Reupholstering Dining Room Chair with Oilcloth – Eliza Rose Limited
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Reupholstering Dining Room Chair with Oilcloth

I have wanted to reupholster our dining room chairs for a long time. We have had them over 6 years, now with two little people the beige swede is not as lovely as it once was. The chairs were originally from IKEA the wooden frames are still in good condition so it seemed a waste just to get new ones. I decided to use oilcloth as it is wipe clean, it wouldn't matter if paint/food etc got on them, a quick wipe and looking as good as new!

I chose a sage green, spotty oilcloth (£12 a meter from John Lewis). This fits perfectly with our living room (green feature wall) and is a gorgeous colour!

Here are a couple of before photos



As you can see the fabric is quite stained and in need of updating. I browsed a view blogs, but to be honest I kind of just made it up as I went along and it turned out pretty good!

First step was to unscrew the seat cushion from the frame. In this instance there were just two screws underneath. I used a scalpel to remove the old fabric from the wooden back. Underneath this was a liner, foam and a wooden back. You need to keep all of these,


Then use the old fabric to work out how much new fabric you will need. I just laid out the old onto of the oilcloth, drew around it with an extra inch all around.


Cut this out. Now to attach the fabric, you will need a staple gun. I used a heavy duty one, made by Stanley (around £15-20) and used 8mm heavy duty staples. As I was using oilcloth I felt a light duty one would not be able to take this thickness of fabric.


Now, with the oilcloth on the bottom and the following layers, liner, foam, wood, stretch the oilcloth over and staple it to the wood. I found it easiest to put a staple on each side before starting the corners.


It was difficult to get nice corners, some people use a hair dryer to make the oilcloth more pliable but I didn't find this an issue. It was just a case of pulling tight and stapling into place, trying to keep folds to a minimum to keep clean edges. I then just stapled around the fabric, just to make sure it wasn't going anywhere! (I had to go outside to do this as it got quite noisy in the house!)


Finally it was just a case of screwing the seat cushion back into the frame and voila! A beautifully covered seat!




I have done the rest of the chairs, Rhys has even tested one out! So if you have some old chairs, reupholster them!

Simone Xx


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