How to reupholster dining room chairs…in leopard!

by | Apr 24, 2020

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I’ve waited forever to paint and reupholster these dining room chairs!!! The original fabric was in perfect shape….and it wasn’t even ugly…..I just didn’t care for the colors.

I’ve had this leopard fabric and teal velvet for over a year…..just sitting on a shelf waiting for Matt to agree to help me (which really means “do it”).  

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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So finally…..he just randomly asked me if I had a project he could work on.  

So AFTER I picked myself up off the floor at his offering (oh he helps….but it usually takes me begging)…..I ran and grabbed the fabric.  

He removed the seats from the chairs which were screwed in….and that was super easy.  However, the fabric on the top of the chairs was glued in place.  So we left it!

Prep: cleaning and painting

We cleaned the chairs well with Dixie Belle’s White Lightning to remove all dirt and built-up furniture polish residue.  We rinsed with plain water….and began to paint.

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It didn’t take us long at all to get two full coats of Caviar (my favorite black) on the four chairs.  There are two armchairs that we didn’t do at this time as we will be using a different fabric that I haven’t purchased yet. 

The base of the table is painted in Caviar as well….which is why I chose black.  These chairs are the last item in the dining room to go from black to brown….see the transition of the rest of the dining room here.

And let me just say…I promise I helped…..but I also took the photos….so there are none of me working!

We then sealed the painted chairs in two coats of Gator Hide…..which is Dixie Belle‘s most durable topcoat.  I prefer to use this on pieces that will get a lot of use….and this table and chair set does! 

The painting of the chairs was such an easy and fast project!  Just think of the possibilities and fun you could have just by changing the colors of your chairs….with paint!

Reupholster the dining room chairs…in leopard print!

So now on to the upholstery portion of the blog…..this is where it gets interesting…..as this is NOT something we normally do!

Matt cut leopard fabric for the four seat-cushions.  He then strategically wrapped and tucked and smoothed corners and secured the fabric well with a staple gun. 

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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Seat cushions….done!

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The seat backs….not so easy. 

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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He made a pattern by tracing both the front and the back cushion onto tissue paper and used that as a pattern.  He cut the fronts out of the leopard fabric and the backs out of the teal velvet.

We received a tip from one of our Facebook friends to spray the fabric (both existing and new) with fabric adhesive.  What a game-changer that was!  We were able to get a nice and smooth stretch that adhered beautifully with the adhesive.  We then stapled fabric into place with a compressed air nail gun….which made us look and sound very professional!

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We had to wait a week or more for our upholstery trim to arrive…which was supposed to be black.  Instead…..they sent gold…..and what the heck…the chairs are already so gaudy….we just went for it!

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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And we actually really like it!   

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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And I LOVE the surprise pop of teal on the back of the chairs.  Teal and a bold pink are the accent colors throughout my house…..and FINALLY my dining room has joined the party!

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We are so pleased with how this finished project looks…..but even more pleased at how easy it was to do! Click HERE to see what the dining room looked like BEFORE this transformation. And be sure to get a closer look at the faux wood grain table.

How to reupholster dining room chairs in leopard print | Tracey's Fancy
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If you’ve considered painting your table and reupholstering the dining room chairs….I’m here to tell you to go for it!

Other DIY home project inspiration

See more of our home projects over the years. Scroll through to see ALL the projects!

Shop: Reupholster dining room chair supplies

The products listed here are what I used for this project!  Dixie Belle Paint company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level! Just click on any of the products shown below!  You can also find my favorite products and tools in my Amazon influencer list here.

Here’s how it works…these products are attached to my name. When you purchase by clicking from my blog…..then Dixie Belle offers a kickback to me for referring you!  It doesn’t cost you any more to use my links….and the support helps me to bring you new projects!  So I thank you in advance!!!

See you next week!

XOXO, 

Tracey

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4 Comments

  1. Jane Faherty

    Love the Cheetah print for your new chairs!!!!! Where did you find the fabric?
    You are such an inspiration!
    Thank you!
    Best regards,
    Jane

    Reply
    • Tracey Bellion

      Thank you Jane! ? I soooo wanted to give y’all the link for this fabric in the blog shop section because I knew many would ask but I bought it YEARS ago at Joann Fabrics and couldn’t find the exact match online.

      Reply
  2. Hayley

    Hi there

    Amazing job! I am a leopard print fanatic! Can I please ask, I bought the same type of trim for a lamp and a chair. I’ve only used it on the lamp so far but everytime I cut a piece the ends all frayed, how did you manage such a perfect cut?

    Thanks!
    Hayley

    Reply
  3. Nancy Gillespie

    Wow!! What an amazing job you guys did on the Dining Room upholstery!! Loved the Teal on the back, and the gold braid really added a beautiful touch!! Way to go Tracey & Matt!! Need to get you to tutor Tim!! Everything we try turns into a disaster, but you guys have truly got the magic touch!!!

    Reply

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