Reupholster 1950s dinette chairs affordably

vintage dinette chairs reupholsteredYes: Vintage dinette chairs can be reupholstered successfully. The seats of Laurie’s chair were in fine shape, but the original backs had seen better days. She found pink and gray marine-grade vinyl online and then, someone locally who reupholstered them for just a very reasonable price — including supplying and adding the upholstery tacks.
vintage dinette chair

Laurie’s dinette chair “before” reupholstering

Laurie writes:
I actually took the chairs — just the backs —  to a fabric upholsteror in Rochester, N.Y. She did them for just $25 chair!!! They came out BEAUTIFUL! I ordered the material online myself and saved even more… It is marine grade vinyl and matched PERFECTLY!
Hey, $25 per chair sounds like a fantastic price to me. But readers, if you can’t find such a bargain — and have the moxie — I found this video from Sara at Pink of Perfection with instructions on how to get a professional look. Argh — heat is required to get the edges all smooth — so this looks a bit tricky to me. Be safe.
I also have several stories on where to buy retro style vinyl and even real Naugahyde — these are all filed in my category –>Remodeling Basics / Furniture. 


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  1. MCM is Grand says

    Another timely post! I have a set in the garage…any advice on how best to remove the rust from the legs?

  2. Lynn-O-Matic says

    Wow, great job on the grey and pink chairs. How fab are those? Love the video, too!

    Does anyone have any tips on repairing vinyl upholstery? I have some very cool dinette chairs. One has a torn seat bottom but everything else is perfect, so I don’t want to redo them. I just want to fix the seat with something better than duct tape!

  3. Melody says

    Can anyone give me advice on repairing the frames themselves? We have a georgeous dinette set, but the metal frame is breaking and they are unusable at the moment. Thanks!

  4. vanessa says

    Where in Rochester?

    I actually took the chairs — just the backs — to a fabric upholsteror in Rochester, N.Y. She did them for just $25 chair!!! They came out BEAUTIFUL! I ordered the material online myself and saved even more… It is marine grade vinyl and matched PERFECTLY!

  5. Martha says

    I have a dinette set from the 50’s that is in great shape, but just a little dull, I’d like to shine it up a bit. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance..

  6. Jeremy says

    Pam or Laurie, if either of you is still looking at this, could you get me the contact information for the upholsterer in Rochester who did the work? I have some similar chairs that I need done.


  7. Suz says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this pink table set! I always thought I wanted a red one until I saw this!

    Congratulations on a wonderful refurb!

  8. Lori says

    I’d like to know where in Rochester, NY you took the chairs to also. I have chairs just like these that I want to have done!


  9. Loise Fullbright says

    Chrome side chair upholstered, how do I remove the back? No screws visible, only a seam opening between the upholstered back. Can’t find anything to get it apart. Help,,, loise

  10. Danelle says

    Wondering about where to find new edging. I have a table from 1949 and I am needing replacement 3/4 inch edging. Any suggestions??

    I’m also looking to either recover the seats myself or order replacement seats and backs. 🙂 Suggestions?

    • pam kueber says

      Hey Danelle,

      Get to know our navigation – up in the blue above. We have resources for all of these items. Also – use the Search box, it works well, too!

      • Danelle says

        I have had some luck in navigating the site, but am wondering if you have any suggestions of companies that I can order new seats and backs for my chairs?

        • pam kueber says

          No, I don’t think I have ever seen this come up before. You could try our advertiser, Heffron’s A Moment in Time Retro Design — they might be able to help — good luck. Tell Tammy that Pam sent you!

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