Best Materials for Reupholstering a Lounge Chair

Reupholstering a lounge chair can be a daunting task, depending on the shape of the piece of furniture, but it can also transform the look and feel of a room without the high cost of buying new furniture. However, before embarking on this project, there are a few things you should know.

We’ll guide you through choosing the right materials, stuffing, and cushion materials, and the best fabrics for upholstering a lounge chair. We also address some common questions to help you make the best choice about whether to tackle this project yourself or hire a professional.

Choosing the Right Material for your Lounge Chair

When choosing the right material for reupholstering a lounge chair, there are several factors to consider. These are some of the key areas to think about before you get started.

Construction and Shape of Your Lounge Chair

Consider the shape and construction of the lounge chair when choosing materials. Some chairs may require more durable or thicker materials, while others may benefit from a lighter fabric.

Fabric Durability

Look for fabrics that are durable enough to withstand regular use. This is especially important if the chair will be heavily used.

Stain Resistance

If you have children or pets, look for stain-resistant fabrics to make cleaning up spills and messes easier.

Ease of Cleaning

Always use materials and fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain because lounge chairs can collect dust and dirt over time.


Colorfast fabrics will maintain their color and not fade over time. This is important if you want the chair to look lovely for years.

Consider your personal tastes and home décor

Lastly, consider your personal style and the existing décor in your home. Choose materials that complement the existing color scheme and design of your space. But also keep in mind that trends change, and you want a chair that can fit with many evolving styles.

Stuffing, Filling, and Cushion Material

When it comes to stuffing, filling, and cushion material for a lounge chair, there are a few options to consider. Some of the most common materials include foam, down, and synthetic fibers. Choose materials that are comfortable, durable, and provide the right support for the chair.

Best Fabrics for Upholstering a Lounge Chair

There are many fabrics to choose from when reupholstering a lounge chair, but some are better suited for this task than others.



  • Durable, easy to clean, stylish, hypoallergenic


  • Can be expensive, may scratch or fade over time, and can be uncomfortable in hot weather



  • Soft, comfortable, easy to clean, affordable


  • Prone to wrinkling, can stain easily, not as durable as some other materials



  • Luxurious, soft, comfortable, durable


  • Can be expensive, can be difficult to clean, and may not be as breathable as some other materials



  • Stain-resistant, durable, affordable, easy to clean


  • Not super breathable.

Tips for Reupholstering a Lounge Chair

These are some basic steps and tips to think about before you dive into this DIY project. Every lounge chair differs, but this quick guide can be tweaked and applied to any shape or model.

  1. Assess the chair and gather materials
    • Examine the chair to understand its construction, noting any mechanisms, hardware, or unique features.
    • Take photos of the chair before disassembly to use as a reference.
    • Gather tools and materials: upholstery fabric, foam or padding (optional), staple gun, staples, scissors, screwdriver or drill, pliers, fabric marker or chalk, measuring tape, straight pins, sewing machine (if needed for seams), seam ripper, and upholstery needle.
  2. Determine the amount of fabric needed
    • Measure each part of the chair that will be reupholstered (seat, backrest, arms, etc.) and note the dimensions.
    • Add a few extra inches to each measurement to account for seam allowances and errors.
    • Calculate the total fabric needed by adding the measurements and converting them to yards or meters. Always try and buy far more fabric than you need in case you have to reupholster again in the future, make repairs, or need to fix a mistake.
  3. Disassemble the chair
    • Remove any hardware, legs, or mechanisms using a screwdriver or drill.
    • Carefully remove the existing upholstery fabric, using a seam ripper if necessary, and try not to damage it, as it will serve as a template for the new fabric.
    • Use pliers to remove any staples or tacks holding the fabric in place.
  4. Cut the new fabric
    • Lay the old upholstery fabric on top of the new fabric, aligning patterns or grain as desired.
    • Use a fabric marker or chalk to trace around the old fabric, adding seam allowances as needed (typically 1-2 inches).
    • Cut the new fabric following the lines you’ve drawn.
  5. Add or replace padding (this is optional)
    • If the foam or padding on your ottoman is old, stained, and needs replacing, just remove what’s currently there with minimal damage and measure the chair’s parts for the new padding you want to add.
    • Measure the old padding if it’s still in one piece, or loosely measure the chair and add a little extra around the edges to soften them once upholstered.
    • A little bit of spray adhesive can help keep the padding in place when you’re working with the fabric and tools throughout the project.
  6. Attach the new fabric
    • Start with the inner parts of the chair (e.g., seat and backrest) and work your way outwards so you’re not left with fabric bunches on the inner, hard-to-reach areas.
    • Position the new fabric over the chair, ensuring it’s centered and aligned with any patterns or grain.
    • Pull the fabric gently but tightly over the padding, you don’t want any sagging parts and bunches in the material. Then secure the fabric to the chair’s frame with staples, starting at the center and working outward, as always.
    • When you reach corners or curves, just fold or pleat the ends neatly and staple them in place. If there’s any excess sticking out, just trim with scissors.
  7. Sew any necessary seams
    • If the chair requires any seams (e.g., cushion covers or piping), use the sewing machine to create them following the original design.
    • Use straight pins to keep the fabric from moving around while you’re sewing and an upholstery needle if hand-sewing might be needed.
  8. Reassemble the chair
    • Reattach any hardware, legs, or mechanisms to the chair using a screwdriver or drill.
    • Inspect the chair to ensure the fabric is smooth, the seams are well-sewn, and the staples are secure.

Reupholstering a Lounge Chair FAQs

How much does it cost to upholster a lounge chair?

There is no “one number” to budget for because every lounge chair differs from the next. Some are small and simple. Some are large, bulky, and have mechanisms. But a good number to shoot for, depending on the fabric you choose, should cost anywhere from $700-$1,000.

Is it worth reupholstering a lounge?

Reupholstering a lounge chair can be a cost-effective way to revive an old piece of furniture. If the chair has sentimental value or is a high-quality piece, it may be worth the investment.

How do you upholster a chair for beginners?

Upholstering furniture can be a complicated project if you’re inexperienced and ill-prepared, so it’s best to start with a simple chair and work your way up to more complex pieces.

There are tons of great tutorials and videos available online that can guide you through the process. But our guide should give you all the necessary information to get started.

Can I upholster a chair myself?

Yes, it’s always possible to upholster a chair if you have the right tools, guidance, and basic skills. But just remember that it can be a complex project if your chair has moving parts or mechanisms, so it’s best to start with a simple chair and work your way up to more complex things.

Lounge in Style!

Reupholstering a lounge chair can be a rewarding DIY project for any skill level, and a chair with a new look can transform the whole vibe of your space. Just take the time to choose the right materials, stuffing, and fabrics to create a comfy and stylish piece of furniture that should last for years to come.

For more amazing DIY projects and upholstery guides, check out our catalog of helpful tips! And be sure to peruse our top-notch selection of amazing fabrics for your DIY projects!

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