Is it Possible to Refurbish a Recliner Chair with New Upholstery?

A man reupholstering an armchair

Recliner chairs are cherished pieces of furniture in many households, offering unparalleled comfort and relaxation. However, over time, wear and tear can take a toll on the chair’s upholstery, leaving it stained, faded, or simply in need of a style update. That’s where recliner chair reupholstery comes into play – a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to breathe new life into your favourite seat. So in this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of recliner chair reupholstery, from deciding if it’s the right choice to the step-by-step process.

Is reupholstering your recliner chair a good idea?

Sentimental Value: If your recliner chair holds sentimental value or has a unique design that’s hard to replace, reupholstering is a great option to preserve its charm.
Quality Frame: Ensure the chair’s frame is in good condition. If the frame is damaged or weak, reupholstering may not be a viable solution.
Cost-Effective: Reupholstering can be more cost-effective than buying a new recliner chair of similar quality. Compare estimates for both options.
Eco-Friendly: Choosing reupholstery over buying new furniture is an eco-conscious choice, reducing waste and environmental impact.

To reupholster your recliner you'll need:

✅ Fabric: Choose a high-quality upholstery fabric that suits your style and comfort preferences.
✅ Foam or Padding: Replace worn-out or compressed foam or padding to ensure a comfortable seat.
✅ Sewing Machine and Thread: You’ll need a sewing machine if your project involves creating new cushion covers.
✅ Pliers: Essential for removing staples or tacks holding the old fabric.
✅ Staple Gun and Staples: Used to secure the new fabric in place.
✅ Scissors: Sharp scissors for cutting fabric and foam.
✅ Screwdriver or Allen Wrench: To remove any parts or components that might hinder the reupholstery process.
✅ Needle-Nose Pliers: Helpful for removing old staples and tacks.

Dismantle the Chair

Start by taking the chair apart carefully. Remove any cushions, pillows, or detachable components. Use your tools to take off the chair’s back, arms, and any other parts that obstruct access to the upholstery.

Remove Old Upholstery

Carefully remove the old fabric, taking care not to damage the foam or padding beneath.
Use pliers and needle-nose pliers to extract any staples, tacks, or fasteners holding the old fabric in place.
Take note of how the fabric was originally attached; this will serve as a reference during reupholstery.

Replace Padding and Foam

Inspect the chair’s padding and foam. If they are worn or damaged, replace them with new, high-quality materials.

Cut the New Fabric

Lay out your chosen upholstery fabric and use the old pieces as templates to cut new ones. Make sure to leave some extra fabric for stretching and securing.

Sew Cushion Covers (If Needed)

If your project involves creating new cushion covers, use your sewing machine to stitch them together according to the original design.

Attach the New Fabric

Starting from one end of the chair, use a staple gun to secure the new fabric in place. Pull it taut as you go to ensure a smooth finish. Continue stapling the fabric along the sides and back, working your way around the chair.
Pay special attention to corners and folds, ensuring they are neatly and securely stapled.

Reassemble the Chair

Once the new fabric is firmly attached, reassemble the chair by attaching any removed components and cushions. Tighten any screws or fasteners you removed earlier.

Trim Excess Fabric

Trim any excess fabric, making sure it looks neat and tidy.

Add Final Touches

Give your newly reupholstered recliner chair a final inspection. Make sure all components are securely in place, and the fabric is smooth and wrinkle-free.

✨ Tips for a Successful Reupholstery Project

Take your time: Reupholstering can be a time-consuming process, so be patient and meticulous. Don’t rush when removing old fabric or staples, as haste can lead to damage.
If you’re uncertain about any step, consider seeking advice from a professional upholsterer.
Take photos during disassembly to help you remember how the chair was put together.

Recliner chair reupholstery is a fantastic way to rejuvenate a beloved piece of furniture while minimizing waste and saving money. By following this step-by-step guide and considering the factors mentioned, you can successfully embark on a reupholstery project that breathes new life into your cherished recliner chair. Whether it’s a sentimental heirloom or your favourite spot for relaxation, a freshly upholstered recliner chair can offer many more years of comfort and style.

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