Recovering Dining Chairs with Dwell Studio Bella Porte Charcoal Fabric

So I hopped on the Pinterest Challenge bandwagon, which prompted me to complete a project I’ve been planning for quite a while:  recovering dining room chairs with Dwell Studio Bella Porte Charcoal fabric.

recover dining chair 8

The Pinterest challenge was brought to us this time around by Sherry, Katie, Emily, and Renee.  The idea is to do your own spin on something you’ve pinned on Pinterest – less pin, more do.  Here is my pinspiration:


The original pic is from a House Crashing done by Sherry (of the aforementioned Pinterest Challenge) last year, which you can see all about here.  I love this chair!  Actually, there’s lots more I love about this picture but decided to focus on the chair and spin it by using the charcoal version of the fabric to recover my dining room chairs.  Here are my chairs as originally purchased from Pottery Barn many years ago.

recovering chairs 1

  reupholster dining room chair

Nice, but boring.  So time to spice things up.  The process was pretty simple, starting by unscrewing the chair seat from chair frame.  Putting your chair on your table makes the seat removal job much easier.

recover dining chair 2

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Next, you can remove your old fabric, but I figured the likelihood of me screwing up this project as a first-time-chair-recoverer was pretty high so opted to keep the old fabric on the chairs as a backup plan.  Then I ironed my new fabric so I had no wrinkles.  Next step is to cut out your fabric so it has about 3-4 inches of overhang on all sides of the seat, making sure to center your pattern on each seat so that they all look the same – no one wants to sit on a wonky pattern, people.  Pull out that measuring stick!

recover dining chairs 3 Then get busy with your stapler (an upholstery stapler, not the office kind).  I found the best approach was to start at opposite sides of the seat so I could pull the fabric taut and then work my way toward the corners.

recover dining chair 5

At the corners, fold the fabric so it is as tight and smooth as possible, then staple.  A lot.  Feel free to trim any extra fabric so it is right up close to the staples.  Finally, do a little test fit on your chair frame and screw the seat back to the frame.  And all done!

recover dining chairs 12 recover dining chair 11.jpg recover dining chair 10.jpg recover dining chair 8

I think the chairs are a marked improvement – they make the old fabric chairs look naked.

recover dining chair 6

I also think they go pretty well with my gray rug, black chair frames, and black dining table.

recover dining chair 7

Now I just need to de-taupe these walls with some gray paint . . .

Anyone else recover chairs lately?  Or use this fabric for a project?  I know my fellow DIY-er Dria just got the same fabric in a couple of colors, so I am excited to see how she uses it!  How about anyone else joining in the Pinterest Challenge?  If so, feel free to share!

Update:  Here are links to projects the Pinterest Challenge girls did, and you can see a ton of other good ideas linked to each page.  Check out the projects by Sherry, Renee, Emily, and Katie.


  1. 1

    Love it! I made a window treatment for my kitchen in that same fabric.

  2. 3

    Wow! Love it!

  3. 5

    I did this a while ago (twice!)…don’t you think it’s an easy way to impress your friends? Your chairs look fab! And I love your fabric!

  4. 7

    love the contemporary look the new fabric brings to the room – the chairs look “finished”!

  5. 9

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. This is entirely on my to-do list with my old Walmart chairs. I’m hoping the makeover makes look more like Target chairs. Also, thanks for the tip about Joann’s. I didn’t know where to look for cool fabric, since I live in the middle of nowhere, but I know I’ll pass a Joann’s sometime!

  6. 11

    Okay, first I was like, I have the same fabric only in green on my dining room chairs! And then I kept scrolling and was like, I have the same rug only in ivory in our bedroom! 😛 Love that fabric.

  7. 13

    The new fabric is great. I never realized how “naked” my dining room chairs must feel since they are similar to your befores! I’m going to put this in my Pinterest black hole now.

  8. 15
    Elisha says:

    Love the chairs and “less Pin, more do” attitude!

  9. 17
    Kirsten says:

    B, you simply amaze me. Can I please have some of your awesomeness? Or, when you need a break from your house, you can just come on over to 5052 for a few quick updates. Love reading this blog!

  10. 19

    I’m a sucker for a good furniture refinishing project. Isn’t it fun how some specialty fabric can completely change the personality of the chair? And it’s easy enough to change out that you could also try something new when you get bored. Also I’m digging the fireplace as bookshelf thing going on in the inspiration photo. How fun!

    • 20

      Hi Kelly – yes, refinishing is so great because you can use what you have and make it so much better! And I agree, I totally love that bookshelf/fireplace thing – wish I had somewhere to do it!

  11. 21

    Beautiful job Britt! I adore that fabric.

  12. 22

    Oh yes…. I’ve done this…. Simple to do – and a great outcome! Your chairs look great and I love that fabric!

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