How to Reupholster an Office Chair? Refurbish & DIY Reupholstering

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Furniture can wear out over time, especially the fabric of the office chairs, and make it look old and dull. However, you can bring the chair back to its original form by reupholstering it with a piece of high-quality fabric. In other words, you won’t have to purchase a new chair, saving you money in the longer run. All you need are some tools and basic instructions to bring the office chair back to its original form.

You must be very careful when selecting fabric for reupholstering because not every material available in the market is suitable for it. In this article, we will not only guide you on how to reupholster an office chair but help you choose the right fabric. You can also hire professional experts to reupholster the chair, but it comes with a cost. Reupholster isn’t that difficult, and you can even do it at home without technical support.

How to Know Whether an Office Chair Requires Reupholster?

If your office chair is in perfect shape and only the fabric has worn out with time, then you don’t need to purchase a new one. All you have to do is replace the old material with a high-quality piece of fabric. Here are a few things that you must check before you get started with reupholstering.

  • Inspect the bottom of the frame and see if it consists of hardwood and a dry kiln. Moreover, make sure that base corners are connected perfectly and feature a robust construction.
  • Check the office chair whether it has eight-way hand-tied springs because these provide you ultimate comfort and support. Moreover, you must check the office chair for any non-repairable damage that you can’t fix.
  • In addition, the chair also shouldn’t be wobbly as it creates problems for you when you’re replacing the fabric.
  • Go for well-known brands when it comes to reupholstering so that it lasts for a long time.

Essential Tips for Selecting the Fabric

The reupholster fabrics are pretty expensive, so you must be very careful when you’re purchasing them. Make sure that you’re getting a high-quality one that you can work on without any trouble. The fabrics come in different weights as some are heavy and the others are lightweight depending upon their material. Heavy-weight fabrics are more suitable for beds, but the light-weight materials are for furniture like office chairs. When you’re buying a piece of cloth, make sure you check the Weisenbeck rating or the rubbing count.

The Weisenbeck rating represents the durability of the material, which is tested by a machine. When it’s placed inside the machine, the rubbing count is recorded before the fabric completely wears out. A high-quality material has a rubbing count of 30,000 and can last for a long time, saving you money in the longer run. You can also take it home, set it on the office chair, and see if it works out. Moreover, you don’t have to get the same fabric, and you can go for bold colors and fancy designs. In other words, you can be more creative when you’re reupholstering the office chair and making the office chair more comfortable.

Ideas of Reupholstering the Office Chairs

Besides replacing the fabric of the office chair, you can also make small changes and completely transform its look. For instance, welting is one way of defining the lines by taking advantage of the contrasting colors. Another way that you can do this is by using the mingled cord for contrast wilt. There are also other ways that allow you to enhance the aesthetics of your office chair.


  • Basic Hand Tools
  • Bread knife
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Stapler


  • High-Density Foam (1″ x 24″ x 24″)
  • Plywood (1/2″ to 3/4″ )
  • Landscape Fabric (24″ x 24″)
  • Quilt Batting (30″ x 30″)
  • Upholstery Fabric (30″ x 30″)
  • Upholstery Staples

Best Staplers for Reupholster an Office Chair

There are various types of staples available in the market that can help you with reupholstering. Although any stapler available in the market can work when you’re replacing the fabric of an office chair, each requires a different effort. For instance, some require more hard work while the others don’t need much effort. You must press the nose on the material and plywood when using a stapler.

  • Hand staplers require more hard work when you’re using them for reupholstering. Sometimes you have to make use of the hammer to drive it all the way. When you’re working with a hand stapler, place the nose more firmly on the base of the chair’s seat before you trigger it.
  • Another tool that you can use for reupholstering is an electric stapler that doesn’t require much effort. These can shoot ¾, including the short brad nails making them ideal for the job.
  • The pneumatic stapler is one of the most accurate tools that you can find in the market. It allows you to staple the fabric with phenomenal accuracy making it perfect for the job.

How to Reupholster an Office Chair?

Step 1 – Gathering the Materials

First of all, gather all the materials and tools that you require for reupholstering an office chair. You can get the fabric at an ordinary fabric store and the rest of the items from an appliance store. Along with this, get a landscape type of material for a dust cover so that you don’t have any trouble finding it.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Fabric

You can start reupholstering by removing the old fabric of the office chair. To remove it, you require a screwdriver and a cutter for disassembling the chair. Ensure that you don’t damage the fabric when removing it, as these pieces of cloth will serve as a blueprint for reupholstering. First, remove the black cover beneath the chair and loosen the fabric around the frame of the office chair.

Then mark the chair considering the pieces that you have removed with the help of a marking pen. You can do this by labeling the pieces on the outside, outside back, right side back, left side back, inside back, seat, and seat side using “t” for top and “f” for the front. Also, make sure that you keep the old pieces for using them as a reference for cutting new pieces.

Step 3 – Making a New Seat

If the office chair seat has worn out and is no longer in good shape, you can make a new one. You require plywood for a new seat and a cutter for cutting it precisely like the original one. Start by tracing the old seat and trim it using a jigsaw or circular saw for better results.

Step 4 – Cutting the Foam

After you have made a new seat, you must cut a piece of foam by tracing the outline of the chair’s seat. The foam should be one inch thick, and try to cut it without putting much pressure and short strokes to prevent tearing it apart. In addition to this, if the seat’s padding is in good shape, you can reuse it, but you can make a new one if it isn’t.

Step 5 – Replacing the Batting

After removing the fabric from the office, you can replace the batting, especially if it has worn out. Before you can renew the batting check the springs and the webbing for any damage and repair it. In addition, the frame of the chair can be fixed by sanding, priming, and painting.

Start by cutting the batting that’s ½ inches thick and make sure that it can cover the entire seat. You can hide the staple indents by pulling the batting that’s there around each staple within the batting. After this, you can place the batting on the seat and fold the corners neatly.

Step 6 – Making a Pattern

Making a pattern isn’t quite tricky, and you can easily do it by following simple instructions. You can make it by placing the wrong side of old pieces of the reupholstery on the wrong side of the new part of the fabric. Once you have laid down the two materials upon each other, you can cut the pattern leaving two or three extra inches of space. Please do the same for the rest of the pieces of the fabric and cut them out by tracing the markings.

Step 7 – Stapling the Edges

After cutting all the patterns for your office chair, start stapling them on the edges. First, you should initiate by the center and then staple the fabric on the chair seat and repeat the process until the pieces are attached in the right place.

Step 8 – Trim the Corners

Once you have stapled the fabric on the chair seat, you can trim the corners. After getting rid of the excess material, give it a neat look, and you won’t have to deal with unattractive lumps.

Step 9 – Wrapping the Corners

Finally, after getting rid of lumps, you have to tuck the center under the seat, then fold and tuck the fabric at each side. After you’re done creating butterfly corners then staple them to give a neat look. Also, remove all the additional material after covering the seat. Once you have completed reupholster, attach the dust cover.

Step 10 – Installing the Dust Covers

A dust cover protects the seat’s fabric by creating simple hospital corners, as these are more suitable than the butterfly corners. After placing the cover on the seat, you need to staple it from each side of the seat. At last, remove additional fabric from dust corners after reupholstering the chair. You can also check for methods for cleaning office chairs.

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