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How To: Reupholster a Club Chair

August 22, 2010

I found 2 of these accent chairs in my neighbor’s yard for Big Trash Day. It just so happened that I was in the market for a pair of accent chairs in my living room, so I couldn’t resist the urge, and I snatched them up!

I was not a fan of the fabric choice or color… and they smelled kind of funky.

I decided they would be the perfect guinea pig for my first attempt at reupholstering something more complex than a dining room chair seat cover.


Screwdriver (flat head)
Needle nose pliers
Rubber mallet (or cover a hammer head with cloth so it does not damage & leave marks on the fabric)
Paint/stain stripper
Staple gun & staples (lots of them!)
Upholstery nails


1. Remove the original fabric.

It is very important to remember where each piece went and in what order it was removed. It’s even more important to keep each piece in tact – as these serve as templates for the new fabric pieces.

I used a Sharpie to label each piece so I would not forget where each piece went.

Be sure to save the foam padding as well. You will want to a) reuse them if they are in good condition or b) use them as templates for new foam inserts. Most of the foam in my chairs was in good condition, so I was able to reuse it.

2. Strip & re-stain wood.

I did not like the light colored stain currently on the chairs, so I stripped the finish and re-stained it a darker color that would better compliment my fabric choice.

I used Citristrip to remove the finish and it worked great. No harsh smells & it worked in 30 minutes.

3. Sew fabric & attach to chair frame.

Using the old fabric as templates – sew the arms, back, and seat cushions.

Stuff with foam & batting and attach to frame in the proper order using staple gun.

4. Add some homemade throw pillows, and Voila!

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