reupholster chairs

We are in the process of completely redecorating our living/dining room.  This is a huge deal for us as we have seating for two plus the dog, our furniture is old and ratty and I just never have felt like we truly moved into this house.  When we bought our house seven years ago, we took on a huge home improvement project.  We did a ton of work, all of it ourselves with the help of our amazing friends.

We lived in a construction zone for six months and when the house got to a point where we could finally live in it, we just stopped.  There was much left to do, but we just didn’t feel like it any more and decorating and finishing touches just didn’t take priority.  Over the years we have accomplished much, from a remodeling stand point, but now it is time to make this house a home.  I want throw pillows and soft fabrics and coordinating furniture and really just a place that our friends and family as well as our selves can feel comfortable.

Our couches are on order and should arrive in about a month.  We ordered them back in August and it seems like they are taking forever, but it takes a while.  Nine to eleven weeks in our case.

So in the meantime we have a lot to take care of.  We thought about buying a new dining room set, but decided that with two small children that would be a terrible idea.  They are just too hard on things and although our dining room set isn’t exactly what we would like, unlike our couch (or should I say glorified dog bed), it works just fine for our current circumstances.

So, for about $150 I bought all the materials to reupholster the dining room chairs.

Although I do sew, this is something I have no experience doing, so I went out online and looked for instructions.  There are lots of options, but these seemed to be the simplest and easiest to understand.

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This was much easier to do than I expected.  I would say each chair, including a detailed cleaning with a wood cleaner and polisher, took me about an hour.  

Here are the before pictures.  They don’t do justice to how stained and dirty the fabric on these chairs is. They are dingy, greying and terribly stained.  The chair in this photo has a water stain the size of a cantelope in the middle.  This dining room set belonged to my grandmother and is from the 40s, but my mom says that she redid the seats several times.  


Because I don’t know what the original fabric looked like, I tried to stick with something similar to what my grandmother had used, assuming that she was at least somewhat true to the style of the set.  I chose a fabric with a green undertone and gold overtones to coordinate with the walls and curtains.  

When we chose the couch colors (slate blue/grey and chocolate brown), we didn’t really think about how warm the rest of our things were, so our color pallet is a little unconventional.  But, I have done some color coordinating with photoshop and I actually think it is going to look nice.  

I also want to increase the padding in the chairs as they weren’t very comfortable, so I added a piece of foam under that batting.

Here are the after photos.  I am really pleased with how they turned out.