How much does it cost to reupholster a chair?
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Reupholster a Chair Cost Guide
Updated: May 22, 2023
Chairs see a lot of wear and tear. Over time, the fabric becomes faded or stained, and the padding can become flat or lumpy. The frame of a chair can also become loose or damaged. If you want to recycle an old piece of furniture and turn it into a brand new piece, reupholstering is a great way of giving the chair its old shine back. It will look better and be more comfortable. The process involves removing and replacing the fabric, decorative trim, and stuffing. It is a great way to add personal style to a room while being less expensive than buying a new chair.
The national average cost to reupholster a chair is between $300 and $1,000.
Most people pay an average of $650 for a typical padded back, single cushion, leather arm chair that is picked up and delivered directly to your door when complete. At the low end, a single cotton bar stool costs about $60. At the high end, you can pay up to $2,000 to reupholster a silk recliner with decorative nail heads. The price includes delivery to and from the upholsterer.
Cost to Reupholster a Chair
|Chair Reupholstering Cost
|National average cost
Cost to Reupholster a Chair by Material
The average price to reupholster a chair ranges from $10 to $100 per yard, depending on the type of fabric you want to use. Materials made from natural fibers are more expensive than synthetic. This is because synthetic fabrics are man-made and widely available year-round. Natural fibers are typically made from animal products or plant-based items. You can also choose from organic or recycled natural fibers. Each type of fabric has its own advantages and disadvantages. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool are breathable and comfortable but also susceptible to staining and wear over time. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are more durable and easy to maintain. However, they often feel less comfortable than natural fabrics. The best fabric for your chair upholstery project will vary depending on your needs and preferences. Those looking for a fabric that is easy to care for may prefer synthetic fabrics, while those looking for a more comfortable option may prefer natural fabrics.
|$10 - $70
|$10 - $100
Reupholster a Chair With Synthetic Fabric
Expect to spend between $10 and $70 per yard for synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics offer many benefits, making them great for chair upholstery. They are often more durable than natural fabrics, which means they last longer and resist wear and tear better. Synthetic fabrics are also more resistant to stains than natural fabrics, making them a good choice if you have kids or pets. Finally, synthetic fabrics are often more resistant to fading than natural fabrics, so they look newer for longer.
Several different synthetic fabrics can be used for chair upholstery, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Polyester is one of the most popular options thanks to its low cost and high durability. However, it pills and does not always provide a comfortable seating surface. Acrylic is another popular choice, offering good color retention and resistance to shrinking and wrinkling. However, acrylic fabrics can be less durable than polyester and may not hold up to heavy use. Vinyl is a durable option often used in high-traffic areas such as kitchens and dining rooms. However, vinyl can be difficult to clean and may not provide as much comfort as other fabrics. Nylon, faux leather, olefin, and cotton blends are also popular. When choosing a synthetic fabric for chair upholstery, you must consider your needs and priorities. Here are the most popular options and their costs.
|Cost per Yard (Materials Only)
|$10 - $15
|$10 - $20
|$10 - $45
|$15 - $25
|$15 - $35
|$20 - $40
|$20 - $45
|$25 - $45
|$25 - $50
|$30 - $60
|$35 - $50
|$40 - $60
|$50 - $70
Chair Upholstery Cost With Natural Fabric
Depending on the natural fabric you use for reupholstery, the chair upholstery costs between $10 and $100 per yard for the material only. Natural fabrics are easy to care for, requiring only a simple vacuum or brushing away to get rid of any dirt or dust. In addition, natural fabrics are breathable, which regulates temperature and prevents moisture build-up. This is particularly important in hot climates or rooms with poor ventilation.
When upholstering furniture, there is a wide range of natural fabric options. Cotton is popular because it is durable and easy to maintain. Linen is another popular option because it has a luxurious feel and can be found in various colors. Silk is another possibility, although it is more delicate than cotton or linen and may require dry cleaning. Wool is an option for chair reupholstery, although it may be more expensive than other fabrics. Other materials like mohair, denim, bamboo, suede, leather, and cotton blends can be used to reupholster an old chair. The best natural fabric for chair upholstery varies depending on the specific needs of the user. The table below presents the most popular natural fabrics for reupholstery and their costs.
|Cost per Yard (Materials Only)
|$10 - $30
|$15 - $30
|$20 - $35
|$20 - $80
|$25 - $40
|$25 - $50
|$25 - $50
|$25 - $60
|$40 - $70
|$50 - $100
|$60 - $100
Labor Cost to Recover Chair by Type
The labor cost to recover a chair ranges from $50 to $650, depending on the chair type. It should come as no surprise that different types of chairs, their styling, and the ease of upholstery come into play when figuring the price to reupholster. Obviously, a large chair will cost more than a small chair because it will require more time and dedication to reupholster. Also, intricate details take more time and fabric to refurbish, which increases the price that you pay the upholsterer. The table below shows the average labor costs to reupholster different types of chairs.
|Cost (Labor Only)
|Cost (Material Only)
|$50 - $150
|$5 - $100
|$55 - $250
|$50 - $150
|$5 - $100
|$55 - $250
|$50 - $200
|$20 - $300
|$70 - $500
|$100 - $250
|$20 - $300
|$120 - $550
|$150 - $250
|$20 - $400
|$170 - $650
|$150 - $350
|$20 - $400
|$170 - $750
|$150 - $350
|$20 - $300
|$170 - $650
|$200 - $400
|$20 - $400
|$220 - $800
|$250 - $400
|$30 - $500
|$280 - $900
|$250 - $600
|$30 - $500
|$280 - $1,100
|$300 - $600
|$60 - $800
|$360 - $1,400
|$400 - $650
|$60 - $1,000
|$460 - $1,650
Reupholster Bar Stool
The cost to reupholster a bar stool ranges from $50 to $150 and depends on the stool’s design. To reupholster the bar stool, the contractor will remove the old upholstery and padding from the stool. Next, they will cut the new fabric to size and glue, staple, or use tacks to secure it in place. Finally, the reupholstered will add new padding and reattach the legs. A rounded bar stool with only a padded seat falls at the low end of the cost spectrum but a bar stool with a back or arms that are padded can cost more to reupholster. The chair's shape also impacts the price. Some barstools are not round but oblong or rectangular, so they take more time and material to upholster.
Reupholster Dining Chair
The cost to reupholster a dining chair ranges from $50 to $150. The price depends on several factors such as the amount of material used and the type. The first step to reupholster the dining chair is to remove the old fabric by carefully unscrewing the staples or cutting the fabric along the seams. Once the old fabric is removed, the reupholsterer will measure the chair and cut the new fabric to size, and adding an extra inch or two around the edges to allow for trimming. They will put new fabric in place and secure it to the chair with staples or upholstery tacks. Most dining chairs are easy to upholster and do not require a great deal of time. They usually have a single padded seat, so they use approximately half a yard of fabric. On occasion, a dining chair might also have a fabric back that needs to be reupholstered too, which will increase the cost.
The cost to reupholster a footstool ranges from $50 to $100. The price varies due to the style of the footstool. A rotund stool that boasts ample padding all the way around requires more material than a stool with wooden legs and only an upholstered top. Buttons and nails are other things that drive the cost of the reupholstery job higher. Also, antique footstools take longer to reupholster to maintain the chair’s vintage appearance and character.
Reupholster Office Chair
The cost to reupholster an office chair ranges from $100 to $250. Office chairs have more padding and fabric on them, so they cost more than dining chairs. Similar to dining chairs, the professional will first remove the padding and fabric but starting from the back of the chair. They will cut the new fabric to size and secure it in place with staples or upholstery tacks. If only the bottom of the chair is padded, the price falls at the lower end of the spectrum. However, if the sides, arms, and back are cushioned and upholstered, the price will increase to the higher end because it requires more material to complete the job. In addition, the amount of padding within the chair impacts the final cost. Office chair sizes vary from modest to larger models that can support a great deal of weight.
Reupholster Parsons Chair
The price to reupholster a Parsons chair averages from $150 to $250. It might seem like a simple, straightforward chair design, but it requires material on the seat and chair back. The angles of the chair’s design make it a medium-hard task to achieve. Normally, it will take from two to four yards of fabric to complete the task depending on the size of the chair. Parsons chairs often have unique trim that must be upholstered to match and drive the cost up to the higher end of the spectrum.
Reupholster Tub Chair
The cost to reupholster a tub chair ranges from $150 to $350. The chair’s design is typically small and rounded with a cushioned seat and possibly cushion back and arms. Depending on the actual style, it can use from two to four yards of fabric. It is fairly easy to upholster, so it does not require a great deal of time. Other factors that impact the price are the amount of padding in the chair and the size of the cushions. The more padding and the larger the chair, the more material that is needed to complete the task.
Reupholster Bergere Chair
The average cost to reupholster a Bergere chair is $150 to $350. The amount of padding in the back and the chair cushion impact the price. Typically, the back and the single cushion will need to be reupholstered. Also, the chair is often a vintage piece, so it will require a longer amount of time to reupholster to help preserve its workmanship. The chair usually takes two to three yards of fabric. Newer models of the Bergere chair are typically easier to reupholster than antiques.
Reupholster Slipper Chair
The cost to reupholster a slipper chair ranges from $200 to $400. Although the classic slipper chair is armless, it is very cushioned and requires more material than other chairs. Usually, it takes two to four yards of fabric to complete the slipper chair. In addition, the swooping design of the chair makes it fall into the medium difficulty range, so it takes time to complete the upholstery task and make it look acceptable.
Reupholster a Club Chair
A club chair, often called a skirted club chair, costs $250 to $400 for reupholstery. The higher cost is because the chairs' larger size takes more fabric. The square shape of the chair makes the task of medium difficulty. It takes three to five yards of fabric to complete the job, depending on the club chair’s size and the amount of padding in the chair. Usually, the design is very robust and often has buttons that make it a timely reupholstery job.
The cost to reupholster armchair ranges from $250 to $600. The large, cushioned chair has arms, pillows, and a padded back that require yards of fabric. Depending on the chair’s size, it can take from three to five yards of fabric to complete the upholstery of the chair. The curves of the chair and the amount of padding are all factors that make the task have a medium difficulty level. The time required accounts for the higher price to reupholster this chair style than a typical dining chair.
Reupholster a Wingback Chair
The cost to reupholster a wingback chair averages $300 to $600. The chair is usually very large and overstuffed, so it requires ample material to cover its girth. Most wingback chairs take from six to eight yards of fabric to complete the job. Depending on the design, it can have very ornate framing and detailing, making the upholstery task time consuming and very difficult. Often the wingback chair is an antique, so it will take even longer to complete.
Reupholster a Recliner
The cost to reupholster a lazy boy recliner or a standard recliner averages $400 to $650. Most recliners are overstuffed with more than one cushion, requiring a great deal of fabric to complete the job. The internal mechanisms and footrest are also typically covered in fabric. The amount of fabric to reupholster a recliner ranges from six to ten yards. It is a difficult and time-consuming task. The chair often has buttons, rivets, nailheads, and trim, which all have to be factored into the job, making it a hard chair to upholster.
Labor Cost to Reupholster a Chair
The labor price to reupholster a chair ranges from $50 to $100 per hour for an experienced reupholsterer. In addition to the labor cost to have a chair reupholstered, you have to factor in the material cost, ranging from $10 to $100 per yard. It can take under an hour to reupholster a single cushion chair or as many as ten hours for an antique recliner. However, the chair might be reupholstered in high-end fabric and increase the cost of the job.
The first step in reupholstering a chair is to remove the old fabric. This can be done by carefully removing the existing upholstery or cutting it away with a sharp knife. Once the reupholsterer has removed the old fabric, the next step is to measure and cut the new fabric. They make sure that the new fabric is cut slightly larger than the chair to allow for any necessary adjustments. Once the new fabric has been cut, they start attaching it to the chair. Depending on the chair, this can be done by gluing or using staples or upholstery tacks. Once the reupholsterer has secured the new fabric, the final step is to put any trimming or piping in place. This gives the finished product a polished look.
If the professional works within your home, expect to spend an additional $50 to $150 for the service call. If they are reupholstering a bigger piece or multiple chair pieces they have to transport to their workshop, this may incur an additional $100 to $300 for transportation fees. The upholsterer usually includes the disposal of materials in the price of their services. Hiring a professional ensures that the job is completed quickly with a fine piece of furniture when they are done. Overall, it is always better to have a professional carry out reupholstery jobs.
Cost to Reupholster Chair Cushions
Custom chair cushion reupholstery costs from $50 to $200 per piece, depending on the amount of fabric needed to complete the task and the type of cushion. Also, if the cushion needs additional filling, then that increases the expense. Sometimes a chair cushion needs new foam because the foam has lost its padding and form or has been damaged by animal chewing or spills. New foam costs from $100 to $300, depending on the type and amount needed for a plush recliner. The cost to reupholster an outdoor cushion is comparable to an indoor chair cushion.
Chair Upholstery Repair
Some chairs require repairing, which costs between $50 and $400, depending on what is needed. If the springs have broken down, the professional can respring them for $50 to $200. Sags, lumps, and bad springs are the foundation of any reupholstery job and must be taken care of during the chair’s upholstery. Sometimes adding new springs or extra stuffing solves the problem and keeps the chair from caving when you sit down. If the chair has surface damage, it may require refinishing, costing $100 to $400. However, remember that any tufting, cutting, sewing, stuffing, or respringing will drive up the labor costs depending on the time required to fix the chair.
Sometimes, even if you adore the chair, it cannot be reupholstered if the chair’s frame is broken. The legs and back of the chair can also be damaged. In such situations, there is no way to repair the chair safely. Often a recliner’s interior mechanisms fail or break. The chair’s parts might be obsolete or simply unrepairable, and the chair has to be thrown away. However, not all chair repairs are hopeless. Some can be fixed by a qualified furniture repair person.
How Many Yards of Fabric to Reupholster a Chair?
The cost to reupholster a chair depends on the amount of time it takes to complete the task. A large chair, such as a recliner, takes a great deal more material than a small dining room chair. Also, some chairs contain more padding than others. They require more fabric to complete the job, so the material is not stretched too tightly over the stuffing. On some chairs, even the buttons require reupholstery with matching fabric.
When buying materials for reupholstering a chair, the width of upholstery fabric is typically 54 inches. A straight-back or dining room chair uses very little fabric. A yard will likely reupholster two of these types of chairs. Always measure the seat at the widest point when determining the amount of material needed to complete the task. Below is a price table covering the most common chair reupholstery jobs and the amount of fabric needed to complete each task.
|Yards of Fabric Needed
|0.5 - 1
|0.5 - 1
|2 - 3
|2 - 3
|2 - 3
|2 - 4
|2 - 4
|2 - 4
|3 - 5
|3 - 5
|6 - 8
|6 - 10
Is It Worth Reupholstering a Chair?
Many things must be considered when deciding between buying a new chair or reupholstering your current one. Many people have a piece of furniture that has been in the family for generations and has sentimental value. Reupholstering can be a great way to give it a fresh, new look while preserving a piece of family history. The cost of reupholstery depends on the age of the chair. Some antique pieces require more attention. Also, the fabric cost per yard varies. Many people also opt to have their furniture reupholstered because it costs less than buying new. You might need to reupholster the chair because you have a dining set with six chairs, but only one needs reupholstering. You cannot buy a new matching chair, so reupholstering is a good alternative. Additionally, if you are renovating and want to keep the old furniture, reupholstering the chairs is a more affordable way of matching them to the new interior without buying new ones.
Reupholstering also makes the chair more comfortable. However, if the chair's frame is damaged or there are some problems with the springs or stuffing, the chair may remain uncomfortable or cost more to repair. Reupholstering takes time, and sometimes, the chair lasts less time than it did because of inferior fabric or workmanship. Finally, as an added benefit, reupholstering is eco-friendly because it is better for the environment than discarding the chair into a landfill.
Take care of your newly reupholstered chair and extend its life with some simple tips. Use protective treatments for your fabric, like scotch-guarding, and products to protect the wooden surfaces of your chair from stains, scratches, tears, and other wear and tear. Ask your local hardware retailer for some protective stain and treatment product options. Make sure to reapply regularly for best results. Also, only use cleaning solvents made for the fabric that you have used to cover your chair. The wrong cleaners can be too harsh and damage the fabric.
It is a good idea to have the chair professionally cleaned from time to time. Professional cleaning services cost $15 to $100 to clean the upholstery of your chair. Deter pets from scratching or climbing on your reupholstered chair by investing in a dedicated scratching post. Flip your chair cushions from time to time to wear consistently. Vacuum the chair well, but no more than once a week, or you risk wearing down the fibers prematurely. Position your chair where it is out of direct sunlight, which can fade its surface.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Chair Padding Replacement
The cost to replace the chair's padding can cost around $25. Two brand new foam chair cushion pads range from $40 to $75 per cushion. Replacing the chair pads will make the chair more comfortable and give it a newer, more robust appearance. Also, newer cushions have been designed to hold their shape and form longer, so your chair will look new for longer after the reupholstering.
Vintage Chair Restoration
If you want to give your chair a distinctive or vintage feel, consider enhancing it with decorative touches, like buttons, nailheads, or tufting, which will also increase costs. Depending on your choice, you could spend between $10 and $500 to adorn and embellish your chair. There are several options for adding decorative touches to your chair. You can add decorative trim for furniture such as nail heads, fringe, or brading, which costs $10 per yard. Tufting provides a more comfortable, overstuffed look. However, it requires more labor, so it is at the higher end of the cost scale. Simply adding hammered nail heads is quick and easy, requiring less labor.
Sometimes, you will save money if you have an upholster reupholster more than one piece of furniture at a time. It typically costs $750 to $3,500 to reupholster a couch, depending on size, fabric, and design. Often if you have a matching recliner or chair reupholstered at the same time, then you’ll save a little money. Always ask for an estimate to determine how much the job will cost if you have more than one piece reupholstered.
Reupholstering your headboard and bed range in price from $200 to $2,000. depending on the material and bed size. A twin bed is cheaper than a California king. Also, the type of material used on the headboard, trim, buttons, braiding, and other decor increase the price. In some cases, the headboard and bed might need extra foam or spring repair, impacting the final cost.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. There is no reason why you can’t attempt to reupholster a chair yourself, but keep in mind that it requires special skills and equipment. When you figure in the cost of tools, supplies, and the time to study and learn, it often makes more sense to hire a professional to reupholster your chair.
- Estimates. You should always get additional estimates from professional upholstery services. The estimates give you an idea of the cost and what services are being provided by each company. It will help you learn the different options available so you can pick a reputable company that provides the services you are seeking.
- Pick-up or delivery. You need to figure out how to get the chair to and from the upholsterer’s shop. Some professionals offer pick-up and delivery as part of their service within a specified distance. They often charge a fee ranging from $0.60 to $1.50 per mile or a flat rate of $100 to $300. If you are responsible for transporting the chair, you may find that you need to rent a truck for the task.
- Buy your own fabric. Some reupholsterer may offer incentives for buying fabric through them, such as discounted yardage. If you buy the material and take it to the professional upholstery shop to have them place it on the chair, the upholstery shop will normally only charge you for labor. Others may not care where the fabric comes from and charge the full reupholstery price regardless of the material.
- Bold vs patterned fabric. You’ll want to look at your home’s decor when trying to decide between bold or patterned fabric. Remember, bold fabric fits in a wide array of home styles, but a patterned fabric is often hard to match if the other furnishings in the house do not have the same pattern. Things can easily clash. Most people opt to go with a bold but subtle color when reupholstering so that everything complements each other.
- Cost to recane a chair. The price to recane a chair typically costs around $50 to $100 per hour for labor, and the cost of material averages $20 to $50 depending on the kind of reed being used to complete the weaving process. Recaning a chair easily takes several days to complete depending on the type of weaving being used. Antique cane back chairs that underdo hand weaving are very expensive.
- Cat-proof upholstery fabric. If you have cats, you know it is a constant battle to keep the kitty from viewing the chair as a possible scratching post. A cat’s claws can quickly shred leather and other material. The best cat-proof upholstery is often faux leather which doesn’t appeal to the kitty as much as real leather. Wool is a durable option that often doesn’t show damage from the claws. Any type of microfiber or synthetic material is less appealing than natural materials.
- Reupholster car seats. Reupholsterers, car restoration professionals, or car dealerships offer car seat reupholstering. The cost ranges from $250 to $750 per seat or $1,000 to $2,500 for the whole interior. The price includes removing the seats, reupholstering them, and putting them safely back in the vehicle.
- Is it cheaper to reupholster or buy new furniture?
It depends on the type of furniture being reupholstered and the material being used. In many cases, it is cheaper to reupholster than buy new quality furniture. Also, if you have antiques, it is very costly to replace a classic piece. It is always cheaper to reupholster.
- How much does it cost to have a wingback chair reupholstered?
The cost to reupholster a wingback chair averages $360 to $1,500. The front, sides, arms, and cushions undergo reupholstery, and additional padding is added if needed.
- How much does it cost to recover a recliner?
It costs around $460 to $1,650 to recover a recliner if there is no significant damage to the frame or mechanisms. If additional repairs are needed, the cost will be higher.
- How do you reupholster a chair corner?
For odd-shaped or complex projects, like a corner chair, working with a professional upholsterer is best. These experts have the tools and equipment necessary for the job to ensure the best results.
- How do you cover a chair seat?
A simple seat can be covered using the old cover as a template and cutting fabric to fit. It is typically secured with staples underneath the seat before reattaching to the chair’s frame. For more complicated upholstery projects, contact a professional.
- Is repairing and reupholstering a chair the same?
Repairing and reupholstering a chair are different projects. If the damage to the chair is purely cosmetic, then reupholstering may be all that is necessary. This involves removing the old fabric and replacing it with new material. On the other hand, if the structure of the chair is damaged, repair work will be required. This could include anything from fixing a broken leg to reinforcing a weakened frame.