Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reupholstering a Wingback Chair

How did I change this $7 chair from 1970 to 2011 (See more photos here.)

Picnik collagewingback

First we torn the chair apart (read about that process here)…

April 2011 061

I then sanded, primed, and spray painted the chair…(Use cardboard under you chair when spray painting…or you might get an annoyed look from your significant other…just saying…)

April 2011 010

The chair sat in this stage in our garage for a couple of weeks because I was too chicken to reupholster it.  I’m not a big fan of failure and I really wasn’t sure I would be successful with this one. 

This past Saturday was the day.  I was going to do it.  I stopped in Hancock fabrics and they had a perfect yellow chevron outdoor fabric on sale for 40% off plus an additional 10%.  Deal.  It’s mine.  I can totally do this.

I used the old nasty fabric as a template for my new fabric and I cut the 3 pieces I needed…


I started on the seat because I knew I could handle that part (read about another chair I’ve tackled here)…


Easy. I can totally do this.  And then I looked at the back of the chair.  I called Nate in for help..and he so willingly agreed…oh wait, this isn’t a fantasy blog…I begged for his help.  He gave in after he couldn’t handle my whining any longer.

With double the brain power, we decided to staple the back piece of fabric first…



We then stapled the top edge of the front fabric….kind of cape-like…



This is where it gets a little….weird.  I feel for the person who reupholsters this chair in another 30 years. 

We slid the foam underneath the “cape” and pinned the excess fabric around the foam…I don’t remember why I had a hammer at this point…but it’s the best picture of the weirdness…(and my new hairdo)…I should have pinned an apology note for the next person.  Don’t worry…the foam is super think so there is no chance of someone getting poked.


We placed the professionally covered foam in it’s final position and added nail head trim. We used the nail head trim to hold the back cushion in place.  We used this in place of staples for a cleaner look.



Nate screwed the seat in place..and ta-da…a finished chair…




I think I made it sound easy.  It wasn’t.  And it obviously isn’t a professional finish.  But I’m happy with the result. 

There you have it…a wingback chair reupholstering tutorial! 

Who’s brave enough to attack one of these babies??  Any questions or have I sufficiently scared you away?

Linking to: DIY Show Off, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Type A Decorating, Primitive and Proper, Wow Us Wednesdays, Not Just a Housewife, The Stories of A2Z, A Diamond in the Stuff, Tuesday's Treasures, Domestically Speaking, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, House of Hepworths, Shabby Chic Cottage, Remodelaholic, French Country Cottage, Simple Home Life, The Lettered Cottage, Thrifty Decor Chick


  1. This chair is AMAZING!! I need one just like it for my bedroom! The fabric is to die for!

    Kari @ the Sunset Lane


  2. Wow! Very brave. I love seeing how you did it. Love the fabric and the white frame. A couple of parts made me laught - the sprayed grass (so done that before only on rocks since we just have rocks in AZ) and the begging of the hubby to help. My husband gets "roped into" so many things like that...

  3. It looks awesome! You did make it sound easy, but I still don't want to do it.

    How does it feel to sit on?

  4. It's next on my list! I've been stalking craigslist for one!!!

  5. PS, I can totally comiserate with you on the, uh, painted grass lol!

  6. I'm impressed. It sounds tricky and tiring. But I'm not the creative type, so just thinking about it makes me tired...

    Looks beautiful though! Definitely worth the work.

  7. Hey, who cares HOW you did it. It is the end result that matters, right? And it looks awesome!
    Cheers for trying something new :)

  8. The chair looks great. Glad that Nate finally gave in to help. :o) And, loving the new hairdo. You went darker. Liking it a lot.

  9. That looks so nice. Love the chevron stripe in yellow. Thanks for joining WUW.

  10. Thanks for sharing the post! I'm working on a cane chair (posted yesterday) and doing the front is just giving me fits!!! Thanks for the tip I will attach my fabric to the foam -never thought of that. Love the fabric great job as usual.

  11. I have a similar chair sitting in my garage at the moment. It's been at least 3 months and I also am scared to start. You did a great job. Maybe just don't sit on the chair...just kidding. Great new hairdo btw.

  12. I love it and I love your tutorial :). You are adorable!

  13. Awesome chair! I love the fabric!

  14. I know that Chevron patterns are so popular right now. Your bright and cheery yellow chair came out beautifully and you both gave new life to this piece. Great job.

  15. That is such an awesome makeover! I love the fabric. I bought that same fabric on sale last week too:) I only got a yard and I still don't know what to do with it!

  16. Did your fabric happen to come from Hancock? I just recovered my sewing chair with that same fabric: http://theabsoluteluckiest.blogspot.com/2011/05/well-isnt-that-snazzy.html
    (unfortunately, my camera is traipsing around Europe with my BIL, so it's a camera pic, but still!). Great job!

  17. I love this chair. The contrast between the before and he after are amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I love this chair. The contrast between the before and he after are amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  19. This is beautiful. I have always wanted a wing back chair and yellow is my favorite color. I am in love with this whole project. drooling as a matter of fact.
    Love, love.
    Following you now.

  20. Cheveron & Yellow! LOVE just simply love it!!!! Thank you for sharing. I pinned this so I can make one one day. I am visiting from Someday Crafts linky party. Come and say hi. I also have a really fun giveaway next week.

    A Mommy's life...With a touch of YELLOW

  21. So now I want to go out & find an old chair & do this to it! You are so inspiring! Amazing job!

  22. That looks great! I feel inspired, hopefully it goes beyond there! I have had a chair for months, maybe before Christmas, the last time it showed up on my blog it was a, Please don't make me do it post. It's still in shambles in our guest room (soon to be nursery)! http://whatthegraham.com/?p=1638

  23. This came out great! You have every right to be very, very proud of it.

    One of these days I'll get brave enough to tackle the old chairs at my house. But they are going to take some sewing. . .

  24. You did such a great job. Thanks so much for linking this up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday link party!

  25. So cute! It is very eye-catching now!

  26. I am LOVING this chair!!! It turned out so good. I've been wanting to do a revamp on a chair but I'm not sure it would turn out quite this awesome.

  27. I love this chair! You actually make me think I can tackle a project like this one. Love it!

  28. Love IT! I Love the fabric! You did a great job, thank you for sharing this!

  29. You're right, you did make it look easy! It's actually made me want to give it a go! Now here's the question, how do you get the bf to help??

  30. So love it. The chair is great and you crack me up!

  31. Love it....I guess I need to start thinking more outside the box when I see old stuff!!!

    I am your newest follower, and would love it if you would follow me back if you love our blog as well! :)

    Stop by an add your latest & greatest to our What I Made Wednesday Linky Party...today is the last day!

    Also, enter for a chance to win a homemade hair bow!!!

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  32. I love this!!! I have vowed (i.e. promised my husband) to wait until we have a house and a backyard to attempt something like this. Bookmarking this project! Thanks for sharing :)

  33. Love this project and love the finished result! Your chair looks wonderful! I have reupholstered chairs and even a settee- I know what a job it is to get them to come out great- but you did it !! Well done!! Thank you for linking this up to Feathered Nest Friday- hope you come share again soon! :)

  34. Great job on the refurb! It's so sunny, cheery, and fresh now!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  35. What a great transformation, I LOVE the fabric!

  36. I'm totally on the prowl for an amazing chair to redo... alas... no luck just yet. :( One day! LOVE your chair!

  37. I'm stopping by from TDC - you did an amazing job on the chair. I love the fabric you used!

  38. I am visiting from the Mustard Ceiling and that chair is amazing. I'm hosting my first link party and would love if you would join us. http://savedbysuzy.blogspot.com/2011/07/linky-time-suzys-house-party-thursday.html

  39. Oh my goodness! Thank you for posting this...I have just had 4 (four!!) of these chairs donated for a "Chairs for Charity" event I am coordinating for December. I have been searching and trolling, and trolling and searching the web for chairs that are similar and 'voila!' I finally found you! I love the look of the chairs but was definitely afraid of the reupholstering - I have done easier projects, but this is more...involved, shall we say? Thanks for the tips and the photos...working up the courage to ask SOMEONE ELSE to do this! That's the worst part, having to see if someone else is crazy enough to attemp this, too! Gah! I may post updates about these chairs on my blog as we continue work towards the event! Thanks again!

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