DIY: Chair Recovered (from boredom)

By Kate Riley March 14, 2009

Meet my boring dining room chair. Decent queen anne style, nice quality cushion, drab fabric. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Remedy? New glam fabric, nailhead trim, and decorative pillow.
Ingredients for makeover: fabric cut to size, staple gun, screwdriver, nailhead trim, decorative pillow.

Every DIYer needs a few power tools. I rob Mr. CG’s stash in the garage. I’ve got a crush on this power cordless screwdriver for its muscle and speed.

Remove cushion. Center seat on sturdy flat surface on the fabric pattern. Staple once at top, bottom, and sides, then work your way around with the staple gun positioning fabric just right. Corners are tough so reduce speed of stapling as you go around the bend.

Reattach new seat cushion. Add nailhead trim. (I used a french natural nailhead trim kit that includes 10 yards of nailheads. Easy to use because you only hammer every 5th nailhead.) Don’t forget to use rubber mallet to hammer in nailheads.

Add decorative pillow. Here’s my instant makeover in about one hour.

Queen Anne is much improved after the royal treatment, don’t you think?

Here are some other nailhead trim chairs available out there:

Ballard Designs Louis chair, $559

Overstocks ‘Montgomery’ dining chair with nailhead trim, $520

Salisbury & Manus ‘Louise’ Chair, $850 without fabric

Carrington Court leather dining chair, $300

St. Germain chair by Ralph Lauren Home, $1,725


Albemarle Dining Chair by Tomlinson/Erwin Lambeth, $2,725


  1. Love it! I need to do my chairs too – just trying to figure out what :-) First the wallpaper needs to come down though…

  2. CG- a quick question – so you just put the new fabric over the old fabric? And where did you get the nailhead trim like that? I always thought you just bought the nails…so much easier your way!

  3. It is a trim kit made by Bulldog Hardware called “French Natural Nailhead Trim”. There is a picture of it in my DIY headboard post. I got it from my local Joann fabric/craft store but you can find it online as well. Good luck.


  4. This is just what I've been looking for! We got a chair at a garage sale and it desperately needs to be recovered but the nailhead trim was killing me! I thought they were actual nails I was going to have pry out and then reattach one by one! Thank you so much for this!

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