It’s very easy to revive an old dining chair with a lick of paint, but sometimes you need to do a bit of mending and renovating as well. This too is quite a simple job, once you know how. This step by step will show the how to repair your seat pad and renew the webbing.
You will need:
- Tack hammer – it’s usually best to buy the correct tools, but you can make do with an ordinary hammer.
- Staple gun
- Jute webbing
- Upholstery tacks – these can be bought at most good DIY shops
- Webbing stretcher – optional
- Calico or padded cotton
- Animal hair stuffing, if required – you may find the original piece is good enough
- Upholstery fabric
Remove the seat pad – this is usually done by turning the chair over and giving a sharp tap on the bottom. The seat pad should simply drop out.
Restoring a seat pad is a very simple process and you just have to think about it as creating a sandwich.
The easiest way to learn how to reupholster a piece of furniture is to simply take it apart to see how it is put together and then use the pieces as templates for your new cover. Never throw the pieces away until you’ve finished, just in case you need to refer to them.
Turn the pad upside and remove the first layer of tacks holding in the fabric cover and remove the fabric. Repeat until all fabric is removed. I say first layer because you’ll quite often find that the previous owner has just applied another cover over the top of the original cover. With this chair there were three different covers!
Turn the pad back over – right side up – and remove padding/wadding. If this is in a decent condition I’d simply reuse it. But if the chair’s very old or has become damp you may want to replace this. You’ll be left with a hessian cover.
Remove the tacks from the hessian covering and remove hessian. You’ll be left with the webbing. Again if the webbing is in good condition simply replace the hessian and recover it. However with old chairs the webbing usually starts to sag and give which makes the chair uncomfortable. So, you either need to tighten it up (if the webbing is in good condition) or replace.
To tighten the webbing just remove the tacks from one end and re stretch the webbing and attach with new tack.x
To replace the webbing – remove all the tacks and webbing itself.
Fold over the end of the new webbing and tack in position.
Stretch the webbing tightly across the seat frame and attach with tacks. It’s very important to make sure the webbing is really taught otherwise it will sag very quickly.
Allow about 3cm beyond the tacks and cut the webbing. Fold the webbing back over and attach with another tack.
Repeat this process until you have a line of webbing.
Turn the frame by 90˚ and repeat the process but you need to weave these pieces in and out of the original pieces.
Using the old piece as a template, cut a new piece of hessian.
Place the hessian over the webbing, fold in the raw edges and attach.
Replace the padding over the hessian
Using the old cover as a template cut out a piece of plain calico/padded cotton fabric.
Stretch this over the seat pad and attach underneath to create a neat finish.
Using the old cover as a template again – cut a piece of upholstery fabric to size.
Lay the fabric face down and position the seat pad face down on the fabric.
Fold in the edges and attach with either tacks or staples.
Turn the seat pad right side up and replace back into the chair… and sit down. Doesn’t it feel great?