Reupholster A Chair

And my Dining Room Table Saga Continues! (see here and here)

Back when I first converted my drafting table to a dining room table, I knew the table was slightly higher than a typical dining room table.  See, a standard dining room table is 30″ high but when I converted my drafting table, it sat at 32″ high.  I didn’t think 2 inches would make a huge difference so I ordered standard dining room table chairs.  Well, they felt a little too small but generally weren’t that bad.  But, I decided to keep an eye out for taller chairs.  And then I started to learn all the rules that determine a chair’s height…

A quick summary of dining room chair height rules: chairs typically sit 12 inches below the height of the table surface.  So a standard dining room table at 30 inches high would have chairs with a seat at 18 inches high.  Of course, kitchen bars then became popular; kitchen bars are typically 42 inches high so “bar height” chairs sit at 30 inches high.  But then the new trend is for the kitchen counter to extend and simply have seating at counter height.  Counter height is typically 36 inches high so counter height chairs are typically 24 inches high.

So back to my table.  Following the standard rule, my 32 inch tall table should have chairs with a 20 inch seat height.  Well, that is close to the standard table height and standard chair height but I already knew those chairs felt a little small at my table.  But “bar height” or “bistro height” chairs would be way too tall. So I started looking for used “counter height” chairs.  I ended up finding some that were a great price and a good look so I brought these home:

reupholster a dining table chair

From the photos I thought I would like the fabric on these chairs but when I saw them in person it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to put up with the fabric for long.  Although I liked the color, it was a weird texture- it felt almost like velcro?- and the solid color showed some small, old stains.  And since I loved the leather sofa I just added to my table (it’s SUPER easy to clean), I thought it might be nice to reupholster these chairs in a vinyl or leather of my choosing.

So I went to my local fabric store.  They didn’t have any leather, and I didn’t like the selection of vinyl, so I found myself in the “outdoor fabric” section.  This stuff is interesting since it is slightly water repellent, meant for furniture, and came in lots of bright colors and patterns.  So I found one I was happy with and this happened:

reupholster a dining table chair- before and after

This was a very simple and easy reupholster project and a great intro for me since I have no upholstery experience.   All it took was the fabric and my staple gun:

reupholster a dining table chair- before and after

First, I unscrewed the seat of the chair- 3 screws and that was it (the screws were in the middle of the seat structure- not the ones holding the chair leg):

reupholster a dining table chair- unattaching the cushion

Then I cut the fabric with enough to spare:

reupholster a dining table chair

Folded the fabric while I pulled it tight around the cushion:

reupholster a dining table chair

Stapled it in place:

reupholster a dining table chair

And repeated on all four sides:

reupholster a dining table chair

There was no real magic to the corners, just me fussing with it until I felt it looked good, then stapling it in place.  I screwed the seats back onto the chair and hooray!  I LOVE THESE CHAIRS!

Of course, the counter height chair is a little tall for my table so now I am debating whether I should cut down the chairs or not….