Cost to Reupholster a Chair – 2021

| Last Updated: August 21, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 197

$ 85

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 31% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

The average price to Reupholster a Chair noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

Want to reupholster a chair and wonder how much it costs? An upholstery service charges $197 to reupholster a chair vs. $85

Add pizzazz to an old chair from a flea market with bright, colorful fabric and you’ll make it a focal point in a room. Reupholstering a straight-back chair seat, as opposed to a larger overstuffed one, is a good first-time project for the not-so-handy homeowner because it’s small in size and doesn’t require a lot of time or expensive tools. The most difficult part of the job is choosing from the myriad of decorator materials. For planning purposes, do any refinishing or painting to the chair frame before reupholstering the seat and back.

Compare the cost of hiring a re-upholstery service and doing it yourself. To reupholster a basic 20-inch square chair seat in moderately priced fabric, a re-upholstery service will charge $197, which includes the labor and material. You can do the job for $85, the cost to reupholster a chair which covers the fabric and batting to pad the seat.

Use a long-nose pliers to remove nails or staples in the frame, then unscrew the old seat with a screwdriver and remove the fabric and padding. Cut new fabric the size of the old material and center the design of the new fabric on the seat. You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors to cut the fabric and batting to size. Then use an electric staple gun to fasten the new covering to the bottom of the chair frame and reinstall it with the screws you removed.

For instructions go to wikiHow to learn how to Reupholster a Chair.

There are several good books on the subject: The Little Upholstery Book by Shelly Miller Leer, Cane & Rush Seating by Charlotte LaHalle and Style Stitch Staple: Basic Upholstery Skills to Tackle Any Project by Hannah Stanton.

Now you know the average cost to reupholster a chair, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. 

Looking to do more DIY improvements? Here are some more cost guides:

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.