When I started removing fabrics from the arms and side wings, I discovered cotton lining!
I don’t know if this is the pro way, but I decided to remove the fabrics carefully, keep the cotton padding materials in place, and cover them up with the new fabric right away.
I also added extra pieces of lining fabric to give extra protection to the foam cushion on the seat and back.
Tools needed for putting new fabric on the recliner chair:
- fabrics, water erasable fabric marking pen, and scissors
- an upholstery stapler: I used a staple gun which I already have, but an upholstery stapler would work better in this case.
- sewing machine, piping cords (I reused the old ones )
- upholstery tack strip, flexible upholstery tack strip, ( these may look intimidating, but they are not that hard to use!) a rubber mallet for hammering, and a pair of good quality working gloves when working with tack strips.
Step 4: cover side arms and wings with new fabric
The sewing went quite smoothly even for a beginner like me, it really helped a lot to use the old fabric pieces as templates and reuse the piping cords.
I used a staple gun which I already have, but an upholstery stapler would make the work a lot easier! Be careful when working with staplers or staple guns. Wear safety goggles and learn to use the tools correctly.
Step 5: cover front and back with new fabric
They are actually easier to use than you think. Wear good quality working gloves and follow basic safety rules. These tack strips can flap around when you try to break them. Use caution and work safely.
I find it easier to break the tack strip into the correct length using pliers. After bending it back and forth a couple of times, it breaks easily.
Use a rubber mallet for hammering, it’s much gentler on the fabrics than a metal hammer. Below is a great video tutorial on how to use upholstery tack strips.
Step 6: finish side panels, etc.
The side panels are the most challenging part of the process. The flexible upholstery tack strip is a lot easier to cut than the straight ones.
The video below shows how to work with flexible tack strips.
By setting the chair into a reclining position, we can cover the foot rest easily. Can you believe we are at the end of the before after makeover project?
Now a recap of some helpful and important tips of this recliner chair makeover project:
- Take photos of each step when you remove the fabrics, so you can reverse the steps when putting new fabrics on!
- Follow basic safety rules when working with tools and sharp objects! Learn to use each tool properly. Use caution and work safely. Wear good quality working gloves and safety eye goggles when needed.
- When removing old fabrics, put all the loose staples and tack strips in a box so no one steps on these sharp debris!
- You can use the old fabric pieces as templates and reuse the piping cords.
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Happy creating! See you next week!