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How to Reupholster a Recliner the Right Way

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Recliners can live in a home for over a lifetime. But with all that use, it’s likely they will suffer some wear and tear.

If it is looking a little old and shabby, you may be wondering how to reupholster a recliner?

First, you will have to measure your fabric and disassemble the recliner. Then, you can rip off the old fabric and replace it with your new material. Finally, simply put it back together.

How to Reupholster a Recliner

Recliner being upholstered

Before you start, make sure you have the right materials. You’re going to need the fabric you want to reupholster your recliner with. This could be leather or a pattern, depending on what style you want.

If you are new to reupholstery, it is better to go for block colors rather than distinct patterns. This ensures you don’t cut off any parts of the design when replacing the fabric.

You won’t have to buy lots of tools. You will need an upholstery needle and thread, pilers, a screwdriver, a fabric cutter, and a seam ripper.

Step One: Measure Your Recliner and Choose Your Fabric

Measuring a recliner

The first step of reupholstering your recliner is to measure the chair. That way, you will know how much material you’ll need to cut out to recover it. Each part will need a different amount of material.

Measure both the width and the length. This will give you an idea of how much material you need to cut out. Doing this before you begin also lets you buy exactly the right amount of fabric.

Choosing your fabric depends entirely on personal style. If you want a similar shade to the one you have, take a piece of the old fabric into a store. Block patterns are easier to make look good than complex patterns when it comes to DIY.

Step Two: Disassemble the Recliner

Make sure you take photos of your recliner before you begin this step. This will provide a reference point for later when you reassemble.

You’re going to need a staple remover and a seam ripper. Work around the seat cushion, ripping the seams to separate the fabric. Unscrew any parts that have screws, making sure to keep them in a secure place where they won’t get lost.

Take the recliner apart, exposing new parts as you do so. Each time you remove a part, take off the old material to expose the bare recliner underneath.

Make sure you remember the order in which you took parts off. You could even take photos after you remove each piece to give yourself a better idea of the order. Once the recliner is bare, you can move on to the next step.

Step Three: Sew and Glue Your Fabric to the Recliner Parts

furniture being upholstered

Apply fabric glue to the recliner to ensure that the material won’t slip around when you sit on it. Keeping it in place will also stop any bunching of the material.

Then begin to stitch your new fabric onto the disassembled parts. When stitching the recliner fabric, make sure you space out your stitches.  This will help secure the new fabric to your seat.

If you are not confident in your sewing abilities, you could also use a staple gun to secure the fabric.

Cover each of the disassembled parts in your new fabric, ensuring to cover all of the space.

Step Four: Reassemble the Recliner

Once you have covered every part with your new material, you are ready to reassemble the recliner.

Put the parts back together in reverse order, using your photos taken in step one if needed. If you get stuck, Sailrite have a full two hour long tutorial.

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Recliner?

On average it costs between $200 and $500 for all of the materials and tools. That is for if you’re going to be doing the project yourself.

If you want to hire someone, the price can go over $1000 but may be worth it depending on your level of comfort.

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Small Recliner?

Reupholstering a smaller recliner means that you’ll be needing less fabric. The smaller the recliner is, the less material you will need. That means that you can reupholster a small recliner for anywhere between $100-$400.

How Much Fabric do you use When Reupholstering a Recliner?

Fabric being measuring to upholster a recliner

Recliners come in all different shapes and sizes, meaning the amount of fabric you will use may vary. The best way to work out how much you will need is by measuring your recliner.

If you measure the length and width of each piece, you can calculate how much fabric you will use on each piece. If you add together the amount needed for each piece, you’ll have the total amount of fabric.

It is always a good idea to get a little more than you need, just in case anything goes wrong and you have to repeat a section.

Can You Reupholster a La-Z-Boy Recliner and How Much Does it Cost?

La-Z-Boy is one of the gold standards when it comes to recliners. La-Z-Boy builds their recliners to last, they can spend years in the home without breaking. After a while, they may become a little tattered with use.

You can reupholster La-Z-Boy recliners like any other recliner.  Go through and use the above steps to reupholster your La-Z-Boy. If you’re looking to DIY, the whole process including fabric and tools will cost you anywhere from $200-£500.

However, you could also hire someone to reupholster your La-Z-Boy for you. This will cost you between $400-$1500 according to HomeAdvisor.

Wrapping up How to Reupholster a Recliner

Reupholstering a recliner doesn’t have to be hard work. If you follow the above steps you’ll be sitting on a new fabric in no time.

You’ll be able to find all the tools you need on amazon. Or, visit your local hardware store to buy in person.

To reupholster your recliner, simply measure the part and disassemble the recliner. Then detach the old fabric, recover with the new material, and reassemble.

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