DIY how to… re-cover your dining room chairs


Electric Tacker NailerWelcome to the next instalment of our new how-to DIY series of blogs where we will provide you with step-by-step guides for tackling different DIY projects around your home.

These steps include handy hints and tips to make doing it yourself easier and more manageable.

This month we're tackling how to re-cover your kitchen or dining room chairs…



Tacwise tackerWhat you will need

Upholstering chairStep one: Firstly you take each of the seats off the chairs. Traditionally these are attached to the base of the chair by screws – just unscrew them and lift the seats out gently. Remember to put the screws somewhere safe. Put the seat upside down on a flat surface such as the kitchen counter or table. I know this is almost cheating but I leave the old cover where it is and don't remove it – it keeps all the padding in place but if the padding needs replacing then remove all staples and take off original cover.

Step two: Take the padding that is in the best condition to a retailer and buy replacement padding. If the padding doesn't need replacing then keep the original covering on. You can use any fabric you want – in the past I have used old sofa covers or old curtains but upholstery fabric is the best as it is so hard wearing and it isn't that expensive.

Step three: For four kitchen chairs should only take about 1.5 metres, I always buy 2 metres just to be on the safe side. Place fabric on flat surface, good side down. Place the seat face down onto the fabric then cut around the seat leaving about 4 inches around the edge. Remove the excess fabric from your work surface. Now make sure that you have you stapler plugged in and ready to go.

Step four: Start by pulling the fabric over the front of the seat and staple in a nice straight line. You shouldn't really need to use more than about five staples along that edge, don't go too close to the corner as we will come back to those in a minute. Now pull the fabric over the back edge of the seat and repeat with the staples in a nice straight line. Then repeat with both sides never going too close to the corners.

Step five: Covering corners aren't difficult but it takes a bit more of a knack, you really want to do them all the same way but you will see what I mean once you start to do them. You can either pleat the fabric or just grab it as a whole and pull it over the corners, then staple, I always use three staples for this. Don't worry if you seem to have a lot of excess fabric as you can always trim it afterwards. No matter which method you use try to make the fabric as flat as you can, if it’s too bulky the seat won’t sit flush on the chair. Trim any excess fabric and screw seat back on to the chair. Now repeat with the other chairs.

View our DIY department for more handy tools and inspiration.

Make sure you check back each month for our new DIY how-to guides, and if you have any ideas for what DIY projects you'd like to see in the coming months then leave us a comment below!

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