How to Reupholster a Recliner

How to Reupholster a ReclinerHave you got an old recliner that you’ve been thinking of replacing? Is your old furniture showing signs of wear and tear? Why not try your hand at some DIY and reupholster your old recliner instead of buying a new one.

This article will look at how to reupholster a recliner; its probably easier then you think and is also a fun project. Reupholstering is an excellent solution if your recliner still works efficiently and needs a revamp. Reupholstering your recliner is also a much cheaper option than buying a new one.

Tools required to reupholster a recliner

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Upholstery Tack Strip, alternatively use Cardboard Tape
  • Metal Tack Strips
  • Upholstery Pneumatic Stapler with an air compressor
  • Piping cord
  • New pattern
  • A curved Upholstery Needle and heavyweight thread
  • Strong fabric Glue

Preparation needed

The first step is to strip down your recliner until only the wooden frame is left. Take the cushion off your recliner, then remove the bottom half of the recliner by taking out the lever under the chair. You can do this by unscrewing it and then simply pulling it off.

Cut apart the seat cushions at the seams. You can use the old fabric that you took off your recliner as a pattern to cut the new material. Make sure you cut it off very carefully so that you keep its original shape.

It’s also a good idea to take photos as you go along so that you know how to reassemble your recliner again.

Then collect all the tools for the above list and follow the instructions below to reupholster your recliner. The whole process will probably take about a week, depending on how much time you have to spend on it. Take your time and follow a youtube video for the best results.


Measure Out the Patterns

You can use leather or a hard-wearing fabric to reupholster your recliner. Its best to use a plain fabric or one with a larger pattern, don’t use a material that is very detailed and has a design that needs to be lined up. The first step is to draw around your pattern onto the fabric and then cut it out. Make sure you accurately measure each piece and add a bit extra onto the sides where needed; this will be used to create a seam.

When cutting around your fabric, the faces of both pieces should be on top of each other. This means the material will be the right way round and will fit your chair. You can also use pins so that the fabric doesn’t move while you are cutting it.

You should label each part of the recliner so that you know how to reassemble it and can remember which portion of fabric goes where.

Make Piping

If your recliner has piping around the edges, you can even make this your self with your new fabric. Buy enough cord to go around your recliner. Then cut strips of fabric that are one and a half inches wide. Sew them together, with a diagonal seam to create longer pieces. You can then use this fabric to cover the cord; this can be sewn on a sewing machine.

Lay Out the Pattern

Apply fabric glue to your fabric and stick it onto its respective area of the recliner. This will help to hold the material down while sewing.

Start Sewing

The next step is to stitch your fabric onto the recliner. Use large stitches that are well spaced. Use your pliers while stitching; you can push and pull to ensure that it has gone through the seat correctly.

Reassemble the recliner

Once you have stitched your new fabric onto each part of the recliner, it’s now time for reassembly, use the photos you took earlier to guide you while reassembling. Make sure that you do up any screws as tightly as possible, to avoid any accidents or breakages.

If you are unsure about how to assemble your recliner, you can refer to the instruction manual that came with it. Or look on the internet.

And that’s you finished! You now have a new recliner for a fraction of the cost of buying a new one. You may now decide to use your new-found DIY skills to do up some of your other furniture.

Youtube Video on How to Reupholster a Recliner

Here is a link to a great Youtube video that will also help you to reupholster your recliner.

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