How to Reupholster a Recliner?

The most common component that comes in contact with you is the upholstery. Frequent usage of your recliner might result in wear and tear on this fixture.

Changing the entire recliner because of damage to the upholstery is not a good option. Consider switching your upholstery to make your recliner feel fresh and new. But how? In this article, we share tips on how to reupholster your recliner. Be it the best leather recliner or a normal one, this article will make your work easier.

Tools Required To Reupholster A Recliner

  • Pair of heavy-duty scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Upholstery needle
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Wax coated thread


  • Make sure to purchase enough fabric needed to reupholster a recliner. Usually, 8-12 yards is the fabric that will be needed to reupholster a regular recliner. If you own an extra large customized recliner, measure the dimensions of the recliner before purchasing upholstery fabric
  • Add a few inches of fabric to the exact measurement of the recliner. This leaves room for folding and stapling
  • Keep all the above-mentioned tools handy so you don’t get distracted
  • Keep the removed parts labeled so that reassembling them won’t be a hardship
  • Batting over your replacement foam will help the upholstery settle down easily
  • Select large printed patterns rather than stripes or lines as they may be difficult to realign

How to Upholster a Recliner?

Step 1: The first and foremost move is to measure the dimensions of the recliner that you are looking to replace. With the aid of a measuring tape, take the exact measurements of all the components. Take extra care to see that the tape is not loosened and is firm. It is advisable to leave a few inches for folding and stapling purposes

Step 2: Place the recliner in the upright position and detach the back piece from its base. Then, place the recliner in the upside-down position. With the assistance of a screwdriver, take off the screws to remove the couch. Once you remove the couch, put it back upright and remove the sides, armrest, and footrest

Step 3: Take off the old fabric from all the components of a recliner

Step 4: Cut the new fabric with the aid of measurements you have taken already. Once the fabric is cut, ironing them is a good move. This helps in keeping the cut fabric firm and will also give a good look when stitched to the body of a recliner

Step 5: With the aid of straight pins, put the fabric in place before stitching them. This will make your task easier

Step 6: From the middle of the frame, start stapling the fabric without letting it loose. Use the assistance of a wrench to keep the fabric tight

Step 7: Some corners of the fabric cannot be stapled as they might be firm. In such places, you can use a hot glue gun to keep them tact

Step 8: Button kit is the next element to be used to reupholster. The manual in the kit will guide you through placing and wrapping them. Upholstery needles and wax-coated thread can be used to sew it

Step 9: Put the chair back in its position by placing the couch back. And you are done

Frequently asked questions

  1. Do I need expert assistance to reupholster my recliner?

It depends on the type of recliner you own. If you own a customized recliner with advanced features, you might look out for an expert to assist you in the task. Reupholstering a normal recliner is not a tough assignment.

  1. Can I place a new fabric above the old one without taking them off?

You can also leave the old fabric in the recliner itself. But that will not give a smooth finish to your upholstery.

  1. Is it expensive to reupholster a recliner?

The cost of reupholstering depends on the quality of the fabric you are interested in. You can also look out for cheaper options. Tools that are required also do not cost you much. Most of the tools mentioned are the basic tools available in your household.

  1. Should I consider changing only my upholstery or the entire chair in case of damage to the fabric?

You can consider changing the upholstery alone if the quality of your recliner chair is still good. Replacing your upholstery alone will give a fresh look to your recliner chair.


If you are bored with the texture or looking to change the upholstery in accordance with the decor of your room, reupholstering a recliner is a good choice. If your recliner cannot be reupholstered, then you can head over to to read reviews of recliners you can buy according to your needs.  Hope our article has served its purpose and made your task easy.