Covering dining room chairs

Covering chairs can be a cheap and simple way of brightening up your room, matching your chairs to your colour scheme or to just give them a spruce up.

I have recently covered 4 dining room chairs following a room being decorated. The colour scheme changed to purple and the room had new curtains of which some material was left over. This was used to cover the chairs.

To cover chairs you will need
Staple gun
Staple remover

First step is to remove any existing material, staples and anything else that has been added to the chair. The aim here is to get back to the original cushion as this will reduce lumps and bumps when covering them with the new material. You can also check that the cushions are in good condition as you want the chair to be comfortable to sit on and any old, mouldy inserts may need replacing. The other factor is you never know what you may find if you were not the one to previously cover the chairs, you may uncover a beautiful seat that you wish to keep.

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You then need a flat surface to lay your material out on and place your seat cushion, top down on the material. The material needs to be wider than the cushion so it can reach round the edges and cover the bottom of the seat with a seam of approximately 4cm. Once you have checked the size cut the material – make sure you have the pattern/grain going the right way for your design or material.

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It is advisable to start from the front of the seat as this will allow you to ensure you start off with a smooth, straight edge and always start stapling from the centre – working out to each edge. This avoids you ended up with extra material in the centre of your cushion with nowhere to smooth it out to.

Pull your material tight and staple the middle, then place a few more staples in approximately 3cm apart. Then do the back of your cushion, pulling the material tight.

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Turn the cushion over and check you have a smooth finish on top. Any folds, bags or creases will need to be removed by stretching the material out and stapling it tight in place.

Staple each side into place, again pulling the material tight. You now have the material stapled in place. You will return at the end and put more staples in all the way along the material, however you need to do the corners first.

The corners can be the tricky part. Again, working from the front first fold the corners over and try to get the smoothest finish you can. Cut off any excess material making the corner fold extra bulky, fold the front piece first so if you do end up with any small creases they are on the side of the cushion. Use the staple gun to start fixing the corner in place, and once you are happy with it, add a few more staples to secure the fold. Repeat this on each corner.

Once all corners are done go around the seam adding staples to ensure a tight and secure finish. The last job is to take a hammer and knock the staples in slightly which will ensure a smooth finish.  This is best done with the seat placed on the floor.

Place the seat back on to the frame of the chair and secure in place.
Repeat on all chairs, then invite your friends round for tea so they can sit on them and admire your handy work!!

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We also treated the wooden chairs with a mixture of 50% teak oil and 50% white spirit.  Whilst wearing gloves use a cloth or brush to apply the mixture, then wipe off with a cloth to remove any excess and get rid of any drips.  Leave to dry.  This is best done outside or in a well ventilated room.

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