Furniture Makeover · Projects

Re-upholster it WHITE and keep the kids too!

reupholstering around a curve with pleather: Reupholster with white

In an age where decorating trends have less color and neutral pallets seem to be the thing, it is typical to want creamy white goodness in your decor.  Or better yet, white dining seats!  WHAT?  ‘Woah, I have kids’ you say.  If you are a mom with 3 messy kids (like me), you might think…..I love white, but white seats and kids don’t mix!!  Yes, That is definitely what I was saying HERE….

My gross embarrassing before pics of my chairs.  These pics really don’t give the dirt and nasty justice. Imagine in real life….. my pics times 2.  They were really bad!  No filters on the pics, it just doesn’t represent the destruction.  The fabric was like a white duck cloth which just absorbed ALL of the dirt.  I can’t tell you how long I had been scrubbing these seats any time anyone came over because I was so embarrassed.  The kids would get involved and would help me scrub them, but suddenly I lost the will to scour each seat every week.   I was just done and finally ventured out to look for more fabric to re-upholster it.

I know I just confused you with my title.  RE-upholster it white? White seats again?…….SHE CRAAAZY! Yes, I AM and Yes I DID! 🙂  EXCEPT this time I changed the TYPE of fabric which made all the difference.  I always liked my white seats in my sun-room.   It went well with the stone veneer under the glass table top.    I thought a lot about those chairs but I just couldn’t give in to another color.  I knew that I could find the same color in some sort of leather, pleather or vinyl that I could just wipe up any spills.  Finally after a couple of months of looking for the perfect one, I found it.

re-upholster with vinyl fabric from Joanne Fabrics

I got a vinyl fabric at Joanne Fabrics.  You have to look at the new vinyl fabrics they have now.  You will be amazed.   They look really great and mimic leather quite well.  These are not your vinyl fabrics from the 70’s!  Because of the thickness, I knew that it might be tricky re-upholstering because the vinyl does not flow like regular fabric.  Though, being able to keep my white seats and ending the countless scrubbing hours, it was a win win no matter how difficult this fabric would be to re-upholster.

This one may be a marine vinyl, however, because it was not well marked in the store I am not sure it has all of the anti-mildew properties that the marine vinyls have.  Feeling the thickness and testing the fabric with water, I knew it would be really suitable for kids eating on it.

We flipped over all 4 chairs and unscrewed the seats.

Reupholstering round seats with pleather- unscrew the seats from the chair

I removed all the old fabric. Here are all my re-upholstering pics.  If you haven’t seen my post on HOW TO REMOVE FABRIC for re-upholstery, then check that out HERE!

Details on HOW TO CUT NEW FABRIC for re-upholstery can be found HERE!  In that post I describe how to use the old fabric as a pattern.

Reupholstering round seat with pleather: start

4 seats got reupholstered .  Pics with the big X  is the first seat I started with.  Each X pic is paired with a similar pic of the last seat I worked on which turned out a lot better.  By that 4th seat I had a system down.  Going around a curve with this THICK fabric was something I had to learn.  Which is why I wrote this post!

Check out all the pics where I messed up!  Do you see the differences between these 2 pics?

By the 4th seat above I realized that the first staples on the side needed to be placed right before the curve was starting.  In the first pic I placed the staples right in the middle on each side like I would do with a square seat.  However the second picture worked so much better for a curved back.

In these 2 pics below, I knew to gather and pull the fabric as I was going around the curve but I wasn’t gathering evenly nor enough in the X pic below.  Because I started too low I had to come back after the curve was done and redo this section.

Starting just before the curve was the key.  I also found that staggering the staples, pulling really hard and gathering at the same time worked the best.

re-upholstering a round seat with pleather: what I learned

Staggering the staples somehow minimized the rippling that one might see from the side or when the seat is upright.  The key is pulling very tight.

Look at the differences in the above 2 pics.  In the first X pic I ended up with a deep fold around the curve that I was going to hide behind the pole that comes down in the back of the chair.  See how the poles come down in the back in 2 spots on these chairs?  That fold would have been hidden.  But when I gathered evenly like in the above ‘much better’ picture between every staple throughout the entire curve I did not need a fold at all.  I figured this out along the way and completely eliminated any need for folds around the curve.



Maybe seeing the seats upright will also help give a better understanding of what I mean:

The ‘much better’ pic is not perfect hence the caption! 🙂  But…The more you pull and gather around a curve between each staple, no folds are needed.    This is also true for the front straight corners as well.  Do you see the below pics?

The above big X pic shows deep folding in the corner on my first seat.  I was able to almost minimize that fold completely in the corners of my ‘much better’ pic by doing this below:

reupholstering a curved seat with pleather: front corner

I  started gathering between each staple 2-3 inches before approaching the corner.  I did that on both ends approaching the corner and did not have nearly as much fabric in the corners to fold over.  Also, I used a twisting motion instead which seemed to help lessen the bulk in the corner.   In this post HERE, I explain better the twisting motion I use on occasion.

AND NOW…..what does one do when the last chair is so much better than the first?  You frickin redo it!  AHHHH! Come on now…….just be done already bech!  

reupholstering a curved seat with pleather: redo
Just re-doing old work that’s all!

reupholstering a curved seat with pleather: staplingHere we go…a full ‘MUCH BETTER’ pic of the curved back.  Staggered and gathered!

Dust Cover please!!!reupholstering a curved seat with pleather: dust cover appliedNow we are done!

reupholstering a curved seat with pleather : done

Let’s screw those puppies back on the chairs shall we?

Reupholstering a round seat with pleather: done

reupholstering a round seat with pleather: done

I am really so happy these chairs are done!  Whenever I walk into my sun-room and see the crisp cream color with NO DIRT….it just makes me smile!  I just wiped up the first mess the other night after dinner……’Oh don’t you worry my little darlings!’ HAHAHA….mom is actually laughing! WHAT?  🙂

Come back to see our future diy projects!!

K. Rupp

Re-upholstering around a curve: Avoid these mistakes I learned along the way

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26 thoughts on “Re-upholster it WHITE and keep the kids too!

    1. Thank you so much Michele! Yes I know that drill well! That drove me nuts! The before and after wasn’t such a huge transformation since they were already white…..but it has transformed my life HAHA! Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Oh Great! I am glad it was clear enough to give you that inspiration to possibly try it 🙂 Thanks… that room is my favorite with that indestructible floor. Glad you stopped by to see it and thank you for the complements:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh great! I am glad you will be able to use some of my website to help. Changing out the upholstery is such a transformation…you will love it! Thank you so much for stopping by and your nice complement!


    1. Thank you so much! I know!! There is something about it. I didn’t want to go darker or anything, I just love the white. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting:)


    1. Thank you so much! Great, I hope it helps! Let me know if you do it! I am so happy I put the extra effort in for the vinyl….it is so worth it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting:)


  1. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #WWBlogHop this week. Visit me at on Tuesday evening to see your feature! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to stop by and see your feaure. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please be sure to leave your link number or post title so we can be sure to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Marilyn!! I will be sure to check it out this evening! YAY! I will definitely keep coming back to share links:) Thanks again for the feature….I will grab a button!


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