Vinyl chair gets a makeover

This dated vinyl armchair gets a makeover and a brand new lease on life. Find out how to upholster your own club chair.


This vinyl chair used to be a comfortable place to sit, but with its cracked and peeling seat cushion, it's definitely time for a makeover. Peg at reupholstered the vinyl chair in a trendy upholstery fabric to give it a new life.





You're going to need a few tools and accessories such as a nail / staple remover (or substitute with a small flathead screwdriver and a pair of needle-nose pliers), heavy-duty stapler, upholstery tack strips in soft steel or cardboard, welting, and possibly upholstery strips if you want to add detail.


1. The first step was to disassemble the chair. To do this, tip the chair upside down and remove any fabric on the base to gain access to the inside workings. This is where you will see the fastenings that secure the various sections of the chair together.

GOOD TO KNOW: You may be quite shocked to find out how furniture is assembled. In some cases a few long nails are hammered in to hold everything together. Depending on the quality you should encounter screws or nuts and bolts.

2. Remove the arms from the chair, making sure not to damage too much. You want to use the vinyl from the chair arm as a pattern.

3. After removing the chair arm you want to try and remove the vinyl to have a pattern to work with for cutting new fabric. Be as careful as you can to avoid damaging the vinyl that covers the chair. Use a combination of screwdriver-pliers to lift up staples and pry them out.

4. Remove all the vinyl covering and then asses if any other parts of the chair need to be removed and replaced. Sometimes, the straps at the back, or on the seat, may need to be replaced, and this is easy enough once you are down to the bare frame.

5. Use the vinyl removed to cut new fabric to upholster the chair sections. On this particular chair welting was added to the arms, back and seat cushion.


GOOD TO KNOW: Always double check that the pattern direction is correct when sewing up the chair arms, cushions and any other sections. This is particularly important on the arms, where there are fronts, tops and sides.

6. A piece of high-density foam was bought to replace the missing seat cushion, and this was covered with a thin layer of batting. You can also add batting to areas on the chair where the padding has failed.

7. Before re-assembling the chair, wrap and staple fabric onto the seat base and back. After that you can start to re-assemble the chair with the individual pieces now covered in a new fabric.

GOOD TO KNOW: To cover the chair back you can use fabric held down with tack strips, or add decorative upholstery strips around the back panel. Most larger fabric stores stock upholstery strips in chrome, black or antique finish.


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