How to Reupholster a Chair | Victorian Chair

If you want to know how to reupholster a chair, this series is for you! I will show you step by step how to reupholster a Victorian chair!

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Pinterest graphic showing before and after of finished reupholstered chair with text overlay saying "how to reupholster"

We have been on what seems like a long journey together with this Victorian chair!! But we are finally nearing the end and I can’t wait to show you the results of the hard work of reupholstering this chair! It was sooooo worth it!

how to reupholster a chair step by step:

This is where we left off….

victorian chair with original fabric stripped down and new inside layer of fabric attached to wood frame showing how to reupholster a chair. The chair is on a flat mobile cart and is inside a garage workshop with garage types of things in the background

…and this is where we pick up!

YouTube video

In this video, I will show you the steps I used to add batting to the arm sections of the chair. This is an important step in learning how to reupholster a chair. Don’t skip it!

I used the same steps to attach the decorative fabric to the chair. Be sure and read the previous posts to see all the techniques!

Adding the gorgeous grain-sack upholstery fabric was a breeze since the base fabric was already attached, The steps to add the upholstery fabric are the same as attaching the underlayer of fabric. You can see more

the reveal of the reupholstered Victorian chair

And here is the end result! This Victorian chair was certainly a challenge to work on but it was worth every bit of the effort I put in! Completing the reupholstery on the chair gives it a fresh new look and will last for years!

victorian chair reupholstery tutorial

lovely curves of the chair

The jute braided trim I chose to cover the upholstery staples enhances the lovely curves of this Victorian chair, don’t you think?

finished victorian chair after completing the steps to reupholster a chair tutorial. Chair is staged next to a pianted antique washstand and a vintage suitcase sitting next to it. Well decor is hanging behind

Just a bit of hot glue to hold the trim down. I love the texture it adds to the chair! What do you think of the jute trim?

close up of carved wood on Victorian chair that has bee reupholstered with grainsack style fabric

Doesn’t it help to frame the chair – especially at the top with all of that gorgeous carved detail??

carved detail of wood on the back of a reupholstered chair that it Victorian style

character and details

The stain was removed by sanding the wood down. I left some of the dark stain in the deep places to help add character to this chair. Not that it needed any help in that department!

side view of reupholstered Victorian chair staged with a painted washstand that has knick-knack sitting on top with a lamp, wall decor hanging behind the chair, gray rug on the floor

The attention to detail that the furniture maker used when this piece was built shows true craftsmanship!

victorian chair reupholstery tutorial
close up of carved wood detail on the arm of a Victorian chair that has been reupholstered for a tutorial. Gray rug in background

adorable washstand!

Have you noticed the sweet oak washstand next to this reupholstered chair? Be sure to click that link to find out how I gave that washstand a makeover!

Victorian chair that has been reupholstered in reproduction grainsack fabric in neutral colors with a portion of a wahstand showing sitting next to the chair and staged with vinrtage books and a vintage picture

I mean, look at these two go together! A match made in furniture heaven!

side vidw of Victorian chair that was reupholstered for a blog post tutorial on how to reupholster a chair. Chair is sitting next to a painted washstand with vintage knick-knack sitting on top and a lamp. Wall decor hanging behind the washstand and a gray rug is on the floor

gorgeous grain sack

I just cannot get enough of the soft curves of this chair! And the straight lines of the grain-sack fabric are such a nice contrast to the curvy lines of the wood frame. It really is a work of art!

By the way, I purchased the fabric from Sweet Annie Acres, a Michigan-based business. The fabric is of amazing quality and I will certainly purchase from them again. I pre-washed to prevent any shrinkage. I can’t wait for my next reupholstery or slipcover project!

back view of Victorian chair that has been reupholstered in reproduction grainsack fabric in neutral colors. The chair is sitting on a gray rug and in front of a painted antque washstand with knick-knacks and a lamp. Wall decor is hanging on the wall

the old becomes new

One of the aspects of my job that I love the most is taking a piece and loving on it until it is brought back to life! Honestly, every step of this project was a joy!

Be sure to read each post about this transformation. I have broken the steps down so that you can tackle your own reupholstery project!

Victorian chair from the how to reupholster a chair blog tutorial. Chair is sitting on top of a gray rug and next to a painted washstand. The washstand has a lamp, a stack of vintage books and a vintage framed picture sitting on top. Wall decor is hanging on the wall.


If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comment below!

How much does it cost to reupholster a chair?

  • Victorian chair: $50-$80 My chair had been gifted to me by one of my followers
  • grainsack fabric: approx 4 yards of fabric at $16.99 per yard, total $68
  • new batting: approx 3 yards of batting, total $18
  • jute trim: approx 10 yards, total $6 (I purchase a 23 yard roll of the trim at a time, my measurment is approx!)
  • jute upholstery webbing: 2-3 yards at approx $1 per yard (I purchase this in a large roll also)
  • furnture wax: $12

How to reupholster a chair summary.

  • remove original fabic
  • determine if original batting is in good shape
  • replace or add additional batting
  • make any necessary repairs
  • restore orginal wood with furniture wax
  • attach upholstery fabric with a pneumatic staple gun
  • attach jute trim to raw edges of upholstery fabric

Where to purchase a Victorian chair?

I mentioned that my chair was gifted to me by a lady who was downsizing. There are many people downsizing and they are looking to sell some of their antique pieces. Word of mouth is a great way to find and purchase these pieces so tell your friends and family you are on the lookout!

Keep an eye out in your local Facebooks groups and selling periodicals. Our local paper is called The Guide and there are various items listed each week within a 50-75 mile radius of our home.

Auctions and estate sales in your area are also great ways to find unique pieces like this Victorian chair.

What is the best fabric to reupholster a chair in?

The best answer to this question is to look for fabric specifically for upholstery. It is a heavier quality than regular fabric for clothing or quilting. Upholstery weight fabric is stronger and can hold up to the pulling that you must do to get the fabric tight while reupholstering the piece. It also will hold up much better under the use of sitting in the chair.

I chose a reproduction grain sack style fabric that comes in many colors. I love the look of the grain sack but not the cost or genuine grain sack. This fabric is an amazing substitute! It is strong and durable for upholstery projects as well!

I’ve gathered the supplies I used for this project for you. These are the products I have used time and again on many of our upholstery projects.

join our journey!

Here is a pinnable image for you to save to your Pinterest project boards! While you are there, be sure to follow me! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or contact me on social media – Instagram and Facebook! We have fun in stories and would love to chat with you there!

Subscribe to our blog updates for future reinventing projects! You never know what’s next on the agenda around here 🙂

Pinterest graphic showing before and after of finished reupholstered chair with text overlay saying "how to reupholster"

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  1. Jennifer Baker says:

    Wow, Cindy! That’s beautiful!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Jenn!! I really enjoyed this project?

  2. Elmo Wayne says:

    Where is the footage captured by the professional (and handsome, I might add) photographer?

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      We had a minor problem with that particular footage?

  3. Hi Cindy!
    I have been waiting for this reveal, and as I expected, the chair turned out gorgeous! You did a fabulous job! I love both the curves of that chair and the grain sack fabric! I do hope you’ll share this at Homestyle Gathering this week! Hope to see you there!
    >>> Kim

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Kim, thanks so much for your kind words! I really enjoyed each step of this project? and I will be sure to share on HG!! ??

  4. Cindy, what a beautiful result. I will be starting a similar project soon and I am wondering about the color the sanded wood will be. Is this chair made of mahogany? Thanks Beatrice

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks for the sweet words Beatrice! My hubby’s best guess on the wood is cherry. The chair is very old – probably from the 1920’s so the wood has aged to it’s current lovely patina. Good luck with project and feel free to contact me with any questions! ?

  5. Cheryl Atkinson says:

    Hi Cindy! thank you for sharing your step by step. I have never reupholstered anything but now i hope i get the chance to. This chair is so lovely. I love all of it.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Cheryl! If you get a chance to and have any questions, feel free to ask!

  6. Karen L Clarkson says:

    I love how your chair turned out! Beautiful! How did you finish the wood after sanding it? I love the finish!! Great job!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Hi Karen! Sorry I didn’t say how I finished the gorgeous wood on this chair! After sanding and cleaning the dust, I waxed it with Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax. Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any more questions you have and thanks for stopping by!