How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Chair

Last Updated on March 6, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Many people say that reupholstering a chair is very expensive. Is that true?

Let’s find out exactly how much it costs to reupholster one chair before you start working on remaking your home or living area.

The first question you should normally ask yourself is what kind of re-upholsterer will take care of the job.

Not only the actual re-upholsterer but the shop he’s working in, its location, and its reputation will also influence the final cost of reupholstering your chair because each shop has its own prices and ways of doing its job.

Also, take a look at the chair and try to figure out exactly how complicated it really is to reupholster it, because a more complicated piece will take more time and will cost more in the end. Some shapes could end up costing more than the actual chair, just to get them reupholstered.

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How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Chair?

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Based on the type of material you’re going to use, expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $250 for a mostly wooden, hard-backed dining room chair.

It should cost you $800 or more if you want to have an armchair reupholstered. The fabric is again very important.

Average Cost to Reupholster a Chair by Type

The expected cost to reupholster a chair will depend on its type. This is because a larger chair that has more padding will also require more material, which translates into higher material costs. There are also more complex designs that will require a lot more work, which will drive the labor price up.

Armchair Cost

You will spend $800 to $1,700 to reupholster an armchair. As armchairs are known to have different designs and shapes, the larger it is and the more padded its design, the more it will cost. Pillow tops and roll arms will also increase the amount of fabric needed, which also means a higher price.

Dining Chair

Reupholstering a dining chair will usually cost somewhere between $80 and $250. These prices will vary based on the amount and type of fabric needed and. Depending on the number of chairs you have, you might be able to reupholster more than one chair per yard of fabric, which is a great way of saving some money on material.

Wingback Chair

Reupholstering a wingback chair can easily cost $1,000 to $2,000. These are larger types of chairs that are overstuffed, which makes the cost of the extra materials needed a lot higher. Any extra detailings, cording, a skirt, or loose cushions will also add to the price.

Parsons Chair

Be prepared to spend around $150 to $600 to reupholster a Parsons chair. The Parsons chair is a type of dining chair that is armless and has a seat cushion and an upholstered back. It will be a rather difficult piece to work on due to its odd shape and big number of angles. The labor charges will also be higher when compared to other types of chairs.

Bar Stools

Bar stools will cost between $60 and $500 to have reupholstered. The lower price range will be for backless barstools, while those having cushioned backs and arms will cost considerably more. The price is mostly dependent on the amount and type of fabric you will use, just like in the case of individual cushions or dining chairs.

Tub Chair

Barrel chairs and tub chairs will usually cost $500 to $800 to have reupholstered. These chairs come with no separate arms and feature a semi-circle back. The rounded back wraps around the sides like a makeshift armrest. Depending on the level of padding and the size of the chair, the price of upholstery will vary quite significantly

Bergère Chair

If you were to reupholster a bergère chair, you will likely spend between $200 and $500. These chairs are most likely antiques so they will require additional care and time to preserve their old look, which also means additional labor costs. Older models will usually be more expensive to reupholster than newer ones.

Leather Chair

Leather chairs will cost between $900 and $2,200 to have reupholstered. The price of leather is between $50 and $70 per yard, but you might be able to find smaller pieces of it for individual projects. Leather is among the more expensive reupholstery choices but it also is rather durable if you know how to care for it. It isn’t recommended to homes with pets, though, as claws will do a lot of damage to the material.

Slipper Chair

It will usually cost between $250 and $500 to reupholster a slipper chair. Although these chairs are armless, they still have a lot of aditional cushioning, which means they require quite the amount of material. It will also require a lot of care and skill to work on due to their rounded, odd shape, so labor charges will also be high.

Office Chair

Office chairs will cost around $200 to $750 to have reupholstered. These prices will depend on the amount of work that has to be put in them and the fabric choice. The lower end will have armless types, while larger models that are heavily padded will cost the most.


To reupholster a recliner you will usually spend $450 to $1,700 depending on its size, fabric, and style. These are the types of chairs that will need more material because they are overstuffed. This, of course, also means that they cost more. Chairs that have skirting or pillow tops will cost more.

La-Z-Boy Recliner

La-Z-Boy recliners will usually be reupholstered for costs between $600 and $1,600. Recliners of this type will have quite an impressive amount of cushioning, which makes the material costs go higher. They also come with a very complex structure that has all kinds of mechanisms made to work one with the other. This will also increase labor costs. You will spend more on chairs of larger sizes and with semi-attached cushions.

Outdoor Chair Cushions

You will usually be able to reupholster an outdoor chair for $50 to $350. The prices won’t defer much to those of indoor chairs. The number of cushions, their depth, and fabric type will influence the final price.

Average Cost to Reupholster a Chair by Type of Material

The price to reupholster a chair will depend greatly on the type of material you choose to use. Check out some of the most common materials used for reupholstering chairs along with their expected prices in the table below:

Type of Upholstery Material Average Cost per Yard
Acrylic $45 – $80
Bamboo $25 – $55
Cotton $7 – $25
Denim $23 – $60
Faux leather $10 – $22
Faux suede $10 – $30
Leather $40 – $70
Linen $25 – $40
Linen blend $10 – $30
Mohair $20 – $80
Nylon $7 – $15
Polyester $10 – $45
Rayon $40 – $100
Silk $60 – $90
Suede $20 – $50
Twill $30 – $70
Velvet $50 – $75
Wool $75 – $100

Yards of Fabric to Reupholster a Chair

Upholstery materials will be priced between $55 and $100 usually. A chair will need anywhere between 1 to 10 yards, depending on its type. Depending on its type, this is how much material you will need:

    • Tub chair: 2 – 4 yards
    • Dining room chair: 1/2 yard
    • Recliner: 6 – 10 yards
    • Wingback chair: 6 – 10 yards

Factors That Impact the Cost to Recover a Chair

The cost of recovering a chair will depend on several factors. Out of them, the most important one is material choice, which will also increase labor costs by up to 20%. When it comes to chair frame repairs, these can add $250 or even more to the final price. Any needed additional services like cording or tufting will also raise the cost by up to 30%.

Add-Ons and Enhancements

Among the services that you can add to reupholstering services when it comes to your chairs are:

      • Structural repairs
      • Adding decorative trim
      • Upholstery cleaning costs
      • Vintage restoration
      • Recaning
      • Restuffing padding

Facts about chair reupholstering

In order to spend less, be sure to ask around for people that do these kinds of jobs for a lower price. But be sure that before you actually pick someone, you check out previous projects they worked on and pictures to be sure you’ll only receive quality work.

To reupholster means repairing an older, damaged object, so be sure you have an old chair that requires reupholstering.

Always reupholster chairs that have a good shape and will last their time.

You shouldn`t choose not to reupholster a chair just because you don’t like the color of its fabric, because you can change that later. If you don’t have an old chair and want to buy and reupholster one, try not to spend too much on that chair so you stay within a normal budget when adding the reupholstering costs.

The next step will be to figure out exactly how much material will it take to reupholster your chair.

It will cost more to cover a bigger chair or one that needs to be covered by material entirely.

Reupholstering a Chair vs. Buying a New One

There are some factors you should consider when you don’t know whether you should reupholster a chair or buy a new one. Here are some interesting things to help you decide on this.

When to Buy a New Chair

Don’t consider reupholstering furniture a money-saving option, because it will be cheaper to just buy a new chair most of the time. Usually, if you need more than nine yards of fabric for an upholstering job, then buying a new chair will be cheaper. Also, if time is important, it’s better to just buy a new chair, as you’ll need more than a week to have a chair reupholstered.

When to Reupholster a Chair

Reupholstery is the better option when you’re trying to restore antiques or family heirlooms to give them a pristine look and revive them so that they can be used for some more years. Reupholstering should be considered when you are very fond of a chair and you’re not looking to have it replaced.

Some tips to save money on reupholstering:

Usually, if you want to spend less, you should look for small shops in small neighborhoods or shops that are made in someone’s house, in a back room.

It’s sometimes hard to find people that do this on their own for many years and are known to do a great job, but finding someone like that will surely make it worth the time you spent looking. These kinds of people usually ask for a lot less and deliver much better results than big stores. The only downside to using these types of reupholsterers is the fact that you won’t receive any guarantee on their services.

What About The Rest Of The Furniture? Here’s How Much Will Restoring Other Wooden Furniture Pieces Cost

As you already know you could and should try to reupholster a chair that doesn’t require too much work. This will make you spare money that can be later used to cover the chair with your desired material.

People that really need to cut down the costs buy the material themselves, and so, spend just a little less. This means that you have to figure out exactly how much material you need and then go to the store and get it yourself.

From time to time you could even find fabric on clearance or promotions and discounts which will make you spend even less.

If you`re thinking of a DIY project, you have to know that reupholstering a chair yourself isn’t too difficult as well. All you need is patience, the ability to continue even after a few fails, and a little artistic talent, to get the job done yourself and save a lot of money.

DIY reupholstering a chair

Doing this job by yourself will surely be worth the time and you`ll probably notice that you, like most people, won`t go through too much trouble to do it. That’s an option when you have multiple chairs to try this on. If you only have one old chair that has emotional value, DON’T just try your luck with it! Some mistakes can’t be undone so be careful what you get into.

You should also read our article about the cost of boat upholstery repair.

How will the cost of reupholstering a chair hit our average Joe’s budget? It won’t be something you couldn’t recover from and it will surely be worth it in the end. Searching online for some DIY courses and attempting to do the reupholstering yourself is also an option especially if the budget is limited.

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