How to Recover Vinyl Kitchen Chairs

Updated February 09, 2018

Recovering your vinyl kitchen chairs is a cost-effective approach to improving the appearance of your kitchen. The seats and backs of kitchen chairs tend to look worn after years of continual use, while chair frames remain sturdy. Vinyl seats and backs can be replaced with a new layer of vinyl or fabric, depending on your preference. Refurbishing your kitchen chairs requires only a few common household tools and can be accomplished in a single afternoon.

Unscrew the vinyl-covered seat and back from the chair frame using a screwdriver or a drill with a screwdriver bit. Place the screws in a reclosable bag and label the bag "A." Make similar bags for the remaining chairs, using the next letter of the alphabet.

Place the seat and chair back on the floor and remove the screws holding the vinyl in place. If tacks have been used instead of screws, use the claw end of a hammer to pry off the tacks. Pull the vinyl from the chair parts and discard it.

Put the seat and chair back on top of a length of new fabric or vinyl. Use chalk or a pencil to trace the outline of the seat and back, adding several inches to allow for attaching the fabric to the reverse side of the seat. Cut the fabric or vinyl using the lines you traced.

Replace the foam cushions if they are worn or damaged. Use the old foam cushion as a template when you cut the new cushion. Add a layer of cotton batting to the new foam pad for extra cushioning. Both foam cushions and cotton batting can be found at fabric or crafts stores.

Place the seat on the new material or vinyl with the foam side facing down. Wrap the fabric around the seat and staple it in place. Use a staple gun to place one staple in each side initially, making sure that the fabric is stretched taut. Repeat the process with the chair back.

Fold the fabric at the corners before stapling for a tight fit. Add additional staples approximately every 2 inches around the perimeter when you are satisfied with the fit. Avoid covering the screw holes needed to attach the seat or back to the chair frame.

Place the seat and back on the kitchen chair frame and reattach them using the screws you placed in the reclosable bag.


If you recover your chairs with vinyl, you may notice a noise as air escapes when you sit or put pressure on the vinyl. To avoid this, omit one or two of the staples when fastening the vinyl to the chair seat or back. Omitting these staples allows room for trapped air to escape from underneath the vinyl.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit
  • Reclosable plastic bag
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Fabric or vinyl
  • Foam cushions
  • Cotton batting
  • Staple gun
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About the Author

Working at a humane society allowed Jill Leviticus to combine her business management experience with her love of animals. Leviticus has a journalism degree from Lock Haven University, has written for Nonprofit Management Report, Volunteer Management Report and Healthy Pet, and has worked in the healthcare field.