What You Should Know About Reupholstering a Barstool

Reupholstering a barstool is an excellent way to refresh and customize your seating options, whether you’re looking to update your home bar or revamp the seating in your kitchen.

This process involves choosing the right material, stuffing, and filling, as well as considering factors such as durability, stain resistance, and cleaning. Let’s delve into the details of reupholstering a barstool and help you make informed choices that result in a stylish and functional seating solution.

Choosing the Right Material for Barstools

Before diving into specific fabric options, let’s consider the unique aspects of barstools and how they impact your upholstery choices.

Construction and Shape of Barstool

The construction and shape of your barstool will greatly influence the type of fabric you should choose. A barstool with a simple, flat seat will require a more flexible fabric that can easily conform to the shape, while a barstool with a contoured or cushioned seat may require a sturdier fabric that can withstand tension.

Most barstools are round in shape, so you want a fabric that is flexible yet durable and can properly cover a rounded shape.

Fabric Durability

Barstools are often subject to heavy use, making durability a critical factor. This is especially so if you’ve got kids and heavier individuals in your home. Look for upholstery fabrics with a high double rub count, which indicates their resistance to abrasion and wear.

Stain Resistance

Given their proximity to food and drinks, barstools are prone to spills and stains. Opt for fabrics with built-in stain resistance or those that can be treated with a protective spray to keep your barstools looking fresh and clean.

Ease of Cleaning

Choose a material that’s fairly easy to clean, whether machine-washable, spot-cleanable, or can be wiped down with a damp cloth. This will help you maintain the appearance of your barstools with minimal effort.

Such fabrics are usually leather, vinyl, and faux leather. If you go with something along those lines, remember that special care is needed, like conditioners, to prevent drying and cracking.

Consider Colorfast

If choosing cotton, linen, etc., then, to ensure your barstools maintain their vibrant colors, select a fabric that is colorfast and resistant to fading from sunlight or frequent cleaning.

Think of Your Own Home Decor Tastes

Lastly, choose a fabric that reflects your personal style and complements your home décor. Barstools are awesome for adding a pop of color or pattern to your space, so don’t be afraid to get creative. They work not only in a bar area but also in a breakfast nook or raised eating bar.

Stuffing, Filling, and Cushion Material

When reupholstering a barstool, the cushion material is as important as the fabric. The right filling can provide comfort and support for long periods of sitting. Consider the following:

·         High-density foam: Offers excellent support and durability, ideal for barstools with flat or contoured seats.

·         Memory foam: Provides a balance of comfort and support, perfect for cushioned barstools.

·         Polyester fiberfill: A budget-friendly option that provides adequate support but may flatten over time.

Best Fabrics for Upholstering a Barstool

Just like any reupholstery project, there are always the best and worst fabrics to go with. Here are some top choices for you to use when covering a barstool.


Usually cheaper than leather, vinyl is a great choice to recover your barstools.

• Pros: Durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.

• Cons: Can feel sticky in hot weather and may crack over time.


Materials like microfiber are perfect for spaces with food and drinks, like a bar with barstools. Microfiber is a material that’s stain-resistant and really easy to keep clean. Now, stain-resistant doesn’t mean stain-proof. When spills or accidents happen, it’s important to clean it from the fabric as soon as you can. That said, it’s still far easier to clean than other materials. 

• Pros: Soft, stain-resistant, and durable.

• Cons: It can attract lint and may not be suitable for those with allergies.


Quite possibly the most common material choice for barstools, leather and faux leather are the way to go if you want an option that’s easy to care for.

• Pros: Luxurious, durable, and easy to clean.

• Cons: Expensive and may show scratches.


Sunbrella is great for indoor and outdoor use due to its extreme durability.

• Pros: Fade-resistant, stain-resistant, and durable.

• Cons: It can be more expensive than other fabric options.


What kind of fabric should I use to reupholster bar stools?

Choose a durable, stain-resistant, easy-to-clean fabric such as vinyl, microfiber, leather, or Sunbrella.

How much does it cost to reupholster a bar stool?

The cost of reupholstering a barstool can vary depending on the fabric and filling you choose. Expect to spend between $50 and $200 per barstool.

How do you cover a bar stool with fabric?

  1. Using a drill or screwdriver, remove any hardware keeping the old fabric in place. Then, remove the old fabric.
  2. Check the quality of the foam or cushion that’s currently underneath. If it’s hard, old, or worn, replace it with a new cushion, preferably high-density foam.
  3. Measure the top width or circumference, plus the depth of the sides, and cut a piece of material that will cover it. Add a couple of extra inches to allow room to staple it in place.
  4. Staple or tack the new fabric to the seat base, pulling it taut to get a nice, tight fit.
  5. Trim any excess fabric and reattach the seat to the barstool frame.

How much fabric do I need to cover a barstool?

The amount of fabric needed depends on the size and style of your barstool. Generally, you’ll need approximately 1 to 1.5 yards of fabric per barstool. It’s always a good idea to purchase extra fabric for mistakes or pattern matching.

It’s also a good plan to have extra on hand for future use in the event that a stool gets ripped or stained. Then you can easily recover it again.

Overhaul Your Barstools Today!

Reupholstering a bar stool can be a rewarding project that allows you to update and customize your seating options to suit your personal style and home décor. By carefully selecting the right materials, filling, and fabric, you can create a comfortable and stylish barstool for your home bar or breakfast nook! 

Now that you’ve got all the tips to get started, check out our huge selection of materials!

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