How to Reupholster a Recliner


Time unavoidably takes a toll on our furniture, which means there will eventually come a time where you may feel like the fabric on your favorite sofa or recliner is too worn out. In a case like this, it is necessary to take the required steps properly, as to avoid permanent damage to your household interior.

How to Reupholster a Recliner

Provided that you’ve just made up your mind about this and have no idea how to actually do it, you can always turn to a search engine for some useful information. By reading through these simple steps, you will absorb all there is to know about how to reupholster a recliner.


Step 1: Obtain The Necessary Kit

You will require the following items to reupholster your recliner:

  • Tack remover
  • Seam ripper
  • 5-7 yards of desired fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Hot glue gun along with extra glue sticks
  • Thread and needle
  • Sharp scissors
  • Covered button kit
  • Upholstery needles
  • Waxed button thread
  • Great amounts of patience

Step 2: Disassembly

Take apart the main pieces of the chair:

  • 1. The back of the recliner is in a track and easily comes off.
  • 2. The seat takes a bit more effort – flip the chair over to get access to the seat’s underside. 2-4 screws on either side usually hold it in place – remove these.
  • 3. The recliner mechanism in the middle is held in place by two switches on both sides of the recliner arms. Unlock and remove it.
  • 4. Once you’re left with arms only, you are safe to proceed.

Step 3: Cutting

Take apart the main pieces of the chair:

  • 1. Measure each piece separately and write down the measurements.
  • 2. Cut the desired fabric to match these measurements, but always slightly longer and wider than needed in order to make room for extra staples.

Pre-step 4: Before we proceed to assist with your inquiry on how to reupholster a recliner, you will need to determine your exact goal. The following steps will vary depending on whether you’re simply reupholstering a single part or the entire recliner. Getting ready for step 6 in the case of working on the entire recliner requires much more time and energy.


Step 4: Unstapling

1. Grab your staple remover, slide it around every staple and twist it so that one side goes into the wood and the other pushes the staple up. Use a pair of fence cutters for a cut-free grasp and rid yourself of any possible injury. Safety is one of the most important factors when it comes to the question of how to reupholster a recliner.

2. If you’re reupholstering the whole recliner, you will need to separate every part of the sliding mechanism, for which you may need a drill in reverse with the unscrewing bit attached to it. There may be joint points in which two different sections of fabric and stuffing meet in a crease for additional style – carefully remove the staples from this line as you may damage the soft materials.


Step 5: Gluing

Before you grab your nail gun, you need to make sure that you’ve applied glue to the sides and the middle of the fabric ahead of applying it to the parts of the recliner. This is one of the most important tips on how to reupholster a recliner, as it will restrict any unnatural shifting of the upholstery once you’ve finished the entire process.


Step 6: Stapling

1. Carefully wrap the new fabric around the parts, grab your nail gun and staple in the same pattern that the removed staples were installed in. Doing this the same way as the manufacturer ensures it is the optimal stapling strategy for your recliner. If you’ve also unstapled the soft parts, you will have to staple those back beforehand. Doing this step properly is a vital clue to how to reupholster a recliner.

2. When stapling on uneven surfaces, make sure you apply the fabric tightly onto the uppermost layer before cutting it away from the rest with a pair of sharp scissors. Staple the remaining easy parts in the same fashion once you’re finished with all the curves and dents.


Step 8: Reassembly and improvements

Once you’re completely sure that everything is well-stapled and that the fabric doesn’t move too much under pressure, you’re safe to put everything back the way it was.

  • 1. Grab all the screws and place them back in firmly using the drill you removed them within normal mode.
  • 2. Slide the mechanism back into place and lock it there by flipping down the two metal switches.
  • 3. If you happen to see any parts that are too loose or if something doesn’t fit quite right, but you don’t want to go back through the entire process, don’t worry. You can fix any mistake without repeating everything; all you have to do is cut off that layer of fabric and reapply it by cutting out another fitting piece, gluing its surface before applying and sewing it into place onto the recliner.

This simple and easy guide on how to reupholster a recliner should rid you of any issues you may have with antique furniture or an unattractive pattern. Grab your tools and enjoy the magic of DIY.

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