How To Reupholster an Antique

In today’s world, more people are beginning to adhere to the principles of green living (i.e., using materials that are eco-friendly and recycling materials as much as possible). These principles have also invaded the area of home design such that an increasing number of homeowners now prefer recycling old furniture rather than buying new items. Aside from minimizing waste, repurposing old furniture is also a clever way to integrate antiques into your existing home design concept, not to mention the fact that it will also save you hundreds of dollars in the process.

Repurposing requires an eye for details and lots of patience. To make an old piece of furniture look prettier than its original version, one must properly plan and diligently perform the necessary steps. This is most important especially if you are dealing with antiques. However, although the task may take longer than usual, it is very easy to accomplish. Just follow the simple steps below to update the look of your antique chair.

Step 1

Prepare all the materials- For the upholstery, you will need the main fabric, fabric lining, batting or foam, a pair of scissors, a marker, a staple gun, a glue gun, and a screw driver. You also need to prepare some materials for the wood such as paint (if needed), brushes, and some varnish.

Step 2

Remove the seat and the backrest- Next, turn over the chair where you can directly access the underside of the seat. After cleaning off the debris, begin the process of removing the seat by unscrewing the bolts. Keep these, as you will use them in screwing the seat (and backrest) back on. Afterwards, remove the old upholstery. This will require that you manually pry out the nails and staples from the wood where the old fabric and foam are attached. You may discard these old nails and staples as you will no longer use them. Repeat the entire process to remove the backrest.

Step 3

Reupholster using new fabric and batting- Carefully lay out the batting, lining, and fabric onto the wooden seat. Separately mark out the outline on each material. Cut the fabric, the lining, and the batting according to size. Add three to four inches all over for allowance. Next, glue the batting or foam on the wooden frame of the seat, add a few layers depending on how firm you want it to be. Then, carefully place the lining and the fabric over the frame, flip it over and then staple everything underneath. As you do so, pull the three layers toward you to make for a snug attachment. Repeat the entire process to reupholster the backrest.

Step 4

Attach the newly upholstered seat and back rest- Once the two parts are properly upholstered, attach both of these back to the main frame of the chair using the original screws. Screw everything back on for a secure finish. Prior to replacing the seat and backrest, you may also paint the frame of the chair and apply two coats of varnish, just make sure that everything has already dried thoroughly before you attach the seat and backrest.

Step 5

Clean up- For a cleaner finish, trim off the excess materials. You may now enjoy your “new” chair.

This article was written by A Davis, a contributing author for - a unique metal wall art store featuring tropical wall art and wall decor.

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