Easy revamp – a chair pad reupholstered

upholster a seat pad workshop - dining chairThis sweet mid-century teak dining chair needed some TLC, specifically an upholstery revamp! Here’s how I did it.

I unscrewed the seat and stripped it back. I removed two layers of old upholstery fabric before finally getting to crumbling foam. All that’s in the bin, along with a trillion staples. I used little point-nose pliers to get the staples out. I have two upholstery staple removers, but old staples break easily. Pointy pliers with a flat edge work perfectly for me.

I replaced the foam (stuck down with water-based glue), added a layer of wadding (stapled and trimmed) and wrapped it with a fire-retardant barrier cloth (stapled and trimmed).

I used a lightweight stapler with long staples for this seat. It worked well, although I had to hammer a few in place.

The top fabric is from John Lewis’ sale in 2020; it’s a linen weave mix in olive green and cost £12.50 per metre. I adore this colour beside teak. At 140cm wide, you can usually recover two dining chairs from 1m.

Not finished yet! I’m going to stitch a platform cloth underneath – that’s the black cloth which hides all the staples. It’s also fire-retardant. I always stitch this, it takes a bit longer but so much neater. It looks more professional IMO. Of course, you can staple it. Nobody’s going to look.

I lightly cleaned the wood with a fine wire wool and warm water with a drop of soap (Ecover). It was dirtier than I thought! Once it was dry, I recoloured any scratches and, because the colour was looking pretty good, I went straight to wax. I could have oiled if the colour needed more depth.

And that’s it. It took me two-ish hours, and the job’s a good’un.

You can be guided through this process by Fiona Lambert in her next workshop, Introduction to Upholstery on Saturday 8 October, 11am-3pm. 



#upcycled furniture