How Do I Repair and Fill an Antique Chaise Longue?

Updated April 17, 2017

A chaise longue (sometimes called a chaise longue) can add charm to any room. An antique chaise longue might need repair. You can improve the appearance of a worn-out piece by repairing damaged wood, and by replacing the fabric and inside filling, which is prone to mildew and insect infestation over time.

Put on plastic disposable gloves to protect from splinters. Spread tarp or old newspaper on the floor around the chaise longue. With the assistance of someone else, turn the chaise longue on its side, so that the wood legs and base are facing up.

Sand by hand with 220 grit sandpaper, if wood is delicate, or use an electric sander to sand wood in large sections where there are hairline cracks, splits or rough, discoloured spots. Sand in the direction of the grain. Remove wood dust with a tack cloth, or clean paint brush.

Glue lifted wood sections with wood glue, and press back down into place. Let dry. Fill in gouges or splits with wood filler. Let dry. Lightly sand with 150 grit sandpaper over the repairs, and remove wood dust with paint brush.

Stain wood with wood stain after sanding and repairs, with a similar colour to the original antique wood. Apply two coats of stain with a clean paint brush. Let the first coat dry before applying a second coat. If wood is blond or natural, use a clear coat of varnish to seal in the wood and protect it. Choose a water- and insect-proof varnish. Apply one coat with a clean paint brush, let dry and repeat.

Turn the chair right side up, once stain and varnish is dry. Remove the old upholstery with an upholstery scissor, beginning with cushions. Remove fabric on base and back. Use needle nose pliers to remove staples.

Purchase two to four yards of fabric in the pattern of your choice at a fabric supply store, and foam for cushioning. Unroll the fabric and pin onto chaise longue. Using upholstery scissors, cut the loose fabric on bottom and around sides, leaving a 4 inch seam. Beginning at the back, staple fabric to the chair with a staple gun into the wood frame. Pull the fabric up tightly as you go along, making sure it doesn't bunch, in sections. Bring over to the front chair, and continue stapling. Cut away any loose fabric and staple in place.

Place foam onto a separate yard of unrolled fabric, with the pattern side down. Cut around the foam cushion, leaving a 2 inch seem. Repeat step on a separate section of fabric. Sew all the edges, except for one. Use a sewing machine, and reinforce the edges as you go along sewing. Slip the foam cushion inside, and sew the remaining open edge tightly closed by hand. Place new cushion on chaise longue.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic disposable gloves
  • Tarp or old newspaper
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Electric sander
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint brushes
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Varnish
  • Upholstery scissor
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Two to four yards of upholstery fabric
  • Upholstery pins
  • Staple gun
  • Foam cushion
  • Sewing machine
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About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.