How to Reupholster a Barrel Chair

Reupholstering your old barrel chair is a great way to get a fresh home update without breaking the bank. Bring new life to your old barrel chair with DIY reupholstering! If you’re looking for a way to spruce up and revive an aging piece of furniture in your home, reupholstering is a great option. Revitalize an outdated piece of furniture with this DIY tutorial and transform your space into something new and unique!

How to Reupholster a Barrel Chair

Working on big projects can seem daunting, but the steps involved in reupholstering are easy to follow, whatever your level of experience. With just some straightforward instructions on how to reupholster a barrel chair combined with basic tools, you’ll be able to create something you can be proud of –– and feel confident that even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, it’s still yours.

Read on to find out how to create your own beautifully restored piece! With some helpful tips and tricks from professionals in Upholstery-landia, you’ll have no trouble giving those beloved chairs some fresh fabric and elbow grease!

What is Reupholstering?

Reupholstering is the process of completely stripping an old piece of furniture and replacing its fabric with new material. This can be done to restore a chair or other item back to its original condition, or it can be used to give it a fresh, modern look. The goal of reupholstering is to make an old piece look like new again by replacing its worn-out fabric with something fresh and fashionable.

What is a Barrel Chair?

A barrel chair is a type of seating furniture that has a curved back and typically upholstered arms. Typically, the chairs have an open-back design—meaning that they lack any kind of post or center support. This characteristic makes them particularly ideal for custom upholstery work, as it allows for easy access to the foam cushioning beneath the fabric covering.

What You’ll Need

Before you can begin upholstering a barrel chair, you’ll need to gather the right materials. To make the job easier and ensure successful results, be sure to have the following items on hand:

  • Hammer and nails
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Staple gun with staples
  • Foam cushion
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

How to Reupholster a Barrel Chair in 10 Steps

Step 1: Remove the Fabric

Remove the old fabric and padding. Begin by taking off the existing upholstery fabric, as well as any staples that may be holding it in place. This is easily done with a screwdriver or hammer and nails.

Remove the Old Fabric and Padding

Step 2: Check the Chair’s Structure

Once the fabric has been removed, check the chair structure for any possible damage or issues. If there are any loose screws, use a screwdriver to tighten them. Also, make sure all of the nails and staples are securely in place. This is an important step that can prevent any potential future damage from occurring.

Step 3: Measure the Foam Cushion

Measure the existing foam cushion and purchase a new one that is the same size. If necessary, you can trim it down to fit your barrel chair if needed. This will ensure a snug fit when reupholstering your chair.

Step 4: Cut and Place the Fabric

Cut a piece of upholstery fabric that is larger than the size of your barrel chair. Place it over the foam cushion and attach it with a staple gun, making sure to pull the fabric taut as you go.

Step 5: Attach the Fabric to the Back

Next, move on to attaching the fabric to the back of your barrel chair. Begin by folding the top edges over and stapling them securely in place. Then, move on to the sides, making sure that they are all tucked in properly and securely attached with staples.

Step 6: Tighten Up the Fabric

Once you have finished attaching the fabric to the back of your chair, it’s time to start tightening up the fabric. Begin by pulling the material tight in different directions and attaching it with staples along the sides of your chair.

Cut a Piece of Upholstery Fabric

Step 7: Attach the Fabric to the Arms

Next, move on to reupholstering the arms of your barrel chair. Start by folding over the edge of the fabric and stapling it in place. Continue to staple the fabric along the length of the arm, making sure that it is pulled taut as you work your way down.

Step 8: Tailor the Fabric

Once you have finished stapling all of the fabric to your chair, use a pair of scissors to tailor and trim any excess material. This will give your newly reupholstered barrel chair a finished and polished look.

Step 9: Attach the Padding

Finally, attach the padding to the back of your barrel chair with a staple gun. Make sure that the padding is secured properly so that it won’t become loose or shift over time.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Newly Reupholstered Chair!

Congratulations on successfully reupholstering your barrel chair! All that’s left to do is admire your masterpiece and enjoy the comfortable and stylish seating experience. With some patience and dedication, you can create a beautiful piece of furniture for yourself or as a gift. Don’t forget to give it an extra touch of love with throw pillows and cozy blankets!

8 Maintenance Tips

Once you’ve successfully reupholstered your barrel chair, proper maintenance should be the next priority. Here are 8 easy tips to keep your new upholstery looking great for years to come:

Use a Lint Roller
  1. Vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt. This will ensure that your upholstery stays fresh and clean. Otherwise, dirt and dust can accumulate over time and damage the fabric.
  2. Use a lint roller periodically to remove pet hair and other small particles that may have become stuck in the fabric. The fabric should be brushed in one direction for best results.
  3. If a spill occurs, it’s important to act quickly and clean it up as soon as possible. A damp cloth or sponge can be used to wipe away the mess before it has time to set in.
  4. Place throw pillows over areas that are likely to receive more wear, such as armrests. This will help protect the fabric from extra wear and tear.
  5. Utilize furniture covers or plastic slipcovers when not in use to prevent dust build-up. This will also help keep your chair looking great for longer periods of time.
  6. If possible, try to keep the chair away from direct sunlight as it can cause fading of the fabric. Additionally, avoid putting furniture in moist areas, as this can result in mold and mildew buildup.
  7. Invest in quality cleaning products that are specifically designed for upholstery fabric. This will help ensure that your chair stays looking great without damaging the materials used to reupholster it.
  8. For more stubborn stains, consider professional cleaning services or steam cleaning. This will help you get deep into the fabric and remove any tough dirt or grime that may have accumulated over time.

By following these 8 maintenance tips, your reupholstered barrel chair should look great for years to come! So take proper care of it, and enjoy sitting in comfort.

5 Safety Measures to Take When Reupholstering a Barrel Chair

When reupholstering any piece of furniture, safety is always a priority. Barrel chairs may be smaller than other pieces of furniture, but they still require special care and attention when it comes to taking the necessary precautions for a successful reupholster job. Here are three safety measures you should take before getting started.

  1. Wear protective clothing and safety glasses. Since the re-upholstering process involves the use of sharp tools, it is important to wear appropriate clothing that covers up your skin and arms, as well as protective safety glasses to protect your eyes from any flying debris or dust particles.
  2. Securely place the chair. To ensure a safe and successful reupholstering job, it is important to make sure the chair is securely placed on a flat surface. This will help keep it stable while you are working.
  3. Disassemble the chair. Before you begin any work on the actual upholstery, you should disassemble the chair by removing all of its parts. This will allow you to have easy access to the areas that need work and also help prevent any damage to the chair while reupholstering.
  4. Measure twice cut once. To ensure accuracy when cutting fabric for your project, it is important to measure twice before cutting once. This will guarantee that all of your fabrics and components fit perfectly on the chair.
  5. Vacuum and clean the chair. To ensure a successful reupholstering job, it is important to make sure all of the upholstery on your chair is completely free of dust and debris before you begin. A thorough vacuuming and cleaning can help guarantee this.
Vacuum and Clean the Chair

By following these five safety measures, you can be sure that your reupholstering job is successful and safe. With the help of these steps, you can guarantee that your chair looks its best and lasts for years to come.


All in all, reupholstering a barrel chair is an immensely satisfying task. Not only do you get to show off your skills with upholstery and sewing, but you also get to make something uniquely yours. Plus, saving money on a project like this can help stretch your budget and give you unique furniture to call your own! The key takeaways for completing this project are being patient and making sure to measure accurately.

Other tips, such as taking pictures and using the right tools, can make the job much easier when it comes time for you to complete it. With a little practice and patience, anyone can master the art of reupholstering a barrel chair! Just follow the steps on how to reupholster a barrel chair outlined above, and you’ll be sitting in comfort in no time.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

Leave a Comment