How to Turn Wood Chairs Into Upholstered Chairs

Do you want to give your furniture an upgrade? Have you been looking for a new way to transform the look of your room? Chairs are some of the most used and treasured pieces of furniture, so why not spruce up those plain old wooden chairs with something special – upholstered cushioning?

How to Turn Wood Chairs Into Upholstered Chairs

Here, we will provide step-by-step instructions about how to turn wood chairs into upholstered chairs. With just a few supplies, like fabric, foam padding, and buttons, you can turn any chair from basic boring to beautiful plush in no time at all.

If you’re looking to spruce up your home decor without breaking the bank, consider taking on an easy DIY project – upholstering a wooden chair! With just a few basic supplies and some simple techniques, you can transform any old wooden chair into something stylish and modern.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the step-by-step process of turning wood chairs into beautiful upholstered seating options with minimal effort. Read on to learn how to get started!

Why Do You Need to Turn Wood Chairs Into Upholstered Chairs?

There are many reasons why someone might decide to turn a wooden chair into an upholstered one. Such as:

1. Add Texture

One of the main reasons for turning a wood chair into an upholstered one is to add texture to the room. Upholstered chairs provide an extra layer of visual interest and comfort in any space, while wooden chairs sometimes feel too rigid.

2. Comfort

Another reason for reupholstering your wooden chair is for comfort. Adding softer fabric like velvet or cotton is a great way to make the seat more comfortable for extended periods of sitting, such as when working from home.

3. Style Refresh

Determine the Size of Your Wood Chair

Finally, reupholstering an old wooden chair allows you to refresh its style and give it a brand-new look! Whether you are looking to add a bold pattern, subtle texture, or some other unique design element, reupholstering your chair is a great way to update it.

Now that you know why you might want to turn wood chairs into upholstered ones, let’s look at how you can do it!

How to Turn Wood Chairs Into Upholstered Chairs in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Measure the Chair to Determine

The very first step is to determine the size and shape of your wood chair. Measure the height, width, depth of the seat, and total height of the chair. You should also measure any arms or other features that may be present on the chair.

Step 2: Choose Your Upholstery Fabric

Once you’ve determined how big your chair is, you’ll need to figure out what type of fabric you would like for your upholstered chair. Consider the style of your room and select a fabric that will complement other pieces in the room as well as any adjoining rooms.

Step 3: Cut Your Fabric

Once you have chosen your fabric, use the measurements you took of your chair to determine how much fabric you will need. Cut a piece of fabric that is slightly larger than the area you wish to cover so there is plenty of excess for stapling and tucking.

Step 4: Attach the Fabric to the Chair

Lay your fabric over the seat of the chair, the wrong side up. Starting at the center of the seat and working from the center out, staple fabric to the backside of your chair using an upholstery stapler. Make sure the fabric is tight and secure before moving on to the next area.

Choose the Fabric for Upholstery

Step 5: Create a Boxed Cushion for Comfort & Support

To give your chair extra comfort, create a boxed cushion to attach to the seat. Start by measuring the dimensions of the seat and cut out four pieces of foam that match those dimensions. Then use upholstery glue to attach the four pieces together and cover them with batting before attaching them to the underside of your fabric-covered chair seat.

Step 6: Secure Ties and Trim as Needed

Add ties or trim to the arms, legs, and bottom of the chair to give your upholstered chair a more polished look. To attach the ties or trim, use upholstery glue and secure it in place with staples.

Once you have followed all of these steps, your wood chair will be transformed into a stylish upholstered chair. Enjoy the comfort of your new seat and admire how it enhances the look of your room!

Some Additional Tips to Turn Wood Chairs Into Upholstered Chairs

1. Do Not Overstuff the Cushion

Overstuffing is a common mistake made when turning wood chairs into upholstered furniture. The extra material can cause undue strain on the chair frame, potentially affecting its stability and creating an uneven finish.

2. Choose Quality Material

Cut the Fabric for Upholstery Chair

When choosing a fabric for your new upholstery project, make sure to use quality material that will wear well over time. Achieving a good finish requires the use of fabric with a tight weave and strong threads, so do not skimp on quality just to save money.

3. Keep It Simple

When upholstering wood chairs, try to keep the design as simple as possible in order to maximize the effect of the fabric. Avoid complex patterns or designs as these can overpower the chair and make it difficult to appreciate any details you have added.

4. Be Careful When Nailing

When nailing upholstery material to the frame of a wood chair, be careful not to drive nails in too far. Doing so could damage the wood, resulting in a poor finish and an unsafe chair. Furthermore, ensure that all nails are hammered securely so they do not come loose over time.

5. Sand Smooth

Lastly, sanding the finished project is essential for achieving a smooth surface that will look both attractive and professional. Use fine-grit sandpaper to carefully even out rough edges and remove excess glue or fabric. This will ensure a polished finish that shows off the beauty of your upholstered wood chair.

Turning wood chairs into upholstered furniture is not an overly difficult task, but it requires some attention to detail. Taking the time to properly prepare and carry out each step can help ensure a successful project and provide you with a great-looking piece of upholstered furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Fabric Do I Need to Reupholster a Wood Chair?

Secure Ties to Your Upholstered Chair

The amount of fabric you will need depends on the size and shape of your chair. For most standard-sized chairs, you should plan to purchase approximately 4-5 yards of fabric. Additionally, if you’re using an unusual pattern or texture, purchasing an extra yard or two is best to be safe.

Do I Need Professional Upholstery Tools?

The tools you will need depend on the complexity of your chair. If it has a lot of curves and details, you may want to invest in professional upholstery tools like specialized scissors, fabric glue, and webbing stretchers. However, if the chair is fairly straightforward, you can get away with just a few basic tools like a staple gun, scissors, and needle and thread.

What Type of Fabric Is Best for Upholstering Chairs?

The best type of fabric to use depends on your personal preference and the look you’re going for. Some popular upholstery fabrics include leather, velvet, linen, and cotton. It’s also important to consider fabric weight when selecting your fabric – lighter fabrics may look good but won’t be as durable as heavier fabrics like wool or canvas.

How Do I Attach the Fabric to My Chair?

The process for attaching the fabric to your chair will depend on the type of chair and the method you are using. If you’re using a staple gun, start by cutting pieces of fabric slightly larger than the surface area of each part of the chair. Next, apply a thin layer of glue to the wood and smooth it into place with your hands.

Finally, use the staple gun to secure the fabric at each corner. If you’re using a needle and thread, baste the pieces of fabric together before attaching them to the chair with your needle and thread. 

How Can I Protect My Upholstered Chair From Wear and Tear?

Regular vacuuming or brushing of your upholstery will help keep it looking its best. Additionally, applying a fabric protection spray can help protect against dirt, debris, and spills. Finally, avoid placing anything hot directly on the chair to prevent fabric damage.


By following these simple steps, you can easily transform any wood chair into an upholstered one. Not only will this add comfort to your seating, but it can also give your home a whole new look. With so many fabric options available, the possibilities are endless. So get creative and start reupholstering your chairs today!

We hope this guide on how to turn wood chairs into upholstered chairs has been helpful. With a bit of patience and careful planning, you can create an attractive upholstered piece of furniture that will last for years to come. Best of luck with your project – and don’t forget to have fun!

Photo of author

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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