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How to Replace the Armrest Pad on an Office Chair

Updated November 21, 2016

An office chair may make or break your work experience. If it is uncomfortable because of poor arm support, give it new life by replacing the armrest pad. Reupholstering is an easy and affordable way to help you better coordinate your chair with the office design scheme. You do not need any sewing skills or experience to do this project.

Remove the armrest pad from the arm of the chair. It is often attached with screws underneath or on the side of the chair's arms. Reserve the screws so you can reattach the armrest pad later.

Remove fabric from the armrest by prying off the staples or using a razor to cut away the glued-on fabric. Pull away the existing armrest pad if possible to use as a pattern. If you can't reserve the armrest pad, trace a pattern onto paper and cut around the pattern onto a piece of upholstery foam.

Replace the armrest pad and glue it in place with spray adhesive. Cover the foam with an even layer of cotton batting. This adds height and width to the armrest, as well as add comfort and a smoother shape.

Position the armrest upside-down over a piece of fabric. The fabric should be lying with the print side facing down. Trace around the armrest pad. Add two to three inches around all sides of the armrest. Cut the fabric to size.

Attach a layer of spray adhesive to the armrest pad and place the pad over the fabric. Pull the fabric taut over the underside of the armrest pad. Smooth over the fabric to remove any air bubbles. If possible, staple the fabric in place on the underside of the armrest pad. Let the adhesive dry for at least one hour.

Attach the newly reupholstered armrest pad to the chair with the reserved screws.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Razor
  • Paper
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery foam
  • Cotton batting (optional)
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
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About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.