Before & After: The $5 New Upholstery Office Chair Makeover

updated Jul 15, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I just bid farewell to our last task chair review sample, noting as much as I found this and other new models comfortable in different ways, my tried and true task chair I purchased way back in 2008 keeps proving to be the most comfortable. But after years of daily use, the chair has definitely seen better days. It may be time to follow these DIY instructions for an upholstery makeover…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Instructables user graceduval disassembled a pair of old task chairs and then used about $5 worth of fabric, secured with staples, to cover the worn brown seats and backs with something more befitting of their new studio space:

While making our ideal studio space, I stared at our old desk chairs in dismay. While they worked perfectly well, the scratchy, ugly brown fabric that they were upholstered with was simply unacceptable in our new, beautiful space. I decided that we needed to reupholster them, and after a quick trip to the fabric store and a few hours with a staple gun, we had a pair of brand new desk chairs for about five bucks! It was super quick, easy, and entirely transformed our studio.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Although using more heavy duty upholstery fabric rather than the light duty fabric would definitely prove more durable, graceduval probably chose the particular material for both its design and because it’s easier to manipulate/stretch while covering over an existing fabric. Reviewing the Instructable, the project seems to be best suited as a project for two, with the extra pair of hands useful for holding down the fabric during the stapling process. Additionally, one should note the use of a pneumatic staple gun rather than a cheaper press-to-staple manual model is going to make securing the fabric to the pieces easier and faster.

Check out the complete Instructable over at Give Those Old Desk Chairs New Life!

Here are a few other task chair maintenance and repair tips:

(Images: Grace DuVal)