Make my chair less ugly
November 13, 2009 9:31 AM   Subscribe

How much will it cost to reupholster a big chair?

I have a chair that looks somewhat similar to this except that the fabric is a weird white brocade. It is very dirty and attempts to clean it haven't gone well (and I don't like its fabric anyway). I'd like to reupholster it. Does anyone have a rough estimate of how much that might cost? I'm in Wisconsin if that matters. I know the fabric will be expensive, but what about the labor costs?
posted by mjcon to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In my admittedly limited experience with this, reupholstering furniture tends to cost at least half as much as the piece would cost new. Clearly this is less when it's just a cushion on a chair and more when it's something as big as what you're talking about, but that's a good place to start.
posted by valkyryn at 9:40 AM on November 13, 2009

A piece like that would be very easy (and much, much cheaper) to slipcover.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:42 AM on November 13, 2009

not exactly sure but if there is a school that teaches upholstery in your area, they almost always offer reupholstering for less than it would cost normally and the work is just as good.
posted by violetk at 9:54 AM on November 13, 2009

Best answer: Upholstery is almost never just replacing the fabric - they usually take out all of the stuffing, wadding, guts, etc, until all is left is the skeleton frame of the chair - the wood and the metal caging. It's often hard to take off the fabric without ruining at least some of the stuffing inside, which is why they usually like to start from scratch. This can be maddening if there's nothing wrong with the innards yet they insist on replacing them; to you it seems such an unnecessary expense but to them it's part of the job. Replacing the insides greatly adds to the cost. And your chair (that's a nice chair!) is not just a chair, it's larger, so...more expensive. I will say tho, that I've found a really inexpensive upholsterer in my area on craigslist, so you may want to check there. Some will work with you on the insides thing, some won't.

MUCH cheaper to slipcover, as Sys Rq says. Yes. A custom-made slipcover (as opposed to the 'one size fits all' type you find in stores) will fit beautifully, look really stylish, and will be able to be thrown in the wash or taken to the dry cleaners, depending on what fabric you use. You could have at least 2 great slipcovers in different colors and fabrics made for what it will cost you to have that reupholstered. I recently had a giant sofa slipcovered for 190.00, for example. I supplied the fabric (70.00 worth of linen) and the cording, and was charged 190.00 for the slipcover to be made, which included washing the fabric, all the cutting out of the pieces, making the self-welting/piping, sewing it together, and s&h. Good deal.
posted by iconomy at 10:57 AM on November 13, 2009

Response by poster: Hmm ok. So you're saying this is going to be expensive. Slipcovering was something I hadn't even considered. The chair in question isn't quite as squared off as that one, has more rounded arms and back, but a custom slipcover might just work. Where would I inquire to have something like that made?
posted by mjcon at 11:19 AM on November 13, 2009

If you want the info on the person I used (everything is done online, no face to face at all), memail me.
posted by iconomy at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2009

You may find affordable fabric at a fabric discounter. In the Boston area there are many more discounters than regular fabric shops. I imagine it's similar elsewhere.
posted by Dragonness at 1:37 PM on November 13, 2009

« Older CaptioningFilter   |   Help me get my PhD! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.