How To Recover Dining Room Chairs Seats

How To Recover Dining Room Chairs Seats

Need a way to make your old, worn out dining chairs look new again? Here are some helpful tips for reviving old and dirty dining room chair seats.

In order to maintain the appearance of your antique dining room chairs, you will need to clean them up every now and then.

 This is a great way to preserve the value of the chairs for future generations, as well as make them more appealing for use. Follow these steps to restore your favorite pieces.

Old, Dirty Dining Room Chairs

Remove the old fabric. If you want to see what the chair would look like without a cover, consider removing it and set it aside. Once you have removed the old fabric, vacuum up any dust or dirt that has accumulated on the bottom of the chairs.

Rub off any excess glue residue. A great way to remove glue is with a putty knife and some water-based adhesive remover. This will remove all the old glue in one swipe and make sure your chairs are ready for their new coverings.

Use a soft bristle brush to gently remove any dirt that’s built up on the seat. Make sure to use a dry, non-abrasive brush so you don’t damage the fabric or the chair itself.

If you have an upholstered seat, vacuum it thoroughly with a hose attachment. You may want to use a hand vacuum cleaner or an upholstery attachment if you don’t have a hose attachment.

Place one or two paper towels over the fabric and using a white rag soaked in water, gently scrub outward from the center of the seat to create clean lines for your next step.

Dry off with another paper towel and let it air-dry before moving on to the next step, which is restoring color to your chair seats that have faded from age or improper care.

Soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and place them in plastic zipper storage bags, then insert them into each of the cracks in between bolts and screw holes on the seat where they meet up with screws and bolts. 

Let them sit overnight (or at least eight hours) so they can soak up some of that grime and dirt that has accumulated over time on your dining room chairs’ seats.

Dining Room Chair Seat Repair

  • Remove the chair seat from the chair. Place a towel under the seat to prevent any damage or stains on the floor.
  • If there are any dried food particles stuck to the seat, scrape them away with a putty knife.
  • Apply a liberal amount of leather conditioner to the surface of your chair’s seat and allow it to absorb into the material.
  • Buff off excess conditioner by hand with a dry towel, and then wipe up any remaining condition – this will prevent streaks or water spots on the seat.
  • Vacuum up any dirt from around the base of your chair and clean away any dust residue from hard-to-reach areas with a rubber brush.

How To Recover Dining Room Chairs Seats For Recover Dining Room Chairs Seats

The first step is to remove the fabric from the chairs. This is done by using a seam ripper to carefully and slowly snip away at the fabric so it can be pulled up with your fingers.

 To make things easier, you may want to place a towel or blanket underneath each seat during this process, as some of the material may fall off. Once the fabric is removed, use a small wire brush to scrub away any dirt that has accumulated on the surface of the chair.

Next, mix equal parts water and bleach in a bucket. Use a sponge or rag to wipe down all surfaces of your chair until they are completely clean. Do not forget to scrub inside those tough crevices where dirt and grime likes to gather.

Finally, allow your chairs to dry thoroughly before replacing their new upholstery. Be sure it is something that will be able to withstand repeated washing, such as vinyl or leather (to protect against spills!).

Attaching a new piece of fabric

If the fabric on your dining room chair is worn and torn, you can easily replace it with a new piece.

  • Measure your chair to get the right length for the fabric.
  • Decide on the width and cut it accordingly.
  • Pin the fabric to the back of the seat.
  • Sew along each side of the seat, leaving an opening for stuffing in padding or foam.
  • Stuff in some padding or foam then hand stitch shut.

Sewing The New Fabric To The Old Fabric For Recover Dining Room Chairs Seats

Work the new fabric underneath and around the seat of the chair. Once you have it all prepared, stitch it together with a needle and thread. Make sure to use a hidden stitch so that the stitches are not visible from the side. This will help to keep the new fabric in place and prevent any fraying.

Recovering With Upholstery Foam And Batting

The most common way to recover dining room chairs is with upholstery foam. You will need to cut a piece of the foam that is about ½ inch bigger than the chair seat on all sides.

 You can then use a staple gun or tacks to secure the batting and foam to the chair seat. Make sure you use a fabric or upholstery needle when sewing in order to keep your stitches as small as possible.


There’s nothing worse than having guests over and they sit down in a dirty chair. Don’t let your chairs get to that point. Take the few minutes it takes to clean them.

The next step is to repair and recover your chairs. This process can be done with upholstery foam and batting, or with a piece of fabric. Either way, you’ll have your seats looking like new in no time.