How To Reupholster A Recliner: StepbyStep DIY Guide

Have you ever looked at your worn-out recliner chair and wished you could give it a fresh new look? Reupholstering a recliner might just be the answer you’re looking for!

Not only is it a cost-effective option, but it also allows you to add your personal touch to your beloved piece of furniture. In this guide, we’ll take you through each step of the process and provide you with useful tips to ensure a successful transformation.

From the essential tools you’ll need to handy tricks like taking reference photos, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your scissors and staple gun, and let’s dive into the world of recliner reupholstering!

How To Reupholster A Recliner

To reupholster a recliner, you will need a few tools such as scissors, a staple gun, a glue gun, and a measuring tape. Start by removing the main pieces of the recliner and taking off the old material.

Make correct patterns for the new fabric and cut out the fabric pieces, ensuring to add extra inches for seaming and tucking. Before placing the fabric on the chair, iron it to remove any wrinkles and secure it with straight pins.

Next, staple the fabric tightly to the frame, using a hot glue gun for areas that cannot be stapled. Sew the buttons onto the chair using a covered button kit.

After reupholstering, it’s important to maintain the recliner properly. For leather recliners, clean and condition them regularly.

For fabric recliners, blot away stains with gentle soap and water. Reupholstering a recliner is a cost-effective option that extends its lifespan and allows for design customization.

Key Points:

  • Gather necessary tools:
  • scissors
  • staple gun
  • glue gun
  • measuring tape
  • Remove main pieces of recliner and strip off old material
  • Create pattern and cut out fabric pieces, adding extra inches for seaming and tucking
  • Iron fabric to remove wrinkles and secure with straight pins before placing on chair
  • Staple fabric tightly to frame, using hot glue gun for difficult areas
  • Maintain recliner by cleaning and conditioning leather or blotting away stains on fabric


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💡 Pro Tips:

1. Make sure to properly clean and condition leather recliners after reupholstering to maintain their appearance and durability.
2. When reupholstering a fabric recliner, blot away any stains or spills with a gentle soap and water solution to prevent them from setting in.
3. Before starting the reupholstering process, take detailed photos of the recliner from different angles. These will serve as a useful reference when putting everything back together.
4. To ensure better alignment and a more professional look, consider using larger patterns for your new fabric that will cover each section of the recliner.
5. For added stability, consider adding batting between the old stuffing and the new fabric during the reupholstering process. This will help ensure a comfortable and long-lasting result.

Tools Needed For Reupholstering

Reupholstering a recliner chair is a cost-effective option that can breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. Before you get started, make sure you have the necessary tools on hand:

  • Scissors: A good pair of scissors is essential for cutting fabric and removing the old material from the recliner. – Staple gun: This tool is used to attach the new fabric to the recliner’s frame securely.

  • Glue gun: A glue gun is handy for areas that cannot be stapled, such as corners or tight spaces. – Measuring tape: Accurate measurements are crucial when cutting the fabric pieces to ensure a proper fit.

  • Straight pins: These are used to temporarily hold the fabric in place before stapling. – Iron: Before placing the fabric on the chair, it’s essential to iron out any wrinkles or creases.

  • Needle and thread: You will need these for sewing on buttons or making minor repairs. – Batting or foam: This material is used to add stability and cushioning to the recliner.

Useful Tips For Reupholstering

Reupholstering a recliner can be a challenging task, but with some helpful tips, you can achieve professional-looking results. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure enough fabric: When purchasing fabric, make sure to calculate the amount you need based on the size of your recliner. It’s always better to have a little extra fabric rather than running out in the middle of the project.

  • Add extra inches for seaming and tucking: When cutting out the fabric pieces, add a few extra inches to allow for seaming and tucking. This will ensure a neat and finished look.

  • Take photos for reference: Before taking apart the recliner, take detailed photos of the original upholstery. These images will serve as a handy reference when putting everything back together.

  • Use larger patterns for better alignment: If your fabric has a pattern, opt for larger patterns that are easier to align. This will help camouflage any imperfections or inconsistencies in the fabric placement.

  • Add batting for stability: If your recliner’s padding is worn out, add batting or foam beneath the new fabric to restore stability and comfort.

Step-By-Step Guide For Reupholstering

Now that you have your tools and tips ready, here is a step-by-step guide to reupholstering your recliner:

  1. Remove the main pieces of the recliner: Start by taking apart the recliner, removing the seat, backrest, and armrests.

  2. Take off the old material: Carefully remove the old upholstery.

Use scissors or a seam ripper to carefully cut or unpick the stitches. 3.

Make correct patterns for new fabric: Lay the old upholstery pieces flat on a large piece of paper and trace around them to create patterns for the new fabric. 4.

Cut out the fabric pieces: Use the patterns you created to cut out the new fabric pieces. Ensure that you have enough fabric for each piece, leaving some extra for seaming and tucking.

  1. Iron before placing on the chair: Before attaching the fabric to the recliner, iron it to remove any wrinkles or creases.

  2. Secure with straight pins: Start by pinning the fabric pieces in place, ensuring they are aligned correctly and fit snugly on the recliner.

  3. Staple fabric tightly to the frame: Using a staple gun, staple the fabric to the recliner’s frame, starting from the center and working your way out.

Pull the fabric tightly as you go to ensure a smooth and wrinkle-free finish. 8.

Use a hot glue gun for areas that can’t be stapled: In areas where a staple gun cannot be used, such as corners or tight spaces, use a hot glue gun to secure the fabric in place. 9.

Use a covered button kit for a professional finish: If your recliner has buttons on the backrest or seat, use a covered button kit to sew buttons onto the fabric pieces for an added touch of professionalism and elegance. 10.

Reassemble the recliner: Once all the fabric pieces are securely attached, reassemble the recliner by putting the main pieces back in place. 11.

Trim any excess fabric: Carefully trim any excess fabric, ensuring that everything looks neat and tidy.

Using A Covered Button Kit For A Professional Finish

If your recliner has buttons on the backrest or seat, you can use a covered button kit to create a professional-looking finish. Here’s how to use a covered button kit:

  1. Cut a circle of fabric: Using the provided template from the button kit, cut a circle of fabric slightly larger than the button.

  2. Place the fabric over the button mold: Center the fabric circle over the button mold, ensuring that it covers the button completely.

  3. Press the button into the mold: Firmly press the button into the mold, making sure the fabric is tucked neatly inside.

  4. Secure the back of the button: Attach the back of the button to the fabric-covered button by following the instructions provided with the kit.

This step may involve snapping or sewing the back into place. 5.

Sew the button onto the fabric piece: Use a needle and thread to sew the button securely onto the fabric piece of the recliner.

Tips For Maintaining A Recliner After Reupholstering

After reupholstering your recliner, it’s important to maintain it properly to ensure its longevity and appearance. Here are some tips for maintaining your recliner:

  • Clean and condition leather recliners: For leather recliners, regularly clean and condition the leather to keep it supple and prevent cracking. Use a leather cleaner and conditioner recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Blot away stains on fabric recliners: If your recliner is upholstered in fabric, blot away any stains immediately using a gentle soap and water solution. Avoid rubbing the stain as it may set it deeper into the fabric.

  • Vacuum regularly: Keep your recliner free from dust and debris by vacuuming it regularly, paying attention to crevices and seams. – Rotate cushions: If your recliner has removable cushions, rotate them periodically to distribute the wear evenly and prolong their lifespan.

Benefits Of Reupholstering A Recliner

Reupholstering a recliner offers several benefits beyond just cost-effectiveness. Here are some advantages of reupholstering a recliner:

  • Extends the lifespan: By replacing worn-out fabric or padding, reupholstering can significantly extend the lifespan of your recliner, allowing you to continue enjoying it for years to come. – Design customization: Reupholstering gives you the opportunity to customize the design of your recliner.

Choose from a wide range of fabrics, patterns, and colors to match your decor and personal style. – Environmentally friendly: Rather than discarding an old recliner and contributing to landfill waste, reupholstering allows you to repurpose and renew an existing piece of furniture, reducing your environmental impact.

  • Quality craftsmanship: When done correctly, reupholstering can result in a professional finish that rivals the quality of new furniture. Skilled craftsmen can replace worn-out springs, padding, and upholstery, restoring your recliner to its former glory.

By following this step-by-step guide and using the necessary tools, you can successfully reupholster your recliner, making it look brand new again. Reupholstering not only gives you a cost-effective option but also allows for design customization and extends the lifespan of your recliner.

So, why not give your recliner a makeover and enjoy the benefits of a refreshed piece of furniture?

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