How to Remove Old Upholstery
You can transform an old, beat up chair into a classic, modern masterpiece by simply re-upholstering. You do need to be very careful with how you remove the old upholstery however so you don’t damage the frame of the chair or any additional lining underneath the top material. This blog acts as a guide to help you use the correct tools and technique to remove old fabric and prepare your old chair for its makeover.
One reason you want to be very careful when removing old upholstery is because you will want to use the old templates as a guide for your new fabric. You want to try and keep your fabric as intact as possible to help you later on.
The tools you will need to remove old upholstery are a tack claw and a pair of pliers. Take a look at the upholstery supplies we have available here. You may also need an upholstery staple remover too depending on whether or not staples were used to hold the fabric in position.
Where to start?
You want to begin by removing the trim around the edge of your chair. This may be held together with decorative nails or a fabric trim. If it is held together with nails, you need to remove one nail at a time – unfortunately there is no easy and fast way to do this. You may then find a layer of staples underneath the nails and again, you need to remove the staples one at a time.
You may find that your chair has layers underneath of fabric and feathers. It will be up to you how far you want to strip the chair and this will probably depend on the age of the chair. You don’t have to be as kind to the layers underneath if you do decide to remove them, but it is always a good idea to try and remove the material as systematically as possible.
Once you have your chair down to just the frame you can decide what to do next. If it is a wooden chair frame, for example, you may want to sand down the wood and apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to the wood to freshen it up. If you do treat your frame remember to leave it over night to dry properly.