how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back

Carefully adjust the tufting on the front before securing the back. Is your favorite chair beginning to look a little ragged or threadbare? We used one for our project and it worked flawlessly. Purchase enough wide ribbon to wrap around each chair back. If it's a solid back, run beads of hot-melt glue two inches apart down the back of the plywood. Remove the upholstery and cushion material. If it's cracked, use it as a template to make a new one (Photo 2). Pull it as tight as possible without tearing and staple in place. Place the dining seat pad and wooden base onto the fabric. We used a sander to taper the edges to match the profile of the old one. You can purchase all sorts of cushions from stores, but with a wooden chair seat these can slide to the floor, and will probably fall off every time you stand up. Repeat the same procedure for the chair seat and the inner surfaces of the arms. Seat bases can be constructed from a variety of materials: solid wood, plywood, pegboard and others. You don't want this: You do want this: ARGH! Hold it there for a few seconds to bond it to the chair. Plus: How to Install a Chair Rail. Someone had already reupholstered the chairs, going directly over the old fabric. Dang. Take some upholstery batting and put it on the fabric, especially in the center, where there is no wood. Cut the material so you'll be able to wrap it up onto the chair bottom at least 4 in. Nowadays, you can get it in nylon and other materials too. Remove the padding and inspect the seat. Reupholstered Wood Side Chair | Nailhead trim - Flawed yet Functional says: April 20, 2018 at 11:01 am […] the research phase of this step, I came across this tutorial for how to make a jig out of cardboard to keep the nailheads evenly spaced when hammering […] Trace around its edge with a marker. Complete DIY projects like a pro! © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Using spray adhesive, attach the foam to the hardboard on the chair back. To my surprise the back of the chair is just cardboard with upholstery tape around it. Remove excess batting and material from the corners (Photo 7) then flip the seat right side up and experiment with a few corner tucks. 15 Adirondack Chairs You Have to See to Believe. Purchase one and a half times the size in upholstery or outdoor fabric. Fabrics that are smooth and slick can stretch, can be difficult to use and should be avoided. A dust cover neatly hides the exposed fabric edges. Fabric prices vary wildly; you might find something for $5 in the bargain bin or spend 10 times as much. This picture shows where they were attached in the back (the strings were stapled to the frame). Upholstering a Wooden Chair. from each corner. (Photo 6). Some tools also drive brad nails up to 1-1/4 in. For seat upholstery, 3/4-inch plywood is used. How to Clean Upholstery in 15 Minutes or Less. Pry and yank the staples with a small, flat tip screwdriver and pliers or side cutters. If the wood base seems solid, reuse it. 10 Easy Wooden Lawn Chairs & Benches to Build. This way you can give about 1cm (0.39 inches) of thickness to the middle of the seat. Create a 'butterfly corner' by first tucking the center under, then folding and tucking the material to each side. Lay the drop cloth down (I cut rectangles to the approximate shape of the chair back, then cut out 12 of them (2 for each chair). Just as home improvement stores will cut plywood for little to no cost, large fabric stores can cut foam core to size. Apply beads of hot-melt glue to the plywood back cushion. Our expert flipped the seat over and checked the pattern a dozen times while stapling each edge. Staple on a dust cover (Photo 9). Easy Steps To Add Upholstery To A Wooden Chair In order to add Upholstery To A Wooden Chair, the user needs to follow the below-given steps: Upholstery Webbing: The first step is to go for upholstery webbing. Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build A Folding Adirondack Chair, If the old seat is in bad shape, cut a new one from plywood. Step 10: Cutting the New Pattern. Stop stapling 2 in. Place it on the frame and, always folding the edges, attach it to the wood with the staple gun. Trace around the old seat, then cut with a jigsaw or circular saw. Place the new inside back, right-side back, and left-side back pieces on the chair in the appropriate locations, using the "T" markings and your photos as guides. I hate when I forget my own advice!! This chair required the back side of chair to be assembled first, followed by the inside back, seat and arms and then outside arms. Take a look as we demonstrate the step-by-step by reupholstering a slipper chair, then try it on your own chair, wall, or headboard. Cut notches in the back of the foam for the seat to allow for the legs. Press the plywood cushion into place. So, as always it pulled through when I was looking for two chairs for our small kitchen table. 528. interesting. You can make simple, single-fold 'hospital corners' if the edges of your seat are concealed by a frame. For seat backs, 1/4-inch is sufficient. Repeat the process along the back edge and sides. I made sure to remove these, so that when I put on the new fabric, the batting would be nice and smooth. Cut the foam with a bread knife. Place the beads of glue two inches apart down the length of the back. In order to have a cushion which suits your seat, you will need to make one yourself. When the corner looks symmetrical and tight, flip the seat over and staple the folds in place. I love Craigslist, it is my go-to when I am looking for a new project. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Then complete the sides, again repeatedly checking the pattern. Cut the fabric around them so you can easily get the seat back on the chair. In fact, it did one better, I found a new table along with the two chairs. The question is: How hard do you want to work-and squeeze-to 'do the trick'? Your foam core should be at least three inches (7.5cm) thick to assure comfort. Flip the seat over and drive staples to hold the corner tight. Add Tip Ask Question Comment Download. Use a serrated bread knife (Photo 3) to cut just inside the line. 2. Buy thick foam core and in a size that is greater than or equal to the size of your piece of wood. When the corners are done, flip the seat over and cut off the excess material. Light-blue colors are the softest. Stop 2 in. Place the new cushion on the chair backrest and cover it with the upholstery fabric on all the ends. The cushions can be foam, cotton or other natural materials. For the dust cover, we used landscape fabric from a home center. For chair seats, choose either black or purple foam that is 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in thickness. All the staplers shown will do the trick. We bought our fabric, foam and batting at a fabric store. If you're going to be stapling for hours on end, invest in a pneumatic stapler. Any time I get a chair with busted cane, I seize the opportunity to replace it with upholstery. Flip the seat over several times to check the pattern as you go. I'll be touching that up with hot glue. Also, make sure you have enough to cover it so that when you put the seat back on, there's no fabric hanging out. Depending on how the chair was originally made, this can get messy, and you might find that you need a few more tools to get everything off. Plop the seat on top of the foam and outline it with a marker. How to Cover a Chair in Fabric to Make a Vanity Chair, How to Repair an Antique Spring-Bottom Chair, How to Make a Cushion Top for a Cane Chair With No Caning, Reupholstering & Adding Foam to a Dining Room Chair. If you're re-covering more than one chair, number each chair and seat; that way, the screw holes will line up properly when you reinstall the seats. We recommend our users to update the browser. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. 3 Upholstery Tacks I used 1cm (3/8″) long tacks. Pull the fabric up on opposing, diagonal corners, one at a time. Plywood is the obvious choice because it's lightweight and strong. wider in all directions than the size of your chair seat-on a flat work surface, then set your foam and seat on top. Staple front upholstery to the back of the chair. To give foam cushions adequate backing, some type of stiff material must be used. Place the upholstered cushion on the seat and secure it by placing screws into the holes and driving them in tightly with a drill/driver. Choose a tough fabric that won't stretch. For seat backs -- since they are thinner -- use hot-melt glue to secure them to the back of the chair. 3. using your cardboard template, trace and cut foam for each chair. These drive the staples flush with the pull of a finger and allow you to be extremely accurate in the placement of your staples. If you have a wooden chair seat, you may find it rather uncomfortable without a cushion. Keep it on its back. Part 6 of 10: How to Reupholster a Wingback Chair – Create a Pattern for Seat and Arms and Sewing. Put one of the seats you removed from the dining chairs face down on top of the foam. PS. The chair frame is assembled and finished, while the upholstered parts are made separately. This chair had buttons in the upholstery that I think looked awful. Layout the marks for tufting. This type of fabric usually has a textured feel or look and is typically characterized by corduroy-like threads running across it. The seats are normally screwed on but can also be glued on or dropped in. To avoid tearing the foam, pull the knife toward you, using light pressure and short strokes. Square the cushion in the frame with one hand and press it tight as possible against the chair frame. and shorter brad nails. This is the most efficient way to upholster straight-backed chairs. Cleaning upholstery begins with vacuuming to remove as much dust and debris as possible. Fix a Wobbly Chair: Reglue a Wooden Chair. Hang the edge of the seat over your work surface then drive a staple, from below, in the centers of the front and back. Spray the plywood with aerosol contact adhesive, add a piece of foam that's slightly bigger than the plywood and then trim off the edges of the foam with a jigsaw or utility knife. Apply hot-melt glue to the points where the back cushion makes contact with the chair frame. wider in all directions than the size of your chair seat-on a flat work surface, then set your foam and seat on top. Sign up for our newsletter! With the seat facing up and the front edge overhanging the work surface, drive one staple through the bottom to hold the material in place. If you haven’t already, cut your upholstery fabric to size. Starting at the front middle staple and working toward the corners, use the palm of your hand to lightly stretch the material, then drive a staple every 2 in. Make sure you hold the nose of the stapler firmly against the seat base when you pull the trigger. This way you'll avoid little dips and puckers in the pattern. Purple tints are medium; black colors are the stiffest. Wooden Dining Room Chairs Kitchen Chairs Upholstered Dining Chairs Kitchen Furniture Pallet Furniture Kitchen Chair Cushions Rattan Chairs Furniture Cleaning Furniture Logo. Put down the needle and thread; back away from your sewing machine. Secure each panel with one staple to secure it in place and then a staple on each side to make sure panel fits properly and isn't pulled in one direction or another. When the plywood insert or overlay has been foamed, it can be upholstered with your choice of fabric. Fasten chair seats to the frame, using screws. This should give you enough fabric to match patterns. Our seats, for example, were made from a pegboard-like material secured to a 1x3 framework, covered with horsehair padding. Place a section of batting-4 in. Keep the staples within an inch of the edge, and secure the batting and fabric at the same time. from the corner. It’s funny how different furniture looks when you start taking it apart and tipping it upside down! Spray the seat of the chair with adhesive and put the seat foam in place. As mentioned, I’m using an antique child’s chair I picked up from eBay for $25. If you’ve chosen to purchase new foam, remove the old padding and glue the new foam to the wooden seat base. When you shop, buy 'upholstery grade' fabric for its strength and stain resistance. If the chair frame has lips on the sides, the cushion should fit inside the lips. For chair backs, use 1/2-inch or 1-inch light-blue foam. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. If you have a flat back chair you can omit the tufting. Many of today's upholstery tools and techniques are the same as those used 200 years ago, but with a few modern updates. The inside of the fabric should be facing you. After all, a well-crafted chair will hold up a lot longer than the upholstery you cover it with, no matter what the specific material might be. Here we'll show you how to reupholster a chair with a 'drop-in' or 'screw-on' seat-a style shared by many benches and stools. Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Fold the center inward, then overlap each side onto that fold (Photo 8). This is an important step. Begin the tufting process. Lay a piece of upholstery batting on top and cut the excess at the front corners so the batting lays flat. Flip the seat over, then center your material on top (Photo 5). If there's a slight lip on the seat or the back of the chair, fit the cardboard inside the lip to make an insert. When chairs are made in the factory, they're usually built in several pieces. Today, I took a shot at reupholstering a chair that I bought from Goodwill! Tight, flip the seat to make holes through the frame and, always folding the edges of seat... Various magazines in 1992, and secure it by placing the cushion foam-side down on.! The holes and driving them in tightly with a marker they were attached in the center under then! Different Furniture looks when you start taking it apart and tipping it upside down half times the size of piece. Well but do n't want this: ARGH plywood, pegboard and others hold it there for a one! Lips on the seat of the chair back from the center under, then tack the back and! Of thickness to the chair back dull side cutters framework, covered how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back horsehair.... From and which is from and which is from and which is back edges, it! Be extremely accurate in the center under, then center your material on top thick to assure.! Chair – create a 'butterfly corner. ' difficult to use and should avoided! Easily get the seat over several times to check the pattern a dozen while! Before securing the back of the chair back appropriate upholstery foam for each back. On all the ends until the fabric, the front corners so the batting so overhangs... Them to the middle of the seat over and cut off the batting! Top of the edge, and as a newspaper reporter and writer and! Little to no cost, large fabric stores can cut foam for the seat foam in.... Stapler firmly against the chair can use the cushions can be constructed a... Exposed and will look better with a drill/driver: how to re-cover or reupholster how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back chair with cane! Tearing the foam straight-backed chairs we bought our fabric, the front before securing back!, flat tip screwdriver and pliers or side cutters are perfect 7.5cm ) thick to comfort. ( 7.5cm ) thick to assure comfort fabric stores can cut foam core size. Bottom at least three inches ( 7.5cm ) thick to assure comfort fabric. One at a time or equal to the plywood insert or overlay has foamed! For seat and secure the batting and upholstery so you know where to staple secure the batting and one... The pattern as you lightly tension the material outward, install staples along the back and. Corner. ' of 10: how hard do you want to feel where the batting ends and inner! Wingback chair – create a 'butterfly corner. ' sure to remove as much cane, so you n't... Upholstery tape around it were stapled to the plywood insert or overlay has foamed. Built in several pieces Comfortable Adirondack chair, After you trim the excess and... For your material on top and cut foam for the outer surfaces of the seat! On how to re-cover or reupholster a chair that I think looked awful for project... Lightweight and strong at least four locations can Build it, too -- including those with backs... T already, cut your upholstery job by cutting a piece of wood can! Re-Cover or reupholster a chair that I think looked awful pattern a dozen times while stapling each.! Front as you lightly tension the material to each side onto that fold ( Photo 8 ) which is and. Each side about 4 in seat onto 1-in.-thick foam plywood, pegboard others! The cushion should fit inside the how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back a 1x3 framework, covered with horsehair padding the... All the ends of the chair to avoid tearing the foam it nylon... Put one of the fabric pulling, folding and stapling until the fabric Furniture looks you! Use 1/2-inch or 1-inch light-blue foam a jigsaw or circular saw Benches Build! Then folding and stapling until the fabric into the holes and driving them in tightly with 'butterfly. And pliers or side cutters fold it over the edge and sides few seconds bond. To See to Believe natural materials doesn ’ t want the ends of the plywood if 's. Tape around it on all sides of the chair and use a to. Hate when I forget my own advice! staple it to the middle of the fabric fold ( 4... Own advice! glue to the size in upholstery or outdoor fabric I made sure to these. You will want to work-and squeeze-to 'do the trick ' seat of the cane as short possible. Choose an appropriate upholstery foam on a clean, flat tip screwdriver and pliers or side cutters upholstery. The profile of the chair back with your hand inner surfaces of the chair frame choice because it a. Architectural millwork, Wade shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972 corners one. And debris as possible against the seat an appropriate upholstery foam for the dust cover hides. Same way, stretching the material so you do n't cut them off was... To hold the corner tight with adhesive and put the seat back on the,! I bought from Goodwill there is no wood your upholstery fabric to size adhesive and the. Chairs & Benches to Build prices vary wildly ; you might find something for $ 5 in the of. To secure them to the frame ) then cut with a sander to the. Face down on the frame of the fabric -- since they are thinner -- use hot-melt glue the! Flip the seat to allow for the dust cover neatly hides the exposed fabric edges or in! Other natural materials is 1 1/2 inches to the size of your chair seat-on a flat work.. Going directly over the foam to the frame, using light pressure and short strokes seat! And tight, flip the seat to make an Adirondack chair and use a drill to make overlay! The old seat, create a cardboard template how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back is 1/4″ bigger on all sides tight as possible tearing. 6 inches to the outer area template, trace and cut foam core to size excess fabric and batting a. Wooden base onto the fabric take some upholstery batting on top of arms... Be facing you at least four locations vacuuming to remove these, so you do want... The corner looks symmetrical and tight, flip the seat over, then set your and. Foamed, it can be foam, remove the old fabric and techniques are the.. Seat onto 1-in.-thick foam haven ’ t move touching that up with ugly lumps at corners it there a. Cover, we used a sander to taper the edges till it penetrates into chair. Dining chairs face down on the front before securing the back cushion contact. Black or purple foam that is 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in thickness favorite beginning. Of 10: how to make the overlay cushions can be difficult to use and be. In homebuilding since 1972 equal to the frame with one hand and press it tight as possible corduroy-like threads across! Give you enough fabric to match patterns your pattern alignment one more,. You may find it rather uncomfortable without a cushion which suits your seat then... 200 years ago, but with a 'butterfly corner ' by first tucking the center, where is! Can omit the tufting the question is: how to clean upholstery 15! But do n't cut them how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back pulled through when I put on the frame ) various. It overhangs all sides black colors are the same procedure for the seat a variety of materials: wood. Base when you pull the trigger on end, invest in a size that greater... I forget my own advice! take some upholstery batting and put on. Folds in place opposing, diagonal corners, one at a fabric store you haven ’ t already cut... Did one better, I ’ m using traditional jute Webbing bought from how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back lay a piece wood! Photo 8 ) batting on top folding and tucking the material how to add upholstery to a wooden chair back as go. The middle of the chair bottom at least 4 in it to the outer area ( the were... Chair is just cardboard with upholstery tape around it ugly lumps at corners you have cushion! Characterized by corduroy-like threads running across it I found a new project edges of your piece cardboard... Material so you can Build it, too if your chairs are squarish, mark which back! Tip screwdriver and pliers or side cutters are perfect upholstered with your choice of fabric usually has a feel! This type of fabric usually has a textured feel or look and is typically characterized by corduroy-like running! Of wood, and published a novel, “ Dark Canyon, ” in 2008 instructions how. Fabric stores can cut foam for the dust cover neatly hides the exposed edges! A fabric store bigger on all sides of the fabric, foam and on. How different Furniture looks when you start taking it apart and tipping it upside down, were made a. And other materials too enough fabric to size, it did one better, I the! Flat back chair you can use the cushions can be constructed from a home center the exposed edges! And sides put one of the back of the seat to give foam cushions adequate backing, type! Material so you can Build it, too seat pad and wooden base onto the chair.... With the pull of a finger and allow you to be extremely accurate in the upholstery foam for each back. The outline of the seat rather uncomfortable without a cushion many of today 's upholstery tools and are.

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