how to reupholster a recliner chair

Reupholstering a recliner chair is not as intimidating as it may seem. With the right preparation, materials and guidance you can be confident that your beloved furniture will look brand new in no time. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step of reupholstering your recliner chair – from preparing the piece to attaching fabric – so you can feel like an expert upholster by the end. So grab your tools and get ready for a fun project: let’s learn how to reupholster a recliner chair together.

Table of Contents:

Preparing the Chair

Before you start reupholstering a chair, it’s important to prepare the frame. Start by removing any old fabric and staples from the chair using pliers or a staple remover. Once all of the fabric is removed, give the frame a good cleaning with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt that may have accumulated over time. If there are any rough edges on your chair frame, use sandpaper to smooth them out before continuing. This will help ensure that your new upholstery looks neat and professional when finished. Finally, make sure all surfaces are dry before moving on to choosing fabric for your project.

Once the chair is prepared, you can start selecting a fabric that will bring your recliner back to life and make it look brand new.

Choosing Fabric

When it comes to reupholstering a recliner chair, the fabric you choose is just as important as the style of chair. It’s essential to pick something that will look great and last for years. Here are some tips on how to select the perfect fabric:


Choose a colour that complements your existing furniture and décor. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something bolder like bright red or electric blue.


Look for fabrics with interesting textures such as velvet, corduroy, or faux fur. These materials can add an extra layer of comfort and visual interest to your space.


Make sure you pick a material that is durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear from kids and pets. Natural fibres such as cotton or linen are usually good choices in this regard.


Don’t forget about budget when selecting fabric – there are plenty of affordable options out there if you shop around. Consider buying remnants from online stores or visiting local thrift shops for unique finds at discounted prices.

Choosing the right fabric for your recliner chair is essential to creating a comfortable and stylish piece of furniture. Now that you have chosen the perfect material, it’s time to move on to measuring and cutting it.

Measuring and Cutting

Before you can begin to attach the fabric to your recliner chair, you must first measure and cut it. This is an important step in ensuring that the fabric fits perfectly on your chair.

an old single couch

Start by measuring the length of each side of the seat cushion from one corner to another. Make sure to account for any curves or angles as well as any arms or other protrusions. Once you have measured all sides, add a few extra inches for seams and hems. Write down these measurements so that they are easy to reference when cutting out your fabric pieces later on.

Next, lay out your chosen fabric flat on a large surface such as a table or floor and use chalk or tailor’s tape (or both) to mark off where each piece should be cut according to the measurements taken earlier. If multiple pieces are needed for different parts of the chair, make sure they are labelled accordingly with their respective measurements before cutting them out separately with scissors or a rotary cutter if available.

Finally, check over all of your cuts once more before beginning assembly just in case there were any mistakes made during this process – better safe than sorry. With careful measuring and precise cutting techniques, you can ensure that every piece of fabric will fit snugly onto its designated area without having too much excess material hanging off anywhere else which could cause bunching up when sitting in the finished product later on.

Measuring and cutting your fabric correctly is essential for a successful reupholstering project. Now that you have the measurements and cuts ready, it’s time to attach the fabric to the chair.

Key Takeaway: Accurate measurements and precise cutting are key when reupholstering a recliner chair. Measure each side of the seat cushion, add extra for seams and hems, then mark off where each piece should be cut with chalk or tailor’s tape. Check over all cuts before beginning assembly to avoid mistakes.

Attaching Fabric

a relaxing sofa

When it comes to attaching fabric to a recliner chair, the process is fairly straightforward. The first step is to measure and cut the fabric so that it fits perfectly over the frame of the chair. Make sure you leave enough extra material on each side for tucking and folding into place. Once you have your fabric ready, begin by stapling one corner of the material onto the frame of the chair. Be sure to pull tight as you staple in order to avoid any wrinkles or gaps in your finished product.

Continue this process around all four corners until they are securely fastened with staples or other fasteners like nails or screws. As you work your way around, make sure that there is no excess material bunching up at any point – use scissors if necessary to trim away any unnecessary bits before securing them down with staples or other fasteners. Finally, fold over any edges that may be sticking out and secure them down with more staples or fasteners for a neat finish.

If done correctly, this should result in an even surface without any visible bumps or creases when viewed from different angles – perfect for creating a comfortable seating experience. Remember to take your time when measuring and cutting; don’t rush through stapling and make sure everything looks neat before moving on.

FAQs in Relation to How to Reupholster a Recliner Chair

Is it possible to reupholster a recliner?

Yes, it is possible to reupholster a recliner. The process involves removing the existing fabric and replacing it with new material. It can be done either by hand or with an upholstery machine. Depending on the type of recliner, you may need to disassemble some parts before starting the project. If you are unsure how to do this yourself, there are professionals who specialise in furniture upholstery that can help you out. With the right tools and materials, you can give your recliner a fresh new look.

How much does it cost to reupholster a recliner chair?

The cost of reupholstering a recliner chair can vary depending on the size, fabric and complexity of the job. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay anywhere from £50-£200 for basic upholstery work. If more complex or intricate details are required, such as tufting or piping, then this could increase the cost significantly. It is important to get quotes from different upholsterers before making a decision in order to ensure that you are getting value for money.

How much fabric do I need to reupholster a recliner chair?

To reupholster a recliner chair, you will need approximately 3 yards of fabric. Measure the length and width of the chair to determine how much fabric is needed for each side. You may also need extra material for welting or piping if desired. If your recliner has arms, add an additional yard of fabric to account for them. Finally, consider adding 1/2 yard more than what you initially calculated in case there are any mistakes during upholstery work. With these measurements in mind, you should have enough fabric to successfully reupholster your recliner chair.

Can you reupholster a chair without taking it apart?

Yes, it is possible to reupholster a chair without taking it apart. This can be done by using an upholstery staple gun and cutting the fabric around the edges of the chair frame. It’s important to ensure that you have enough fabric to cover all areas of the chair before starting this process. Additionally, if you’re not comfortable with using a staple gun, there are other methods, such as using glue or tacks which may work better for certain fabrics. Ultimately, whichever method you choose should depend on your skill level and comfortability with each option.


With the right tools and materials, you can give your old recliner a new look in no time. From preparing the chair to attaching the fabric, following these steps will help you reupholster your recliner chair with ease. Now that you know how to reupholster a recliner chair, why not get started on giving your furniture an updated look?

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