Before and after: Armchair makeover

Reupholstered chair

We fell in love with this velvet green chair as soon as we saw it!

It was one of our lucky finds on a recent op-shopping trip but unfortunately the seat cover was ripped and sagging and the chair needed a bit of TLC.

We decided to reupholster the chair in one of this season’s hottest colours — dusty navy blue.

Before armchair

[ingredients title=”Items you will need”]

  • Staple gun
  • Straps (we used pallet straps from Bunnings)
  • Foam
  • Wadding
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Stanley knife


[directions title=”Steps:”]

  1. Remove the seat and back pads by carefully removing the hardware — keep these safe as you will need them later.
  2. Remove the fabric covering the seat and back pads and the straps if damaged like ours.
  3. Remove cover

  4. Using a nail gun, secure new straps in place over the seat frame. It’s best to cut each strap length longer so you can staple it in place on the top and sides of the frame, preventing it from coming undone.
  5. Replace seat straps
    Leave a generous length of strap to prevent them from coming undone
  6. Glue new foam over the top of the seat straps and if the back pad needs new foam, replace this too.
  7. Replace foam on seat
    Cut thick foam to the size of your seat frame
  8. Cover the seat and back pads in wadding to create a smoother look and extra comfort.
  9. Cover in wadding
    Photographed from the underside, you can see how wadding has been firmly wrapped over the seat cover
  10. Cover the seat and back pads in your upholstery fabric. Be sure to face the good side up and if patterned, that the print is in the direction you want and straight. We find it easiest to cover the fabric by first putting one staple on the underside of each four sides of the pad. This allows you to create a smooth covering and to take your time folding and securing the corners.
  11. Cover seat in fabric
    Seat pad covered in upholstery fabric
  12. Lightly sand the wood frame and wash to remove all dust.
  13. Lightly sand chair
    Using fine sandpaper, lightly sand
  14. Apply a light coat of furniture oil and once dry, secure the seat and back pads on the chair.
  15. Apply clear furniture oil
    Apply clear furniture oil


Voila! Your seat is done! Check out our after photos below 🙂

Reupholstered chair

Reupholstered chair

Mid century chair makeover


– Select a chair that has good bones. Replacing the straps or foam isn’t an issue but if the structure of the chair is broken, it may not be possible to restore or it could end up costing you a lot more than you think.

– Always ensure the fabric is taught but don’t be too firm or you could end up creating pulls or a rippled effect.

What do you think of our armchair makeover? Tell us in the comments below!


    • Oh yes, do tag us so we can check them out!

      We nearly bought a set of 6 80s style wire and vinyl dining chairs the other week and are kind of kicking ourselves we didn’t… upcycling chairs can get pretty addictive, ha ha!


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