the necessary supplies such as fabric, pattern pieces, paper for tracing patterns, heavy-duty staple gun and extra staples. If you’re using a patterned fabric be sure to match all the pattern pieces before cutting into your material.

Now that everything is ready it’s time to get started on applying the fabric! Begin by stapling one edge of your seating area then stretch the fabric across until tight and secure with additional staples along the length of each side. Make sure to check that both sides are even in order to have a finished chair that looks great from every angle!

Once you’ve completed both sides use scissors to trim excess material before tucking in any loose edges or corners underneath. Finally add some color accents by using contrasting fabrics or ribbon if desired. Reattaching backing can be tricky but following this step guide will help ensure that your upholstery job looks professional and neat!

Reattach Backing

a modern office with a cosy chair

Carefully consider the correct way to reattach your furniture’s backing for a polished, precise finish. Gather the supplies you need from fabric stores such as upholstery thread, seam allowance and eye protection. Reattaching the backing of your office chair can take several couple weeks depending on how much time you have.

To get your feet wet start by attaching the fabric to its shelllike base using a row of stitches along its wooden surface. Securely fasten it with decorative upholstery tacks to complete this portion of the upholstery project. It is important that every tack is installed properly and securely for a professional look and maximum durability.

As this will be visible, take extra care when applying them and use an even spacing pattern for visual appeal. Don’t forget to double check that each one is firmly in place before continuing onto finishing touches! It may be helpful to enlist another set of hands to help hold the fabric during this process if needed.

Finally, carefully smooth out any creases or wrinkles on top of the fabric with your hands or a flat object before moving forward with additional steps for completing your office chair project!

Finishing Touches

Complete your project with the perfect finishing touches to give it an elegant and timeless look. Start off by using a heavy-duty industrial staple gun to secure the fabric in place, making sure you reach all corners of the chair. Ensure that staples are placed at regular intervals and that plastic bases are removed before stapling.

After fastening the fabric, use a glue gun to secure loose ends or any extra inches of fabric left hanging. To get those tight edges for a smooth surface, make use of nose pliers if needed to fold over excess material onto itself.

Once the upholstery is complete, take some time to admire your simple yet sophisticated project! You’ll be amazed just how much difference real leather or synthetic cloth can make compared to old vinyl or worn-out cushioning when giving new life into an office chair.

You’ll be proud of yourself for taking up this upholstering job – not only have you saved money by doing it yourself but you now have a piece of furniture that looks brand new again! So sit back, relax and enjoy your handiwork!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much fabric do I need to reupholster an office chair?

Reupholstering an office chair can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Before I get started, I need to know how much fabric I’ll need. The amount of fabric really depends on the size of the chair and the design, but as a general rule of thumb you should buy at least two yards of fabric for each seat cushion and back panel.

If you plan on using patterned or textured fabrics, make sure to get extra fabric since patterns require more precise cutting than a solid colour. To ensure that you have enough material for your project, always buy about 10-20% more than what you initially calculated – better safe than sorry!

What type of tools are needed to reupholster an office chair?

I’m about to embark on a fun and creative journey – reupholstering an office chair! To do this, I’ll need the right tools for the job. My toolkit should include a staple gun, fabric scissors, upholstery thread and needle, pliers, and an awl. With these essential items in hand, I’m ready to tackle this project with confidence.

What is the best way to clean the office chair after reupholstering?

After reupholstering an office chair, the best way to keep it looking its best is to give it a thorough clean. Start by vacuuming the chair with a crevice tool attachment, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. A damp cloth can then be used for more stubborn dirt or marks; just make sure not to saturate the fabric.

For an extra deep clean, use upholstery shampoo following manufacturers instructions. Finally, use a hair dryer on a low setting to help evaporate any remaining moisture and leave your freshly reupholstered chair looking as good as new!

What safety precautions should be taken when reupholstering an office chair?

Reupholstering an office chair is a task that requires safety precautions to be taken. It’s like taking a walk on a tightrope – one wrong move and you’ll be in trouble. To ensure the reupholstering process goes smoothly, always make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles, and keep any sharp objects away from your skin.

Additionally, it is essential for the workspace to be clean and clear of any obstacles or hazardous materials. If done correctly, you can rest assured that your project will remain safe and successful!


I’m sure you’re wondering if the effort of reupholstering your office chair is worth it. Yes! With a little patience and some elbow grease, you can transform an old, drab chair into something sleek and modern. Sure, there may be a few bumps along the way but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can end up with a beautiful piece that will last for years to come.

Don’t let fear of mistakes keep you from trying something new – just remember to take it one step at a time and soon enough you’ll be admiring your handiwork in all its glory!

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