How to reupholster an office chair

It is effortless to discard an office chair with a worn-out upholstery. But it is not necessary to discard it if the chair itself is in perfect condition. The upholstery gets worn out due to rugged use over a while.

One of the significant reasons to reupholster an office chair is that the foam or the padding of the chair gets flat or damaged. It affects the comfort of the chair and is no longer suitable to use for long hours. The foam or the padding of the chair is replaced along with the fabric to give it a new look instead of buying a new one.

There are many ways to reupholster your office chair to make it look brand new. Reupholstering an office chair is a great way to repair it instead of replacing it. It is cost-effective and helps in maximum utilization of the product instead of wasting it.

What causes damage to the upholstery

It is imperative to know the reasons that cause damage to the upholstery to protect it in the future. The reasons for the wear and tear of the upholstery are:

  • Sunlight is the main reason for the damage to the upholstery. It causes it to fade and lose its color.
  • Stains are another reason that makes us change the upholstery. Sometimes, it is challenging to take a stain out, which makes it look unattractive.
  • Chemicals are another harmful ingredient that causes damage to the upholstery. It is essential to be mindful of the cleaning agents we use to clean the chairs. It can lead the fabric to fade, discolor, or even go darken due to the wrong usage.
  • Rough usage is another reason that causes the padding of the chair to go flat. If the chair is being used daily and for a long period and it is not the best office chair for long hours 2024, it is obvious that it will go flat after a certain period.

Reupholstering an office chair

There are many ways to reupholster an office chair to make it look good as new. It requires some materials to fix the chair. However, it is imperative to know the problem before fixing the chair. It can help to revamp your workspace and make it look more appealing. You can do it in the following steps:

Materials required

To reupholster an office, you can start by arranging the required tools and materials to do this task. It will require a screwdriver, pliers, fabric, glue gun, scissors, eye-protective mask, and a stapler or needles.

These materials will be required to disassemble the chair and change the upholstery without any problem. If you face any problem, read out how to disassemble the office chair

Distribute the task into stages

The task of changing the upholstery of an office chair can be overwhelming, especially the first time. It is better to distribute the task into different stages to make it easier and manageable.

–  Disassemble the chair and unbolt the screws where it is difficult to change the upholstery.

– Start with the armrest, and unbolting the back panel and backrest would be hassle-free.

Disassembling the chair

Before reupholstering the chair, it should be disassembled first. The armrest, backrest, and back panel should be unbolted and unscrewed to avoid making the process complicated.

Tip the chair over and remove the screws that hold the seat to the base. Lift the base from the cushion. It is better to take a picture of the chair before disassembling it, so it is easy to reassemble it later.

After the base and armrest are removed, the seat and the backrest are left. It can be removed by unbolting the deep screws in the shell base with the help of an electric screw set. By disassembling the chair, the process of renewing the office chair would become easy.

Taking the old upholstery off

The fabric of the chair is strongly kept intact with staples and nails. The staple size and form can only be determined according to the design of the chair. It is very important to take the staples out of the old fabric through needle-nose pliers to avoid further damage to the chair and the foam.

The fabric will gradually unfold through the plier from one corner to the other to remove the upholstery.

The process of changing the upholstery can be a tricky and time-consuming task. To save the chair and the new fabric from being torn and damaged, the bolts and screws of the chair should be taken out beforehand.

Reuse some part of the old upholstery

Some parts of the old upholstery can be used while changing it to a new one to cut costs further. It can be the cord wire of the chair, part of a fabric, or any design on the fabric which is worth reusing again.

Many times, the cost of reupholstering an office chair is equal to buying a new one. So it’s better to find any resource available to help deduct the cost and make the process less complicated.

Cutting the fabric

The next step would be cutting the new fabric for the chair. The pattern of the old chair can be used as a guide to cut the fabric. The old foam of the chair should be replaced with a new one before attaching the new upholstery to prevent any damage.

The fabric should be cut a few inches extra according to the size of the pattern or the chair so that it fits perfectly, and there are no creases in the fabric. It will ensure that the fabric fits the chair perfectly and remains intact with the chair.

Another way to avoid creases is to iron or steam iron the fabric before putting it on the chair to smoothen it out.

Attaching the fabric to the chair

It is the most tricky step in the entire process as everyone doesn’t have a knack for stitching or sewing. One mistake can destroy the entire look of the chair.

To attach the fabric to the chair, fold it around the back part of the chair and attach it carefully. Attach the fabric by using a glue gun at first. Then staple it later with a stapler gun to secure the fabric to the chair once it is smooth and creaseless. Itis a time-consuming step as the appearance of the chair depends on it. So don’t get hurried and must do it patiently.

Reassemble your office chair

While reassembling the chair, it is essential to be focused and careful not to miss any fixtures as this might elongate the process even more. The armrest, back panel, and backrest should be fit right into place as before.

The fabric of these parts can be changed as well at the time of reupholstering the chair. To make this step simple, keep the fixtures together in one place, so there is less chance of misplacing them.

So now your whole process of reupholstering your office chair is complete. Now enjoy the new look of your chair, and surely it will be comfortable during work too.


To conclude, reupholstering an office chair can be quite a challenging task. It is an environmentally friendly choice to revamp the look of your office chair on a budget.

However, sometimes it can cost as much as buying a new chair. So, it depends on the process you’re opting for the reupholstering of a chair.

The process of reupholstering an office includes some steps like collecting the required material, disassembling the chair, taking the old upholstery off, cutting the fabric, attaching the fabric to the chair, and reassembling the chair.

It is not only a very creative and challenging process, but it is a great way to do some cost-cutting and do a DIY project to be creative. However, it is not easy and durable for everyone, as it is a complicated and long method. Many might just consider buying a new chair to save them the hassle.


Is it worth reupholstering an office chair?

Reupholstering an office is an environmentally friendly way to reuse an old chair. But it is not always an inexpensive choice to make. It can often cost as much as buying a new chair.

Can you reupholster an office chair yourself?

If the chair itself is in decent condition, the upholstery of the chair can be replaced easily. It is a DIY project that can make a great difference in the look of the furniture.

What fabric should I use to reupholster an office chair?

The fabric should be of good quality when it comes to reupholstering an office chair. By using good quality material, the upholstery can last for a long time. The fabric suitable for an office chair is cotton, linen, wool, or woven fabric.

How expensive is it to reupholster an office chair?

The average cost to reupholster an office chair is around 200 to 700 dollars depending on the type of fabric you’re choosing for the chair.