Is It Possible To Make Your Old Recliner Look Good?

by | Last Updated: January 5, 2021

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Make Your Old Recliner Look Good

Do you have an old recliner that you feel the need for change? After serving you for over ten years, the urge for something new and fresh in your space keeps growing. However, you find yourself in a dilemma between dumping and buying a new recliner or recovery or reupholster.

Change is always good. However, it doesn’t always mean replacing old with new is the best approach to change. Breathing new life into the old recliner chair would be much better. You know what they say about old is gold.

However, think about your move to make the right decision. That is why in this article, we teach you all the things you need to know about upholstery. Read on.

Things to Consider Before Upholstery

Connection: do you have a special attachment to your old recliner? Perhaps it was a birthday or wedding gift from a loved one, or maybe it was grandpa’s favorite chair before he passed on. Some things are too hard to let go of, and it would be better to keep holding on to the memories they bring. But if your old recliner is just an ordinary chair that is not blending with your theme, it may be about time to let it go. A new recliner would change your space’s look in a better and more fresh way than hanging on to the old recliner.

Quality: not every old is gold, literally! Therefore not every old recliner is worth the effort of reupholstering. If the chair has become weaker over time in the structure and fabric, getting a new chair would be a better option. Sit on your old recliner and test if it’s shaky and weak. Also, you can pick it up and see if it’s heavy. A heavy chair means it’s of high-quality materials hence a keeper. Quality wood is prone to get harder and better with age. Therefore note the age of your chair to establish its kind of quality.

Related reading: 10 Best High-End Recliners In 2021

Comfort: do you feel like no other chair could match or compete with the comfort of your old recliner? If yes, then it’s worth keeping it. All you will need to do is give it a makeover for the appearance to match the ultimate comfort it offers. And if not, you can always check our reviews on the best lazy boy back support recliner to buy better comfort and luxury.

Cost: if your old recliner were costly when it was new, then maybe a chairlift would be cheaper than buying a new one. With the variety of materials in the current market, you would not miss something for your type of budget and preference. That way, you get to retain your expensive model but also in a better and fresher look. See, a win-win situation. Besides, it pains to dump something that’s cost you a lot and starting afresh.

Also read: The 10 Best Budget Recliners of 2021 with Competitive Quality

Formation: what ticks you off about your old recliner? Is it the shape, color, fabric, or pattern? If the structure is in good condition, but the rest are not pleasing, you can always recover your chair. However, if the design is in the worst form, there is no need to go the extra mile of reupholstering.

Advantages of Reupholster

1. Better Quality

You will agree that the quality of things made a while ago is better than what is currently in the market. The recent variety of fabric and patterns are better, but the structure has nothing on the old one. Nowadays, manufacturers only want to make many sales; hence, mass production seems to compromise quality. They put quantity above quality since the more they produce, the higher the number of sales.

Moreover, as cheap as it may seem to replace your old recliner, chances are that you will want to dump it after a few years of use because of the low quality. Conversely, reupholstering the sturdy old recliner could cost you more but would last you much longer. Well, until you feel the need to change the fabric.

The bottom line is a new replacement of your old recliner will not withstand the test of time eventually.

2. Suit Your Preference

What’s your dream theme? There’s no limit to how you want to model the theme of your space. Therefore, when you reupholster, you have the freedom to choose the pattern, style, fabric, and colors of your old recliner.

Even with the new recliners’ many options, it might still be hard to find the one style, fabric, pattern that fits your vision.

3. Maintain the Comfort

Apart from a sturdy structure, the reason why your old recliner lasted long was because of the ultimate comfort you experienced. I bet you couldn’t wait to get home every day to unwind, relaxing on the recliner after a tough day at work.

When you are sure of your old recliner’s comfort, it would be better to make a few changes. There’s no need to risk buying a new recliner that you are uncertain of the convenience.

4. Value Added

Many antiques cost an arm and a leg even though they can be in horrible condition. If someone asked to buy your old recliner, it would be better to reupholster it to add value. There are old model vehicles that cost way expensive than most new ones in the market. The secret is reupholstering and recovery.

People value old and antique stuff to have as possessions because of the assured quality. Therefore, upholstering or recovering your old recliner would add more value to it if you ever think of selling it.

Here, you can go with a step by step guide on how to reupholster a recliner.

5. Eco-Friendly

One of the most common global messages is the need to clear landfills and keep the environment clean. When you reupholster or recover your old recliner, you keep it away from the landfills and make it still useful.

Reupholster is the same as recycling your old couch. Besides, this can be a contagious act, as someone else would want to try doing the same thing. Many people don’t always know the value of what they have hence need some few lessons. Therefore, make sure you reupholster and spread the word so that many people can save the environment.

Step By Step Guide Of How to Reupholster an Old Leather Recliner

Things you will need;

Take into account that upholstery is a process that may take up to a week. The period will depend on the size of the recliner and the time on your hands. Therefore, be mentally and physically ready when you decide to undertake this project.

For an old leather recliner, this is how you should reupholster;

Measure your seat’s fabric: to measure the material, you need to measure the entire chair from all sides. Ensure the fabric you intend to use is larger than the fabric’s actual size on the recliner. The extra inches will work best when folding over the corners. As you measure, make sure you label the different fabric parts to make work easier when reassembling. Use your tape measure and take measurements of the front, bottom, sides, and width. Learn more about Leather vs fabric recliner: which one is the best material?

Disassemble the chair: after measuring, it is essential to take apart your chair by dissembling it. This will help you access all the parts that need reupholster. Overturn the couch with the back facing you and remove the metal frame using the power drill. The metal frame is what holds your recliner chair, and if you don’t have a power drill, you can use a screwdriver to unscrew it.

Remove the leather:

  1. With your seam ripper or a sharp knife, cut out the leather fabric’s seams.
  2. Avoid ripping off the fabric as you will need it to trace the new material’s measurements.
  3. Label the pieces clearly and into details with chalk.
  4. Number them as you take them out to put the new ones in order. If the pudding and foam are in great shape, then you do not need to remove them.

Clean the couch: most probably, there will be dust trapped in the underside of the chair after you remove the fabric. Start by cleaning the sofa before doing anything else. Use a vacuum to clean all the trapped, stubborn, and loose dirt in the frame. Also, spray the cushions and foam with a leather cleaner to freshen them up. Furthermore, you can use wood oil to prepare the couch’s wood sections and seal them if essential. Cover any scratches on the wood using leather paint.

Related: How to Clean a Recliner? Easy Steps to Follow

Glue down the fabric: generously apply the fabric glue on the material starting from the middle part going outwards. Then, lay the fabric on the vinyl lightly and press down to smoothen it out.

Sew the fabric: start sewing the material on the cushions, armrests, and anywhere else necessary. If you are having challenges, you can use the older cloth and copy the new fabric’s sewing pattern. This will make your work easier and quicker. Don’t forget to use a matching or clear thread. If you don’t have the luxury of a sewing machine, you use a needle to stitch the fabric together. However, this will take a long time to complete.

Staple the new fabric to the chair:

  1. For convenience, work one section when you line up the new material on the chair.
  2. With your staple gun, attach the fabric firmly to the couch.
  3. Ensure the fabric is smooth and lined out, leaving no space that would easily tear in the future.
  4. In the places of cardboards, use a hot glue gun to cover with the fabric.

This is because the staple gun will not be effective on the cardboards.

Reassemble the recliner: after covering the entire chair with the new fabric, use a video tutorial to help you reassemble the recliner. Ensure the screws are in the right holes and tightly placed to prevent the chair from wobbling or even breaking. Voila! You can now enjoy your new recliner chair.


Is it possible to make your old recliner look good? Of course, it is! Even better, nothing competes with the great feeling of accomplishing a project alone. Therefore, to cut more on the costs, you don’t need to hire someone to do the job for you. Just get ready with the necessary materials, spare some time for the project, and have your old recliner as good as new.