How to Recover a Wingback Chair

Wingback chairs are a type of armchair with wings, or sides and back, that extend from the seat to the top of the chair. They have been used for centuries in homes and public spaces as comfortable seating options.

The process of recovering a wingback chair involves removing all fabric from the frame and replacing it with new material. This can be a daunting task for those who are not experienced in upholstery, but with the right tools and materials, it can be completed successfully.

How to Recover a Wingback Chair

Recovering a wingback chair can be a great way to give an old, worn-out piece of furniture new life. There are several advantages when it comes to recovering a wingback chair. One of the main advantages of recovering a wingback chair is that it can make an old, worn-out piece of furniture look brand new again. In this blog article, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to recover a wingback chair.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Recover a Wingback Chair

Step 1: Inspect Your Chair

Before you start recovering the chair, inspect it thoroughly to identify any damage and ensure it is still sturdy. Make any necessary repairs before reupholstering. Remove all of the upholstery from your wingback chair, including cushions, stuffing, batting, and fabric. Use a screwdriver and pliers to remove all the staples, nails, tacks, and other fasteners from the frame.

Remove All the Staples

Step 2: Measure the Frame

Measure the chair and record your measurements. Make sure you measure all of the pieces, including arms, sides, back, and seat. Take notes on any unique features that may affect how you cover your chairs, such as curved edges or a tufted back.

Step 3: Choose Your Fabric

Choose a fabric that is heavy enough to hold up under daily use. Upholstery-grade fabrics are ideal because they come in various textures and colors and are designed to be durable and attractive. Avoid lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen since these may wear out quickly.

Step 4: Cut the Fabric

Use your measurements to cut out the fabric. You will need four pieces for a wingback chair – two for the sides, one for the back, and one for the seat. Be sure to add extra fabric to account for seams and hems.

Step 5: Sew Your Fabric

Sew all four pieces of fabric, leaving an open seam on the backside. Ensure both sides are lined up correctly and the seams are even.

Step 6: Stuff and Attach

Stuff your fabric with batting or foam for added support. Secure the fabric in place using a staple gun, taking care to make sure you don’t pull the fabric too tightly. Once your chair is covered, add any additional decorative elements, such as trim or buttons, to give it a more finished look. Finally, slide the cushion back into place and enjoy your newly recovered wingback chair!

From these steps, you can learn how to recover a wingback chair and bring new life to an old piece of furniture. With the right materials and a little bit of patience, you can easily complete this task for any type of chair.

Pull the Fabric Too Tightly


Safety Precautions for How to Recover a Wingback Chair

  1. Wear protective clothing. When recovering a wingback chair, it’s important to wear protective clothing such as gloves and eye protection, as well as shoes that will protect your feet from sharp objects.
  2. Remove all fabric and padding from the wings of the chair. Begin by using a screwdriver to remove any screws that are holding the fabric and padding on the wingback chair.
  3. Mark the center of each wing with a marker or tape measure to ensure that you cut consistent pieces of new fabric for each side.
  4. Measure the wings, subtracting one inch from each measurement for seam allowances when cutting new fabric for reupholstering.
  5. Cut the foam or batting for the wings, leaving two to three inches extra so that it can be stretched over the structure of the wingback chair.
  6. Lay out the new fabric, then place foam and batting on top of it. Use a staple gun to attach them together along all four sides of each wing.
  7. Attach the newly upholstered wings to the chair’s frame with a screwdriver and screws, then pull the excess fabric taut and staple it along the edges.
  8. Secure buttons or tufting if desired, and vacuum away any dust or debris from the project when you’re finished.

Following these steps will give you the best results when recovering a wingback chair, and ensure that it looks great in your home or office.

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How Much Fabric is Needed to Recover a Wingback Chair? 

When recovering a wingback chair, it is important to plan ahead and ensure you have enough fabric. It is wise to use 2-3 yards of upholstery fabric when reupholstering a wingback chair. The amount of fabric needed may vary depending on the size of your chair and the type and thickness of the fabric you use.

For a larger wingback chair, it is beneficial to err on the side of caution and purchase more fabric than necessary. This extra material can be used for any repairs necessary and for creating any additional decorative elements, such as cording or fringes. It is important to also factor in any extra fabric needed for pattern matching when selecting a fabric.

Used for Any Repairs

How Should You Care for Your Newly Recovered Wingback Chair? 

Once your new upholstery is in place, you can care for the fabric and ensure that your wingback chair remains at its best. Here are some tips to help you keep it looking beautiful:

  • Vacuum regularly to remove debris and dust. If a spot needs extra attention, go over it with an upholstery attachment or brush.
  • Use a handheld steamer to remove wrinkles and smooth out the fabric quickly.
  • Spot clean any spills immediately with mild soap and water or a commercial upholstery cleaner. 
  • Protect the fabric by laying down a blanket, throwing it when not in use, or placing it away from direct sunlight. 
  • Avoid placing the chair near high-traffic areas or anywhere with a risk of staining.

Taking proper care of your newly recovered wingback chair can keep it looking and feeling like new for years to come. With regular maintenance, cleaning, and protection, you can ensure that your luxurious upholstery stays intact.

Do You Need Special Instructions for Recovering a Specific Type of Wingback Chair? 

Yes, there are special instructions for recovering a specific type of wingback chair. The most common types of wingback chairs include club chairs, slipper chairs, and armchairs.

For all these types of wingback chairs, you’ll need to carefully remove the existing upholstery to access the frame and cushioning. If you plan to reuse the existing upholstery, be sure to carefully remove all pieces without damaging them. Once the frame is exposed, use a screwdriver to disassemble it and separate the cushions from the frame.

The next step will depend on your type of wingback chair. You’ll need to use fabric glue or staples to attach new upholstery to the frame for club chairs. You’ll need to cut and stitch your chosen upholstery around the cushioning for slipper chairs. Finally, for armchairs, you’ll need to drape the upholstery over the frame and then secure it with fabric glue or staples.

How Much Will It Cost to Recover a Wingback Chair? 

The cost of reupholstering a wingback chair depends on the materials and labor involved and any repairs or modifications needed. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $500 for the job. 

The cost of recovering the chair may be higher if you choose to use higher-end fabrics, such as velvet or wool blends. On the other hand, you can cut costs by using synthetic fabrics or recycled materials. Another way to save money is to do the job yourself—however, if this is not an option, hiring a professional upholsterer will ensure that your wingback chair is well taken care of.

Well Taken Care of


One of the main disadvantages of recovering a wingback chair is that it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. It requires an understanding of upholstery techniques and possibly some sewing skills as well. 

Additionally, the materials for reupholstering a chair can be quite expensive since you will need to purchase fabrics, foam padding, and other supplies. If done incorrectly, it is possible that you could end up with an unsafe chair or cause damage to your furniture or yourself.

Recovering a wingback chair is a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. It can also be used as an opportunity to experiment with different fabrics and textures, creating something truly unique. 

The process requires time and effort, but the end result is well worth it. With patience and attention to detail, you can have your own beautiful recovered wingback chair that looks great in your home. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to recover a wingback chair. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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