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How to Upholster a Curved Back

Reupholstering chairs can be an inexpensive way to change the look of your dining room. You can do one chair at a time so the project doesn't take away your family's eating space, or you can do them all at once for a dramatic change. Choose a fabric that matches your decor. For kitchen chairs, try a coated fabric that will wipe clean easily. For the dining room, you may want something slightly fancier.


Faded fabric on a curved-back chair can be easily replaced.
  1. Take the chair apart. The seat should be easy to pry off the base. If you can't remove the back, you can upholster it as it is.
  2. Remove the material from the back and seat of the chair. Cut pieces of thin foam or cotton batting to fit the seat and the front of the chair, where your back rests. Attach the foam or batting with a staple gun. Place the staples about 2 inches apart.
  3. Cut a piece of new fabric to fit the chair's seat, plus an extra 2 inches of fabric around all sides. Place the seat over the fabric. Pull the material firmly up over the edge. Attach it to the underside of the seat with several staples or upholstery tacks.
  4. Measure two pieces of fabric for the chair back--one for the front and one for the rear--including an extra 2 inches of fabric all around. Cut out the pieces. Attach the rear piece by pulling it tight around all sides and securing it with staples. Attach the second piece to the front of the chair. Pull the ends tight. Make sure the top piece overlaps the other piece, then fold it under the edge of the fabric and secure it with upholstery tacks.
  5. Replace the chair's seat. Trim off any loose fabric or threads.

Things You Will Need

  • Fabric
  • Upholstery tacks or staple gun
  • Foam or batting

About the Author

Cynthia Vukets is a Canadian journalist who has been writing since 2004. Having worked in print and television in Canada, Rwanda and Kenya, her writing has appeared in publications such as "The Daily Nation," "The Times & Transcript" and "The New Times." Vukets has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Carleton University.

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