How to Reupholster a Bench


How to Reupholster a Bench

Happy September friends! These fall months make me want to do more indoor projects and fall is the perfect time to catch up your fabric crafts. Today I’m sharing a simple no-sew project that you can do in under 30 minutes. If you’ve ever seen a bench or chair at the thrift shop or maybe you have one you’ve been wanting to give new life to, here is a step by step on how to reupholster a bench.

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • Fabric of your choice. How much depends on what size your bench is, but usually a yard is plenty.
  • Flathead and Philips screw drivers
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Foam and batting (optional)
  • A bench you want to makeover

We had this small piece that I stained in ebony a while back. I covered it with a script fabric and eventually grew tired of its look so I got in touch with my wild side and picked out a zebra fur to liven things up.

Bench Before

To get started, turn the bench upside down. It will have screws underneath holding the upholstered seat in place. Use a screwdriver to take those out and the seat will come apart from the frame.

How to Reupholster a Bench

Now you can take off the old fabric and replace the foam if you’d like. Sometime people do this to get rid of an odor or just start fresh. Otherwise you can keep the foam and use a new layer of batting to cover it up.

To remove the old fabric, get under the staples with a flathead screwdriver and use the pliers to pull them out. You can keep the old fabric as a template for a new piece.

Furniture Upholstery

If you have gathered new foam, cut it to size (a bread knife or carving knife work well for this) and staple batting over it and around the back. When doing this, you want to alternate the sides you are stapling. Do one staple on one side and one opposite that to make sure the fabric stays straight and tight.

You can use your old fabric as a size guide for cutting the new fabric. Once you have the new foam and batting in place, lay the new fabric right side down, with your bench over it and you can begin. Since I was adding new batting, I put my fabric down, then the batting, then the foam and wood backing on top of that in that order.

How to Upholster

If you want to repaint the bench, you would do that now and let it dry while you are cutting the fabric and foam. There’s tons of options in spray paint and stain these days. Or maybe you don’t want to do any sanding and chalk paint is the thing for you. Be creative and choose a color you love.

To staple on the fabric, use the above alternating method of stapling. If you picture a clock, staple at noon, 6:00, 3:00 then 9:00 and work your way around the piece from there. Periodically check the front to make sure the fabric is in the right place. And here is another quick tip: Make sure your fabric is straight and centered if you have a repeating pattern or stripes or the like. Do this before you staple!

How to Reupholster a Bench

To secure the corners, pretend you are wrapping a present. You want to get as little fabric bunched up at the corner as possible, so you can always cut some away, making sure you have enough to staple to the wooden backing.

How to Reupholster a Bench

After your fabric is all stapled on, go ahead and screw the seat back to the bench frame. If your fabric covered up the holes, you can always cut it away. After that you are done! I promised it was easy and with some simple supplies, you can have a whole new piece of furniture in under 30 minutes.

How to Reupholster a Bench

How to Reupholster a Bench

How to Reupholster a Bench

Leave a comment and let me know if you have ever done a reupholstery project yourself or have any questions. See all of my furniture makeover projects here and I will see you at Decor Adventures soon!

Decor Adventures

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One Response

  1. Amanda Drew says:

    You make a good point that you should make sure to keep your pattern straight and centered before you start stapling it into place. Your tips seem really helpful for a little project like this, but I want to also reupholstery a chair that’s been in my family for years. Maybe I’ll try out your suggestions on my piano bench, but I think that I’ll get a pro to reupholster my chair.

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