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How to Reupholster Outdoor Furniture

Reupholstering furniture at times gives it a fresh look. Outdoor furniture is easier to work upon than indoor one.
Rimlee Bhuyan Dec 12, 2018
Outdoor furniture is generally made of wood, metal and wicker. While these type of outdoor furniture looks good on its own, most homeowners prefer to have some cushions placed over the furniture for comfort and style.
But as these cushions are left out in the open, it fades over time and becomes dusty and dirty. While it is possible to wash them out, there are some cushions that are fixed to the furniture and cannot be cleaned out. So the next best thing to do would be to reupholster the furniture to give it a fresh look.
If you are tired of looking at the same chaise lounge and outdoor benches and chairs, then reupholstering the furniture is a great idea. While choosing upholstery fabric, make sure that they are weatherproof.
Water, fade resistant fabric like solution-dyed acrylics and canvas are just right for upholstering outdoor or patio furniture. It is always better to stick to a warm and bright color palette with bold prints for outdoor furniture. Once you decide the fabric for reupholstering your outdoor furniture, you need to get the supplies.

Reupholstering Outdoor Furniture

Things required

  • Outdoor fabric (in a pattern and color of your choice)
  • Foam padding
  • Zippers
  • Scissors
  • Serrated knife
  • Sewing machine
  • Screwdriver
  • Quilt batting
  • Thread
  • Fabric stapler


  • To reupholster the seats of a chair or a chaise lounge, first you need to remove the cushion seats. If they are unattached to the furniture, then your job is simple enough. However some cushion seats are either tied back to the furniture or screwed down.
  • If the seat cushions of your outdoor furniture is fastened to the frame, then simply turn the furniture upside down and unfasten the screws holding the seat to the frame with a screwdriver.
  • Next carefully remove the outer fabric of the cushion by loosening the tacks from around the edges with a screwdriver.
  • If the padding of the cushion has shrunk and does not provide adequate cushioning, then you need to replace it too.
  • To replace old padding, simply remove it and cut out required amount of foam padding. Cover the foam padding with a sheet of quilt batting and place it on the seat of the furniture.
  • Next place you new upholstery fabric on the work table. Place the old upholstery fabric that you had removed from the furniture over it. Now cut the new fabric with a pair of scissors, using the old fabric for pattern. Keep 2 inches of seam allowance on all sides.
  • Place the fabric, over the seat of the furniture and pull it taut over the edges. Now staple the fabric along the corners of the furniture, making sure that the fabric lies smooth. Cut off excess fabric along the corners.
  • Once you are done upholstering the bottom seat of the furniture, it is time to concentrate on the back cushions. Measure the dimensions of the old cushion and cut a 4 inch thick foam padding to this size with a serrated knife.
  • Cut six pieces of fabric to cover the dimensions of the cushion, one top and bottom piece and four side pieces. Remember to leave a seam allowance of ½ inch on all the sides.
  • Sew the fabric pieces together to make a cushion cover leaving one side unstitched to insert the foam.
  • Insert the foam piece that you had cut out, slip-stitch the open edge of the cushion cover. Your back cushion is ready and you can place it over the outdoor furniture.
As you see, reupholstering patio furniture is not difficult and all you need is some patience and basic sewing skills. Now as you know how to reupholster outdoor furniture, you can change the look of your patio furniture jazzing it with bright and bold patterns.