Recovering Dining Room Chairs!

This week has been quite different than expected! Last Friday, I was working at the house and managed to mangle my foot up pretty badly. I will spare you the details and gore, but suffice it to say that there have been a lot of stitches, x-rays, and doctors.


Right now it is healing well, I am in a smaller boot, and there are no signs of infection. My mom ended up coming back to Nashville to help me as I couldn’t drive (and could barely walk). I could not have done this week without her! She has chauffered me around to appointments, cared for (and spoiled) Mac, and been so much help around the house. Although I didn’t spend this week finishing the painting and the master bedroom like I had planned, I feel like we have accomplished a lot despite this dumb foot.

One thing we tackled yesterday was recovering my dining room chairs! If you remember from this post, I bought my dining room furniture at an antique market years ago. The chair fabric was green and tufted – cute, but tired. When Mom and I headed to the fabric store yesterday morning, I was looking for a neutral buffalo check. However, we ran across this thickly woven herringbone (in the middle) and it didn’t take long to realize we had a winner!



One thing I am learning through this whole reno process is to focus on the end goal and not be so stuck on specifics. I had chosen a neutral buffalo check in my mind because of the pattern, versatility, and overall feel. This herringbone met all of those requirements, and I think I actually like it better!

I’m not going to spend the time here going through a detailed step-by-step of how to recover upholstered chairs. There are so many videos and links online that are much more thorough than I would be. Mom and I did come up with a few tips and tricks listed below that may make your life a little easier if you are considering a similar task.  If you have specific questions about what you see or how we did something – please ask!

  • Do this with a friend! There is pulling and tugging and stapling and holding and pressing… It’s a lot easier and much more fun!
  • Gather a lot of tools. It took a variety of small tools to get the old staples out, loosen the old screws, and get the fabric off. Dedicated fabric shears and needlenose pliers are a must.


  • If you have a textured or raised fabric like we did, you have to take the old fabric off before you can lay the new fabric over it. (Otherwise you end up with bumps and lumps). I am actually really glad we did this because…



All of the patterns were different, and you could tell someone put so much time into making these chairs beautiful.The irises and the floral pattern on the back left chair were my favorite!  As someone who loves “making the old new”, I have plans to eventually frame those two pieces of fabric. What a special, unexpected find!


  •  If this is your first time upholstering, know that buying extra fabric and the heavy duty upholstery staple gun is worth the peace of mind.


  • Spend the time to make your corners look good! Bunched, rolled corners = no no.


Ready? Here is the final product!


I am so, so, so pleased! They are perfectly neutral and much more tailored looking. Mom and I had a good time doing them and I can’t wait to style them up in a renovated dining room! Again if you have any questions about our method, I will be happy to answer to the best of my ability. If this is a project you are considering, here is an HGTV tutorial about rehabbing dining room chairs:

Thanks for following along!




7 thoughts on “Recovering Dining Room Chairs!

Leave a Reply to Janice Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s