The professionals at Home Fashion Upholstery visited the Home Furnishings ReStore last week to host a ReUpholster with ReStore event. Lead by interior consultant, Tom Cnossen, the team demonstrated how to give new life to some stained and outdated dining chairs by recovering them with new fabric. Here are a few pictures from the event and step-by-step instructions for reupholstering a dining seat.
Cnossen’s first tip is to choose the right fabric for the application. In this case, an outdoor fabric was chosen for the dining seats. He says that while indoor fabrics cannot be used on outdoor applications, many outdoor fabrics make great stain-resistant and durable options for frequently used furniture both inside and out. He cautions that you should do your own research before purchasing fabric and beware of salespeople who aren’t familiar with what they are selling. Finding a knowledgeable fabric salesperson can make all the difference in your newly covered furniture standing the test of time.
Once you’ve got your fabric, you’re ready to start! First you’ll need to carefully remove the seat from the frame with a screwdriver or drill.
Once the seat has been separated from the chair, you can remove the staples to release the old fabric from the base. You can accomplish this with a number of different tools, but Tom recommends a pair of pliers or dull wire cutters—just be careful not to use a new or newly sharpened pair of wire cutters, as you may cut through the staple rather than removing it. It may be tempting to cover over the existing fabric, but Cnossen warns against doing this. The old fabric can pucker and create a bumpy surface beneath the new fabric. In more severe cases, an old stain can transfer through to the new fabric if the cushion gets wet.
If the cushion has separated from the base, use spray glue to reattach it. Be sure to purchase spray glue that is specifically designed for use on foam. Once the foam is attached to the base, use the spray glue on the foam to attach the batting.
Wrap the batting around the foam and trim the excess material. Batting helps to create a smooth appearance under the new fabric and prevents slippage.
Once you have attached the batting to the seat, it’s time to recover it with your new fabric. Wrap the new fabric around the top of the seat and secure it with staples on the bottom. It’s important to staple the fabric evenly on all sides to avoid puckering or pulling. Start in the middle of one side with two or three staples and then do the same on the opposite side. Then repeat that process for the other two sides of the seat. Then you will go back to the side you began with and add a few staples to either side of the ones already there, then do the same for the opposite side—you’ll continue this process until you’ve nearly reached the corners of all four sides of the seat.
Cnossen tells the crowd, “Don’t get in a hurry!” If you’re limited on time, then wait and return to your project when you can devote plenty of time (and patience).
Once you reach the corners, fold and staple the fabric so the seams appears on the sides of the seat. In this photo the front of the cushion (if you were to be sitting in the seat) is facing up.
The final step of your upholstery project is to cover the exposed edges of the fabric on the bottom of the chair with a black fabric called “dust cover.” This will cover the frayed edges of the fabric and give the chair a clean, finished look when flipped upside down. Cnossen suggests that the underside of the chair should look just as good as the top. Measure the dust cover and cut it just inside the edges of the new fabric, then secure it to the chair with more staples.
Once the dust cover is secure, you can reattach the seat to the chair and admire your great work!
Big thanks to the dedicated professionals at Home Fashion Upholstery for hosting this event. We were able to offer this free event to our DIY (Do-It-Yourself) minded community members because Cnossen and his team volunteered their time to share their trade. If you have an upholstery project you’re not ready to take on yourself, make sure to call Tom and his friends at Home Fashion Upholstery or stop by their store at 5350-A Shirley Street, Naples, Florida 34109.
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