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Reupholstering a chair allows you to recycle a piece of furniture. A skilled reupholster can turn an old piece of furniture into a brand new piece. The process involves removing and replacing the fabric, decorative trim, and stuffing. Reupholstery work can be done on everything from padded dining room chairs to overstuffed recliners.
The national average cost to reupholster a chair is between $350 and $500. Most people pay an average of $410 for a typical padded back, single cushion arm chair that uses three yards of fabric and is delivered directly to your door when complete. The cost to reupholster a single-seat cushion using inexpensive fabric costs about $70. At the high end, you can pay up to $750 to reupholster a recliner using high-end fabric with decorative nail heads. The price includes delivery to and from the upholsterer.
|Chair Reupholstering Cost|
|National average cost||$410|
The cost of material to reupholster a chair ranges from $10 to $100 depending on the type. Materials made from natural fibers are more expensive than synthetic. Natural fibers are typically made from animal products or plant-based items. You can also choose from organic or recycled natural fibers. Synthetic fabric is usually cheaper because it is man-made and widely available year-round. When buying materials for reupholstering a chair, the width of upholstery fabric is typically 54 inches. A straight-back or dining room chair will use very little fabric, and in fact, 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. When choosing your upholstery fabric, consider whether natural or synthetic fabrics make the most sense for your project.
|Type of Fabric||Natural or Synthetic||Cost per Yard (Materials Only)|
|Nylon||Synthetic||$10 - $15|
|Faux Leather||Synthetic||$10 - $15|
|Crypton||Synthetic||$10 - $35|
|Cotton||Natural||$15 - $20|
|Linen Blend||Natural||$18 - $25|
|Faux Suede||Synthetic||$20 - $25|
|Polyester||Synthetic||$20 - $45|
|Mohair||Natural||$20 - $80|
|Olefin||Synthetic||$25 - $30|
|Linen||Natural||$25 - $35|
|Denim||Natural||$25 - $35|
|Chenille||Synthetic||$25 - $55|
|Bamboo||Natural||$30 - $50|
|Twill||Synthetic||$30 - $55|
|Cotton Blend||Natural/Synthetic||$30 - $55|
|Suede||Natural||$35 - $40|
|Sunbrella||Synthetic||$35 - $55|
|Leather||Natural||$45 - $55|
|Rayon||Synthetic||$45 - $90|
|Acrylic||Synthetic||$50 - $80|
|Velvet||Synthetic||$55 - $65|
|Silk||Natural||$60 - $70|
|Wool||Natural||$80 - $100|
Nylon runs from $10 to $15 per yard when reupholstering a chair. It is an affordable synthetic fabric that is durable and static resistant. The upholstery fabric is also very stain resistant. However, it is often thin and may not last a long time, making it unsuitable if the chair being upholstered is used regularly. Also, when exposed to fire or heat, the fabric melts and burns rapidly, making it a fire danger if you position the chair too close to a fireplace or woodstove.
Faux leather upholstery for a chair averages only $10 to $15 per yard. It is designed to stand up well to scratches and other abrasions. Most people like it because it feels cool and soft. In addition, you can wipe it clean. In time, the laminated surface of the material cracks and creases. Also, it does not stand up to penetration well and can easily suffer punctures from cat claws or other sharp objects.
Crypton upholstery fabric averages $10 to $35 per yard. It is highly resistant to stains and microbes, which makes it ideal for use on chairs. The colors are steadfast. It also has a five- year water resistance warranty which makes it a superb choice for patio furniture. The look and feel of those tough fabrics are similar to cotton but with none of the drawbacks. The main complaint about Crypton fabric is that it is loaded with chemicals and not very environmentally friendly.
The average cost of cotton upholstery is $15 to $20 per yard. All natural, cotton is a favored choice for chair upholstery because it is widely available in various patterns and colors. It is highly breathable and wicks moisture and heat away from the skin when sitting on the furniture. Cotton is also resistant to pilling, long-lasting, somewhat stain resistant, and easy to clean. It is an ideal option for anyone seeking a natural fiber material.
A linen cotton blend averages $18 to $25 per yard. It is highly air-permeable, so it creates a comfortable, non-sticky place to sit. A quality linen blend combines cotton and linen fibers that resist wrinkling and provide a smooth surface for upholstery. The material has a reputation for being durable and wrinkle resistant, which can be an ideal choice for chair seating. It is a long-lasting choice for anyone seeking material for chair upholstery. In addition, it is fashioned from natural fiber material.
Faux suede upholstery averages $20 to $25 per yard. It boasts better stain resistance than genuine suede but will still take on a smooth appearance after frequent use. It is difficult to clean, which makes it a drawback for many people. It is not overly resistant to wear and tear, so it does not offer a long life span as many other upholstery materials.
Polyester upholstery fabric for a chair is readily available at $20 to $45 per yard. You'll find a range of colors and patterns to meet any decor. It is easy to care for and resists most stains. However, it can collect static. Oil can also pose a problem for polyester. Over time, the arms of a chair or the top of the material that is exposed to the head will develop oil stains that look unsightly and are almost impossible to remove.
Mohair chair upholstery fabric averages $20 to $80 because there is a big difference in quality when shopping for the material. The thick fabric is highly resistant to stains. Mohair is often used as the upholstery material of choice for theater chairs. It resists stains well and does not fade. Many people don’t like the fabric because it has a lackluster appearance that is very utilitarian.
Olefin upholstery fabric runs from $25 to $30 per yard. The fabric is durable and resists stains well. Water-based stains are a breeze to clean. It naturally repels water, so if a spill happens on the chair, then you can just blot it to remove the moisture. The fabric does not tolerate the sun well and can quickly become brittle, so you’ll need to position the chair away from windows.
Linen upholstery material runs from $25 to $35 per yard. The process of making linen has been around for thousands of years. It is fashioned from fibers garnered from the flax plant. The material was even used as a form of currency in ancient Egypt. It is long lasting, durable, and offers a great deal of beauty when used on any chair. Linen upholstered furnishings can easily last centuries with proper care. Although highly favored for chair upholstery, linen stains easily, so care should be taken to protect the fabric.
The average price of denim upholstery fabric per yard is $25 to $35. Although blue is the traditional color of denim fabric, it is available in many hues. The tightly woven cotton fibers are easy to form and bend to upholster furniture. It is a durable choice that stands up to everyday use. Many people don’t like the rough texture of the fabric for chairs.
Chenille averages $25 to $55 per yard. The trendy fabric has a soft pile that adds an air of elegance to any piece of furniture. It is extremely soft and dainty. The main disadvantage is that it is not long lasting and will not stand up to excessive regular use. Also, the fabric fades quickly if exposed to sunlight. Over time, the arms and headrest of a chair upholstered in chenille tend to thin.
Bamboo fabric for upholstery averages from $30 to $50 per yard. Highly eco-friendly, bamboo is a renewable plant fiber that grows rapidly. Material fashioned from bamboo is exceptionally soft to the touch. It is also antibacterial and hypoallergenic. The material wicks moisture and stays cool to the touch when used on a chair. The two main drawbacks of bamboo fabric are that it shrinks if you get it wet and wrinkles easily.
Twill upholstery fabric is an affordable choice that averages $30 to $55 per yard. The material’s unusual pattern makes it exceptionally sturdy and great for heavy-use chairs. It is hard to clean and prone to stain. Unfortunately, the threads within the pattern can also twist and turn, creating imperfections on the surface. Twill fabric comes in various solid and multi-colored hues to fit any decor.
Poly-cotton blends average $30 to $55 per yard. The material is exceptionally strong. It offers flexibility and dries rapidly if a spill should occur. Also, it is somewhat stain resistant. Unfortunately, it can stick to and even irritate sensitive skin. Overall, a cotton blend is more durable and longer lasting than a pure cotton fabric, making this fabric appealing to some.
Suede averages $35 to $40 per yard. Many people enjoy the soft feel of the leather and the smell when used on a chair. It is durable but can easily sustain spotting from water or other liquids. Also, in time, the velvet-like texture of the suede takes on a smooth appearance. Discoloration occurs due to the oils of the hands and head. Marks appear from frequent use. Suede is difficult to clean and requires a professional cleaning service.
Sunbrella upholstery fabric averages $35 to $55 per yard. It is a favored upholstery fabric for patio chair furniture. The material is designed to hold its color and durability even in full sunlight. It lasts three times as long as other fabrics outdoors. The material is made using tenara sewing thread which is made from Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). The only real drawback to the fabric is that it has a plastic-like feel that many people consider rough to the touch.
Leather is a popular reupholstery choice. It averages $45 to $55 per yard. The feel of leather is durable and warm. It gives a sophisticated air to any piece of furniture. You can also opt to use suede if you prefer the almost velvet-like feel of that leather. Leather damages easily if you own cats or other pets. It requires regular oiling and care to maintain its appearance. A suede leather finish will also stain from water. Many people oppose leather for ethical reasons.
Rayon averages $45 to $90 per yard. Many people adore rayon fabric because it has a silk-like appearance but is stronger and more affordable. Rayon upholstery material is fashioned from a combination of bamboo, cotton trash, and wood pulp. The main drawback to this fabric as a chair reupholstery choice is that it does not hold up well to water or other stains, which can cause significant discoloration.
Acrylic upholstery fabric averages $50 to $80 per yard. It has many characteristics of wool but is somewhat more lightweight. The synthetic fabric is warm and durable, which makes it a favored choice for various applications. However, many people do not like the chemical process that goes into its manufacture, such as acrylonitrile, a derivative of polypropylene plastic. The synthetic fibers are exceptionally strong, which makes it great for use on chairs.
Velvet averages $55 to $65 per yard. It is extremely soft and luxurious. Typically, velvet fabric is solid in solid hues and is considered a bonus for any decor. One of the main drawbacks to the fabric is that it easily collects dust. The fabric wears out quickly. Any imperfection can ruin the feel of the softness. It is exceptionally difficult to clean and stains easily.
Silk upholstery fabric averages from $60 to $70 per yard. The soft, luxurious fabric adds an upscale feel to any furniture. It has a reputation for being one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. The fabric doesn’t wrinkle or crush and looks amazing when fashioned into a chair pad. However, the silk fibers break down rapidly when exposed to sunlight, such as in a room with windows. Also, silk starts to show wear and tear faster than other materials. Water can discolor and stain the fabric.
Wool is one of the most popular chair upholstery fabrics, so it is costly and ranges in price from $80 to $100 per yard. The most expensive wool upholstery fabric by the yard is imported. Wool is durable and flame resistant. When exposed to fire or high temperatures, it will only smolder. With proper care, wool lasts for generations. However, it requires dry cleaning. Also, if you plan to store the furniture, you’ll need to consider that wool is susceptible to damage from moths and other insects that consume natural fibers.
The cost to recover a chair ranges from $40 to $660, 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 requires more material. Also, intricate details take more time and fabric to refurbish, which increases the price that you pay the upholsterer.
|Chair Type||Cost (Labor Only)|
|Bar Stool||$40 - $100|
|Dining Chair||$40 - $100|
|Office Chair||$40 - $100|
|Footstool||$40 - $100|
|Tub Chair||$100 - $200|
|Parsons Chair||$100 - $200|
|Bergere Chair||$200 - $400|
|Slipper Chair||$250 - $350|
|Arm Chair||$300 - $350|
|Club Chair||$300 - $400|
|Wingback Chair||$360 - $500|
|Recliner||$600 - $660|
The cost to reupholster a bar stool ranges from $40 to $100 and depends on the stool’s design. 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. Also, the chair's shape impacts price. Some barstools are not round but oblong or rectangular, so they take more time and material to upholster.
The cost to reupholster a dining chair ranges from $40 to $100. The price depends on several factors such as the amount of material used and the type. Most dining chairs have a single padded seat, so they use approximately half a yard of fabric. They are fairly easy to upholster and do not require a great deal of time. The amount of padding in the chair can also impact the length of fabric needed to complete the task. On occasion, a dining chair might also have a fabric back that needs to be reupholstered too.
The cost to reupholster an office chair ranges from $40 to $100. 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.
The cost to reupholster a footstool ranges from $40 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.
The cost to reupholster a tub chair ranges from $100 to $200. 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.
The price to reupholster a Parsons chair averages from $100 to $200. 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.
The average cost to reupholster a Bergere chair is $200 to $400. 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.
The cost to reupholster a slipper chair ranges from $250 to $350. 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.
Reupholstering an arm chair cost ranges from $300 to $350. 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.
A club chair, often called a skirted club chair, costs $300 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 completely reupholster a wingback chair averages $360 to $500. 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.
The cost to reupholster a lazy boy recliner or a standard recliner averages $600 to $660. 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.
A quality upholsterer charged $100 per hour for their services in many regions. In addition to the cost of labor, you have to factor in the material cost, ranging from $10 to $100 per yard. The cost to reupholster a padded back single cushion arm chair is around $350 for labor and an additional $60 for three yards of cotton to reupholster it. It can take under an hour to reupholster a single cushion chair or as many as ten hours for a recliner. However, the chair might be reupholstered in high-end fabric and increase the cost of the job. 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.
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. Below is a price table covering the most common chair reupholstery jobs and the amount of fabric needed to complete each task.
|Chair Type||Yards of Fabric Needed|
|Bar Stool||0.5 - 1|
|Dining Chair||0.5 - 1|
|Office Chair||2 - 3|
|Footstool||2 - 3|
|Bergere Chair||2 - 3|
|Tub Chair||2 - 4|
|Parsons Chair||2 - 4|
|Slipper Chair||2 - 4|
|Arm Chair||3 - 5|
|Club Chair||3 - 5|
|Wingback Chair||6 - 8|
|Recliner||6 - 10|
Many things must be considered when deciding between buying a new chair or reupholstering your current one. If the chair has sentimental value, you really can’t replace those types of furnishings, so yes, reupholstering the chair makes the most sense. It does merit consideration of the age and condition of the chair. It could be too old or too far gone to be worth the investment. When it comes down to it, reupholstering a chair is generally cheaper than buying new and much better for the environment than discarding it to a landfill.
Many people enjoy having their furniture reupholstered because it costs less than buying new. It is also a great opportunity to update the style and change the color or pattern to give the home a new decor feel. Reupholstering furniture extends its life and is often a very sentimental practice because people become emotionally attached to pieces that have been in the family for years. Also, reupholstering makes the chair more comfortable. However, if the chair's frame is damaged or there are some problems with the springs, the chair might remain uncomfortable or cost a sizable amount to repair. Reupholstering takes time, and sometimes, the chair lasts less time than it did because of inferior fabric or workmanship.
Custom chair customs can cost from $70 to $200 to reupholster per cushion, depending on the amount of fabric needed to complete the task. 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. The cost of the new foam can easily run from $100 to $200, 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 reupholstery ranges from $40 to $750 depending on the chair type and amount and type of fabric used for the upholstery job. Some people opt to repair the upholstery on a valuable chair instead of reupholstering the entire thing because it is cheaper. If a single chair gets torn, repairing the upholstery is easier than replacing or reupholstering the entire dining room set. Repairing a chair with a stain or tear is an easy and cost-effective task. If a piece of furniture fits well in your home, then you’ll want to reupholster it instead of replacing the item.
Some chairs can undergo respringing if the springs have broken down at the cost of $50 to $200, depending on the chair type. 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. 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.
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 $10 to $90 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.
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.
The cost to have your upholstery cleaned on your chair ranges from $10 to $90, with most people paying around $90 for cleaning a single chair, such as a recliner. However, for smaller chairs such as an arm chair, you can typically have it professionally cleaned for around $10. Delicate upholstered pieces such as those covered in silk cost more to clean. Also, heavily stained pieces increase the price.
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 what you choose, you could spend between $10 and $500 to adorn and embellish your chair. Tufting provides a more comfortable, overstuffed look and requires more labor. Tufting is at the higher end of the cost scale. Simply adding hammered nail heads is quick and easy, requiring less labor.
Decorative trim such as nail heads, fringe, or brading increases the price of reupholstering your chair. Trim can cost an average of $10 per yard. The amount needed depends on the chair. In some cases, you can add trim, or you can have the chair reupholstered with no decorative trim to save on costs. A dining room chair often has less than a yard of trim, but a wingback chair might have eight yards of trim.
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.
The cost to reupholster two car bucket seats ranges from $1,000 to $2,000. This includes removing the seats from the vehicle, reupholstering the seat, and replacing it safely back in the vehicle. Also, you have to consider the material used when calculating the cost. Vinyl and faux leather are cheaper choices for reupholstering car seats than leather.
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.
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.
The cost to reupholster a wingback chair averages $360 to $500 plus the cost of the fabric needed. The front, sides, arms, and cushions undergo reupholstery, and additional padding is added if needed.
It costs between $40 and $100 for labor, depending on the style, and condition of the dining chair’s frame.
Some upholsterers charge around $100 per hour. Carpenters charge around $70 per hour and up to repair damaged chair frames.
It costs around $600 to $660 to recover a recliner if there is no significant damage to the frame or mechanisms.
It costs an average of $410 to reupholster arm chair, though it can range between $40 and $750, depending on the type and condition of your chair.
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.
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.