Old Chair, New Life, Part II

A reupholstered chair in a West Village, New York City apartment

To read part I of our reupholstery project, click here.


After stripping the chair of its dated fabric, we began the tedious process of stapling our new fabric to the chair’s frame.

We chose a coral chevron fabric for the chair to both inject a pop of color into our living room and to make the antique chair look a bit more modern.

Stapling the fabric to the chair was not as difficult as expected. Other than making sure that the fabric is pulled very, very taut, it was pretty fool-proof and any mistakes were easily rectified by pulling out the staples and trying again. Since the trim covers the edges of the chair, they don’t need to be perfect, as you can see in the photos.

Fabric for Upholstering a Chair

Stapling Fabric for Chair Reupholstery

In retrospect, I was shocked at how physical of a job it was—I was surprisingly sore the next morning from both the staple gun and the sheer strength required to keep the fabric straight and tight across the chair’s frame. However, it wasn’t nearly as daunting as I expected and I’m looking forward to taking on another project soon.

We decided to use single-welt cord for trim since we don’t have a sewing machine and had trouble explaining double-welt trim to the tailor. Now that the trim is in place, I actually think the single-welt suits this particular project better than the double-welt would have, so hooray for happy accidents. We secured the trim with fabric glue.

An Easy DIY Reupholstery Project

Now that the chair is in its final resting place in our living room, it’s a perfect fit. The bright coral stripes contrast with our living room’s dark blue-green wall, softening the space a bit. Luckily for us, it’s quite a comfy chair too and will be perfect for settling in with a cup of tea and a book.

The final cost for everything, chair included? Just $68.

– Laura and Ryan

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