How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

A rocking chair is an ideal choice for relaxation and comfort. Whether you want to sit and read a book or soothe your baby to sleep, a perfect rocking chair can help you achieve it all. But, with constant use, the upholstery of the rocker becomes shabby and worn out. In such a case, you do not have to toss it out, but instead, consider reupholstering it to give it a new lease of life. This guide will help you learn how to reupholster a rocking chair quickly and easily.

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

Can You Reupholster a Rocking Chair?

Have you inherited a beautiful rocking chair that has seen better days? Perhaps you’ve found a great deal on a rocking chair at a flea market that needs a little TLC. Whatever the case may be, reupholstering a rocking chair is definitely doable and worth the effort.

You can give the chair a new life and style and get the satisfaction of giving an old, beloved piece of furniture a fresh start. With a little bit of patience and skill, you can transform an old, worn-out rocking chair into a stunning conversation piece for your home.

Why Should You Reupholster a Rocking Chair?

A rocking chair is a classic and beloved piece of furniture that can add charm and comfort to any home. Over time, however, the fabric or leather upholstery on a rocking chair can become worn or damaged. Instead of throwing out your cherished rocking chair, consider re-upholstering it. Not only will reupholstering your rocking chair give it a fresh new look, but it can also enhance the comfort and lifespan of the chair.

Reupholstering gives you the freedom to choose your own fabric, ensuring that your rocking chair matches your personal style and decor. Treat yourself to the joy of a beautifully reupholstered rocking chair, and have a cozy spot to rock away your troubles for years to come.

Reupholstering Gives You 
The Freedom to Choose

How to Reupholster a Rocking Chair: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Remove the Old Upholstery:

To begin with, assess the chair’s condition and determine if you need to replace the old padding, webbing, or glue. You may need to remove the old fabric to complete the restoration process. To do this, flip the chair and remove the staples from the bottom using pliers or a screwdriver. Once all the staples are detached, take the old upholstery off the chair frame and set it aside for disposal.

Step 2: Add New Padding:

After removing the old fabric, you will need to add new padding to improve the chair’s comfort. Start with the seat cushion and cut the foam to fit the seat frame’s top, bottom, and sides. Use spray adhesive to stick it firmly in place. Then, wrap the seat with batting to soften the edges and provide extra cushioning. Apply the batting in an even layer, about an inch or two beyond the seat’s edge.

Step 3: Reupholster the Chair:

It’s now time to add the final touch, i.e., the new upholstery. Cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the chair frame’s seat, front, back, and sides. Place the fabric over the chair’s back, ensuring it is centered, and pull it tight to ensure a smooth finish. Then, use a staple gun to attach it to the back ridge or bottom of the chair frame. Repeat the same process for the seat, arms, and backrest. As you staple the fabric, ensure it remains wrinkle-free and straight.

Step 4: Finishing Touches:

Once you have reupholstered all the essential parts of the rocking chair, you can add a few finishing touches to give it a unique look. This includes adding decorative studs or trim to hide any visible pins or staples. Alternatively, depending on your style preferences, you can add some buttons or piping.

Step 5: Clean and Care:

After reupholstering your rocking chair, it’s essential to clean it regularly to ensure it lasts a long time. Always use a fabric cleaner or mild soap to spot-clean any spills or stains. Furthermore, consider vacuuming the cushions to get rid of any dirt and dust regularly. This will help maintain the chair’s appearance and keep it looking like new.

It's Essential to 
Clean It Regularly

Step 6: Maintenance Tips:

To ensure your reupholstered rocking chair lasts for years to come, you should follow a few maintenance tips. Avoid placing the chair in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can cause the fabric to fade or warp. Additionally, avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on the upholstery, as they can damage the fabric. Lastly, always handle the chair carefully to prevent any tears or snags in the fabric.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Newly Reupholstered Rocking Chair

Now that you’ve completed all the steps and put in the effort to reupholster your rocking chair, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take a moment to appreciate your chair’s new look and comfort, and don’t be afraid to show it off to friends and family.

With proper care and maintenance, your reupholstered rocking chair will continue to be a treasured piece in your home for years.  So go ahead and rock away in style and comfort!  Remember these steps for any future reupholstering projects, and always have fun with it.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

1. Fabric

When reupholstering a rocking chair, the first thing to consider is the type of fabric you want to use. Many different types of fabrics are available, from natural fibers such as cotton and linen to synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. You should also consider how durable the fabric needs to be, as some fabrics may not hold up well over time.

Many Different Types Of Fabrics Are Available

2. Color

The fabric’s color is another important consideration when reupholstering a rocking chair. You want to choose a color that will complement the existing decor in your home while also making a statement. If you are unsure what colors would work best, it might be helpful to take a look at some swatches or even bring home some samples before making your final decision.

3. Foam

The foam used in reupholstering a rocking chair is also an important factor to consider. The foam should be dense enough to provide adequate support for the user but soft enough for comfort. It is also important to ensure the foam is fire-retardant if it will be around any open flames or heat sources, such as a fireplace or stovetop.

4. Springs

The springs used in reupholstering a rocking chair are also an important factor to consider. The springs should be strong enough to provide adequate support but not so strong that they cause discomfort when sitting in the chair for extended periods of time. It is important to ensure that all springs are evenly distributed throughout the chair frame for maximum comfort and support.

5. Installation

Finally, you need to consider how you plan on installing your new upholstery onto your rocking chair frame. Depending on your skill level and access to tools, you may need professional help with this step, or you may be able to do it yourself with some basic tools and instructions from online tutorials or books on upholstery installation techniques.

Benefits of Reupholster a Rocking Chair

Reupholstering a rocking chair is a decision that can bring many benefits and revitalize the piece for continued use. Not only does it provide a chance to refresh the style of the chair, but it can also improve comfort and extend the life of the furniture. A new fabric can add a personal touch to the piece and even increase the chair’s value.

Additionally, reupholstering a rocking chair is an eco-friendly option by repurposing existing furniture rather than buying new ones. In the end, the benefits of reupholstering a rocking chair give a sense of satisfaction and pride, and the added style and comfort make it worth the investment.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Reupholster a Rocking Chair

Reupholstering a rocking chair can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, but also tricky and mistake-prone. One common mistake people make is underestimating the amount of fabric needed. It’s important to measure the chair carefully and add extra for pleating or pattern matching. Another common mistake is blindly following old upholstery patterns, which may not fit the new fabric or the chair structure.

It's Important to Measure
The Chair Carefully

Taking time to properly remove the old fabric is also crucial, as rushing can cause tears and damage to the chair. Lastly, skimping on materials, such as foam or batting, can result in a lumpy or uncomfortable seat. By avoiding these common mistakes and taking the proper time and care, reupholstering a rocking chair can transform it into a stunning new addition to any space.


Reupholstering a rocking chair is a fun DIY project and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Before adding the final touches, remember to detach the old upholstery, replace the padding, and reupholster the chair with a new fabric. With these tips, you should be able to get back to relaxing in your favorite rocking chair in no time. Thanks for reading our post about how to reupholster a rocking chair, and happy reupholstering!

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of officefixes. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to home and office design. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for Office design and decor,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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