How to Remodel an Office Chair

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Updated November 30, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many ways to makeover an office chair, including repainting to reupholstering.
  • Making over a fabric office chair should take no more than an hour.
  • If painting, expect to add more time to the project. Each layer needs to be completely dry before adding a new layer.

If you are going to remodel or reupholster an office chair it would also be a good idea to see if the chair needs any other adjustments. For instance, if the chair is used a lot, it may develop a lean to the front that will throw off the ergonomics. If that’s the case, we have a great article on how to fix an office chair that leans forward. Additionally, if you have finished remodeling your chair and feel it needs more support, you can check out these highly rated office chair cushions.

There are many ways you can refurbish and transform the entire look of a tired and worn-out-looking office chair. From repainting to reupholstering its cushion, creativity extends to the type of chair material as well. Wood lends itself to a lot of repainting and leather may require more touch-ups and crafty sewing. Keep reading to learn more about how to makeover your favorite office chair. However, if you feel it may take too much to remodel your chair, check out the OFM core collection office chair or read our HON ValuTask low-back task chair review.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Up to 4 hours

Total Steps: Varies

Tools Needed: Staple gun, sandpaper, replacement fabric, wood putty, primer, paint

Makeover Your Office Chair

Here are steps you can take to makeover a fabric office chair.

Step 1- Unscrew the Cushion Seat

Unscrew the cushion seat from the chair using staple removers. Keep the fabric taut every time you undo a staple.

Step 2 – Unscrew the Back of the Chair

Unscrew the back of the chair using a screwdriver and screws. If hard to come up, softly pry the plastic back away using a putty knife or similar edged tool.

Step 3 – Cut Fabric to Proportions and Place

Cut a larger piece of fabric, adhering to the size of your cushion. Place the fabric cloth on the seat cushion, folding the edges under the seat, keeping it taut throughout.

Step 4: Staple the Edges

Staple the edges along the bottom, keeping the fabric taut as much as possible.

Step 5: Screw the Back in Place

Screw the back onto the chair, repeating Step 2 in reverse order.

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Here are steps you can take to makeover a wooden office chair by repainting.

  1. Use 100 or 120-grit sandpaper to remove all of the old paint from your wooden chair, including the legs and backing. For an even faster sanding, use an electric sander.
  2. Use wood putty to fill in scratches and dents.
  3. Wipe or blast away all sanding dust using a damp microfiber cloth or air compressor can to even out the surface. The air compressor will do an excellent job of blasting out particles from grooves and other hard-to-reach areas.
  4. Apply a coat of primer all over the chair.
  5. Wait one hour, then apply a second coat of primer.
  6. Paint the chair with multiple thin coats of paint, letting the paint dry after each full application. The final coat should dry for at least 24 hours before even attempting to sit down on it. be sure to let the paint sit for as long as you can and allow it to fully harden.

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Due to its ultra-fine fibers, synthetic microfibre is the fabric that lasts the longest at this time. Its fibers are tightly woven which creates a strong layer of protection. Synthetic microfibre is efficient in withstanding dirt, dust, and spills. Canvas somewhat has the same qualities as microfiber.









How to Makeover an Office Chair FAQ

Can office chairs be reupholstered?

Yes, it is very easy to reupholster an office chair. All you need to complete the project is the desired fabric, dismounting tools (e.g. screwdriver and pliers), a cordless stapler, and optional spray glue.

Can you paint an office chair?

Office chairs can be easily painted using spray paint, especially on plastic, depending on the type of spray paint, it can leave a very nice rugged or glossy even sheen, making it appear as if new. Look for latex or oil-based paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish for the best look and feel.

What fabric is used for office chairs?

All types of fabric can be used on office chairs. Mesh fabric is known for its high breathability, while vinyl offers durability and easy maintenance. Leather is a bit more durable but comes at the expense of needing regular maintenance and time away from the sun to preserve its condition.