How to repad dining room chairs

Written by emily weller
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How to repad dining room chairs
Liven up worn dining room chairs with new seat pads. (Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Revitalise the chairs in your dining room set by replacing worn seat pads and fabric with new fabric and foam. Replacing the seat pads on a set of chairs costs considerably less than getting a new set or taking the chairs to an upholsterer's for new seats. You can accomplish the task within a day. The chairs will be ready to go for a dinner party that night.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Staple remover or pair of pliers
  • Safety goggles
  • 1/2-inch-thick plywood (optional)
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Jigsaw (optional)
  • Electric carving knife
  • 1-inch-thick foam
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery batting
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Staple gun and staples

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  1. 1

    Turn the chair upside down. Remove the current seat pad from the chair by unscrewing the pad from the frame of the chair. Set the screws aside; you'll need them to attach the new pad.

  2. 2

    Remove the staples from the old chair pad to take the fabric off. Use the staple remover or a pair of pliers to pry the staples free. Wear your goggles during this step, as the staples may go flying.

  3. 3

    Set the old chair base down on the piece of plywood, if you need to cut a new base. You may be able to use the old base if it isn't cracked or overly worn down. Trace around the old seat on the plywood. Use the jigsaw to cut out the shape of the chair seat.

  4. 4

    Trace the shape of the plywood seat onto the foam. Use the electric knife to cut out the foam, adding an inch to the seat's perimeter all around.

  5. 5

    Spray the adhesive on the back of the foam and attach it to the seat base. Fold the excess foam around the edges of the seat base.

  6. 6

    Drape the batting over the top of the seat base. Trim the batting so that you have 1/2 inch extra on all sides. Pull the batting tight against the foam and staple in the centre on one side. Make sure you put the staple on the underside of the chair. Staple in the centre on the other side, then staple all around the underside of the chair base. Space the staples about 2 inches apart.

  7. 7

    Cover the seat with the fabric. Trim the fabric so that it extends over the underside of the seat by about 1/2 inch. Staple in the centre on the sides, underneath the seat. Continue stapling all around the seat base, pulling the fabric as tight as you can. Space the staples about 2 inches apart.

  8. 8

    Reattach the seat pad to the chair. Place the upside-down chair on top of the base and place the screws back into position, tightening with the screwdriver.

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