You love your children — and they love to spill, squish and even try to hide food to the dining room chair cushions. 1 day, their table manners will catch up to damask upholstery, but today isn’t that day. You’re tired of sitting on who-knows-what-comestible-residue, and plastic lawn in Salt Lake City chairs will not cut it on your dining room. So, re-cover the seat seats in vinyl. Printed oilcloth, vinyl upholstery fabric or vinylized material is inexpensive and wipe-down-simple to keep. Learn the trick to make new seat cushions that look professional and could resist anything the mealtime marauders dish out.
Unscrew the seats from the rear of the seat, or pry up the cushions if they’re snapped to the seat frame. Once you’ve the seat off the seat, remove the staples holding the old fabric to the wood seat. Pop reluctant staples up with a screwdriver or yank them out with pliers.
Peel the old vinyl and the batting off the seat and place it apart. Smooth a fresh amount of batting on a level work surface; lay the wood seat on it and cut around the seat, leaving two inches extra fabric for wrapping the batting.
Begin in the front of the seat, straightening the wrap, wrap it on the edge of the seat and stapling it on the underside. Then pull on the batting taut — but not stretched tight — round the seat and staple it on the underside. Duplicate on the sides, ultimately facilitating the batting into awesome folds in the corners and stapling it down. Trim batting to about 1/4 inch out of the staples.
Position the partially covered seat, face-down, on the wrong side of the vinyl upholstery material. Check that the pattern on the vinyl or oilcloth is based on the seat before cutting the fabric around the seat shape. Catch 2 to 4 inches extra vinyl all the way around, depending on the thickness of the seat cushioning. You can always trim the excess, but you can’t stretch the fabric if you cut it too little.
Aim a room heater or hair dryer at the vinyl to heat it before stretching it on the seat and stapling it in place. Begin with the front of the cushion; staple the vinyl below the seat, then stretch it over the cushioning and stretch it beneath to staple at the rear. Give the fabric an excess blast of heat until you stretch and staple across the rear. Then repeat the heat-and-stretch procedure for the side-to-side stapling.
Heat the corners of the upholstery thoroughly before stretching them tightly into position and stapling them down. The heat softens the stiff vinyl so it molds itself to the sort of the seat and will fit effortlessly, without bumps, bruises and clumsy folds or accumulates. Trim the excess vinyl when you’re through, leaving between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch outside the staples.
Add a dust cap on the underside of the seat seat if you want to cover the staples and fabric edges. Simply cut a level panel of muslin or cambric, fold the edges under so that they look neat, and staple it to the seat.
Replace the chair seat at the frame — by snapping or screwing it in.