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How to Reupholster a Bar Stool

We’re all looking for ways to save money wherever we can right now. A great way to refresh furniture is to reupholster your furniture and give it a facelift. We just did this with our barstools. Here is how to reupholster a bar stool. We also painted them to give them a new look and feel.  These stools were round and they were a bit of a challenge to do over the square seats we had done in the past. Still, it was a quick job to do and they turned out great.

How to Reupholster a Bar Stool

We’ve had these stools for over 15 years and we got them from the owners of the house we bought so they could very well be 50 years old. While we love the chrome look the barstools have gotten rusty and they are kind of gross up close. Definitely a prime candidate for a barstool DIY project.

What you will need to reupholster a bar stool?

How much does it cost to reupholster stools?

The total cost for this was under $30. For us, we only had to buy the paint and the fabric we had the stapler and drill already.

This is a great way for you to refresh some furniture for cheap!

How long does it take to reupholster a barstool?

The spray painting took about 30 minutes and the cushion fabric took another 30 for two stools. That said you can easily do it under an hour for two stools. It gets easier the more of them you do.


How to Reupholster a Bar Stool (Step by Step Instructions)

How to upholster a round bar stool?

We’ve reupholstered our dining room chairs a few years back and they were pretty simple. A square surface is much easier to reupholster than a circle. When you are upholstering a round stool make sure you have two people. One person holds the fabric tight while the other person staples the fabric to the stool.

Step 1: Separate the seat from the legs

Flip the stool upside down and unscrew the seat from the legs. Set the screws aside, you will need them to reassemble the stool.


Step 2: Spray paint the legs.

We had no clue how to properly spray paint the legs, so we used this video as a reference. It turned out really well, no drips or runs. Using a black mat paint really helped cover up any issues that may have shown with other more shiny paints.

Step 3: Remove old upholstery

We had to work around this one, as you can see from the image there were over a hundred staples in each stool and we wanted to get this done quickly. Since the staples are nowhere near where you sit we figured we would try and put the fabric over top. In the end, it looked exactly the same. You can’t tell that there is another layer of fabric underneath.

Step 4: Lay out and cut your fabric

This is probably the easiest thing to do and the most stressful. Put the barstool in the middle and make sure you will have enough for the fabric to fold over underneath and make sure you can fold it over from each side.

Step 5: Fold over the two sides onto the back of the stool

The best way we found to do this was to start on one end and work our way around. First, we stapled the seams on the underside of the stool. Always making sure the fabric was as tight as we could make it. This is much easier to do when you have a partner helping you keep the fabric tight while you staple it down to the stool cushion.

Step 6 Pick one end of the stool and staple it

Remember while you are doing this to keep flipping the cushion over to make sure there are no folds or creases in the fabric as you do this. It’s really important that you make sure the folds are snug when you staple them or else they will stick out when you flip them over.

Step 7: Finish the other end

Once you are done with the one side, do the same thing. We were constantly trimming away excess fabric when we knew that we wouldn’t need it. The fabric can get bunchy on the ends as you go so trim it away or else your staples might not grab properly.

bar stool fabric underneath

Step 8: Reexamine your stool and fix any issues

Flip the stool over and examine your folds to make sure there are no issues with them, if there are you may need to remove some staples and tighten the fabric underneath and staple them again.


Step 9: Reattach the stool cushion to the legs of the barstool

Once the paint has dried reattach the cushion to the legs with the screws you took out and put aside. You may need to find new screw holes or you can use an ice pick to find the original holes you were using.

finished reupholstered bar stool

Step 10: You’re done!

Here’s a before and after of the stools.

reupholstered bar stool before and after


Final thoughts on how to reupholster a bar stool

As far as a weekend project goes this is an easy one. When you do want to change the look of your stools this one is a simple and easy way for you to be able to dramatically change the look of a piece of furniture without breaking the bank or taking up a lot of time. I will definitely be doing this again.

No matter what size of the project you are taking on make sure you create a budget. Our home renovation budget template is the perfect tool to get started and it’s free!


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