How to Re-Cover a Wing-Back Chair

Updated February 21, 2017

Wing-back chairs are timeless and traditional pieces of furniture. They can, however, be aged by out-of-date and tired-looking upholstery. Re-covering your wingback chair can offer a new updated look to your room, but having it done professionally can be expensive. Although re-covering your wingback chair sounds hard to do, it can be done with a minimum of challenges. There are steps you can take to re-cover a wingback chair and restore the timeless beauty it once had.

Remove existing fabric. Turn the chair over and remove the staples with a screwdriver. Pull the fabric straight up to remove it. Do not rip or tear the fabric because you will need it fully intact to make your new pattern.

Stretch the new upholstery fabric out on a flat table or the floor. Pin the new fabric pieces to the old, with their right sides approximated. Cut the pieces out, being as exact as possible.

Sew the front piece of the wing material to the front of the chair back piece with the right sides together. Repeat the same process with the back sides. Sew the back sides and front of the chair and wing pieces together. This creates a slipcover that you will put on the back of the chair. Put it on the chair, one wing at a time, straightening the seams and corners as you go along.

Turn the chair over. Pull the fabric tight and use your staple gun to tack the fabric down underneath the back side of your chair. Turn the chair right-side up again.

Sew the inside and outside of the chair arms together, with the right sides of the fabric together, and slip them onto each of the wingback chair's arms. Straighten the seams and corners. Turn the wingback chair upside down again and staple the upholstery fabric to the undersides of the chair.

Upholster the seat and cushion. Staple a piece of fabric to the bottom front of your chair, and tack it to the inside of the seat and the underside of the front of the chair. Sew the back and front of the cushion pieces together, approximating the right sides of the fabric together. Leave the back open. Insert the cushion, and sew it closed by hand. Position the cushion on the chair.


Use a fabric that is easy to manoeuvre, such as microfiber suede. This fabric has "give" to it, which makes it easier to stretch over the chair's structures.


Be careful when removing your upholstery staples as they are sharp. In addition, a staple gun can cause serious injury if you are not careful. In the event of a puncture wound or other accident, seek immediate medical attention.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Staple gun
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About the Author

Meadow Milano has been a registered nurse for over 20 years, with extensive experience in emergency nursing, labor and delivery and general medicine. She has written numerous articles for nursing publications pertaining to health and medicine, and enjoys teaching in the clinical setting.