November 28, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Broken Upholstered Seat Repair with Pro Upholstery Tips – Furniture Restoration

3 min read

Learn how to remove and reinstall upholstery on a broken upholstered seat. It was a bit puzzling to find an upholstered chair seat with a broken board in it but once the dust cover was peeled back, wow, what a surprise! The material used to support the seat cushion should be strong but what I found was a material I’ve never seen before. It was broken in multiple pieces and I could snap off parts with my bare hands. It was a green board with loosely packed wood chips that failed to do the job it was supposed to do.

I started this furniture restoration project by removing the existing dust cover (black fabric on the underside of the seat cushion), the faux leather fabric, and the upholstery foam. I then reassembled the broken green board on a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to trace it out and make a replacement for the seat. I cut it out with a jigsaw and sanded the edges to round them over.

To put the seat cushion back together, I called in a pro to help me out. Kim Changnon is an Upholstery instructor with a YouTube channel called Kim’s Upholstery Kim also has a member site for online classes and resources

9:48 Install the Foam – With Kim’s help, I started by spraying adhesive on the plywood and the foam cushion to secure the foam in place. I then wrapped the existing foam around the sides and stapled it underneath with a pneumatic upholstery stapler.

10:52 Attach the Fabric – The next step was to reinstall the seat fabric. Kim coached me through marking the center on the seat cushion and the fabric to ensure the fabric would be centered on the seat. Once it was on, and in the right spot, I flipped it over and tacked it on with one staple in the middle of each side while guessing how much tension to put on the fabric. I then flipped the seat upright and Kim taught me how to check if the fabric has the right amount of tension on it.

13:06 Fabric Tension – As shown in the video, I swept my hands across the fabric from the outside to the middle. If it bunches in the middle, it’s too loose. If the fabric isn’t too loose, it might be too tight, in which case you will see some puckering at the edges. Kim described this as a process of trial and error where you simply remove a staple, change the tension and look at it again. Different fabrics behave different ways so the amount of tension required will change project by project. Once I understood the right amount of tension to use I installed staples all around the perimeter of the fabric on the seat.

13:58 Attach the Dust Cover – The black fabric on the underside of an upholstery seat is called a dust cover. This is a fabric that does’t fray at the edges and covers up the plywood and staples from the upholstery fabric. It’s simple to attach. You just roll the excess dust cover material underneath so you get a nice smooth edge and staple it on. I started by putting one staple in the middle of each side. Then I stapled the corners. Then the fun part… shooting a bunch of staples around the perimeter of the seat. I don’t know why I like doing this so much, but it’s fun when using a pneumatic stapler.

15:34 – Kim shared some tips and advice in this video including a suggestion to "take your time and be patient" as you learn upholstery skills. I appreciate the unique skills required for upholstery and I was happy to have the help from a professional. Please check out Kim’s Upholstery on YouTube and subscribe.

Staple Gun for Upholstery –

Staple/Tack Remover –
?? Canadian link –

PATREON – To support our Fixing Furniture video work, consider a monthly contribution at

See the tools we use in our workshop and the tools we recommend:
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This video is hosted by Scott Bennett, Owner of Wooden It Be Nice – Furniture Repair in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.

#repair #upholstery #furniture

Woodworking News Source: Fixing Furniture

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