Ideas + Advice


Dining Room Chair Fabric Ideas

If your dining chairs are starting to look worse for wear, reupholstering them is a great alternative to replacing them. If you're crafty by nature, you might even be able to reupholster the chair yourself.

Finding New Upholstery Fabric For Your Dining Room Chairs

Selecting a new upholstery for your dining room chairs isn't always easy. You want to find something that reflects your style and personality while still complementing the colors and fabrics that are already in your home, as well as the material the frame of the chair and your dining room table are made from.

The good news is that when it comes to finding fabric to upholster your chair seats, there's plenty of options out there — and you're not just limited to what's available at a fabric store, either. In fact, there are plenty of out-of-the-box ways to source fabric for your dining chairs to give your table and your entire dining room, a total makeover.

Repurposing old materials

Whether it's vintage clothing, old rugs or a quilt your grandmother made, anything goes when it comes to recovering your chair. Consider using these materials to complement mid-century modern chair styles with wingback frames to add a unique vintage feel.

Using slipcovers

If you're not one for DIY makeovers on your house, adding a simple slipcover that suits your dining room decor is a great way to cover old, worn or unsightly seat cushions without doing the work.

Breaking away from the ordinary

Instead of a typical polyester or microfiber dining chair cushion, consider using faux suede to create a look that's a bit edgier. Just keep in mind that faux suede isn't as stain-resistant as a lot of other materials so you'll want to be careful around your newly covered chairs.

Keeping it neutral

If you're looking for the right chair fabric that will mesh well with an open living room or other elements of your interior design, neutral is almost always best. Select a new fabric in whites, creams, greys or even beige but make sure that if your home features mostly cool tones, you select cool neutrals to go along with it.

The Classics

If you have classic tastes, chances are you'll want to recover your kitchen chair in a fabric that's suitable for most tastes. In this case, you may want to consider a white or black faux leather or a high-quality polyester, both of which give your dining room chairs a classic feel. These materials are also relatively stain-resistant, which makes them a practical choice for the kitchen or dining area.

DIY: How to Reupholster Your Chairs

If you're planning to reupholster your chairs on your own and you haven't done it before, you'll want to gather a few important materials before you get started. This includes:

  • Your fabric of choice

  • A sewing machine

  • A staple gun

  • Scissors

  • A marking pen

  • A flathead screwdriver

  • Needlenose pliers

It can also be helpful to grab a pen and a piece of paper to take notes along the way, as well as some fabric glue to deal with any unruly spots while applying the upholstery to your chair.

Before you embark on your reupholstery journey, you may also want to consider spending some time watching online tutorials. The process you'll need to follow to reupholster your dining chairs includes:

  1. Removing the old fabric from your chair — you'll likely need to disassemble the chair at this stage.

  2. Determine if you need to replace batting springs or webbing on the chair and if necessary or desired, sand and paint the chair frame.

  3. Cut your new fabric to the correct size by laying it over the chair and cutting it an extra two to three inches on either side.

  4. Attach the fabric to the base of your chair, making sure to pull it tight, and staple it to the bottom of the seat.

  5. Create and sew the welting to go along the edge of the seat.

  6. Staple the fabric to the sides of the chair, making sure to attach the staples below the welting.

  7. Follow the same steps to attach the fabric to the back of the chair.

  8. Staple black or another dark, breathable fabric of choice to the bottom of the chair to conceal your webbing and springs.

Once you've completed each of these steps, your chair will be fully reupholstered, leaving you with a brand new look and feel in your dining room.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.