In 6 easy steps, DIY Diva and furniture maker Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries shares her top DIY tips on giving a beloved yet dated dining chair a well-deserved makeover with a show-stopping new fabric that takes entertaining from drab to fab!
Natasha’s top tips for simple upholstery
You will need:
- a heavy-weight fabric
- staple gun with staples no longer than the thickness of the base (usually 8-10mm)
1. Remove the upholstery
Use pliers to remove the tacks or staples, being careful not to damage the foam – if it’s in good condition, leave it attached and skip to step 4.
Tip: When removing the parts to be upholstered, keep the fasteners to re-attach later.
Under the original upholstery, you may find the bent plywood has a lovely form and is just as comfortable without re-doing, so simply sand and stain for a professional finish.
2. Seal raw timber
Sand any timber that will be left uncovered to remove splinters then stain or varnish with two coats and leave to dry.
3. Attach the foam
Cut a piece of upholstery foam the same size and shape as the base and staple into the side of the foam to attach it around the base.
4. Position the wadding
Centre the base face down, fold the wadding over to staple at the centre. Pull the wadding taught on the opposite side and staple, working around the base. Use scissors to trim the wadding about 10mm from the staples.
Tip: Always position the staple gun to sit flat on the surface to shoot.
5. Add the fabric
Centre the pattern on the seat, flip it over then fold the fabric over to staple. On the opposite side, pull the cloth tight to staple and continue from the centre of opposing sides, working around the base, pulling the fabric to remove creases.
Tip: Be prepared to remove the odd staple with a screwdriver and reposition the fabric to ensure the pattern remains straight.
6. Finish underneath
Use the scissors to trim the excess then cover with a piece of calico, folding the edges under to prevent fraying before stapling.
Tip: The feet of vintage chairs tend to wear out so replace them with new rubber tips to add a modern twist while protecting your floors.
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