Recovering (And Saving!) Our Office Chair

Several weeks back, I heard the following coming from Ian, who was in our office:

"NOOOOOO, no no no no no no no no no no no no no NO!"

Not a good sound.

Homeboy had just taken the fuschia ink cartridge out of the printer, and in an effort to lengthen its' life before getting it refilled, had shaken it.  Hard.  Without covering up the area that ink comes out of.

Fuschia ink drops were everywhere -- on him, on our glass table, on his iPad, on the bookshelves, and on our new-ish office chair.

Fortunately, the ink wiped off easily on everything minus the fabric office chair.  Thinking that I was a stain wizard (clearly I am not), I googled "printer ink removal from fabric" and quickly attacked it with hairspray.  And when that didn't work, we decided to take other actions - soap and water, Tide To Go pens, spray stain remover for carpets.  I tried it all.

What we awoke to the next day, which is tough to see in the photo below -- but trust me, it was BAD -- was a bleached-out area of the chair, with light pink spots still remaining.  Plus a gross watermark all around it.  (Hint: back up about a full foot from where you are currently sitting at your monitor/screen, and you'll see what it looks like)

I wish we were that couple that could just say "Eh, oh well, we won't notice it after a bit," but we're just not that way.  Ian wanted to just trash the chair immediately.  I wanted to find a way to fix it.  My smart mother-in-law suggested that we recover the seat portion of the chair.  DONE!

A quick trip to Hancock Fabrics, and I was the proud new owner of $4 worth of faux leather from their remnants table.

My project started by flipping the chair over and removing the black underside of the chair -- the cheap fabric that covered the "guts" of the chair.  I used a hammer and a flat-head screwdriver to lift the staples up, and then I removed the staples with needle-nosed pliers and a wrench.

With that removed, you can see the underbelly of the chair.  Sidenote: I had to go this route because there was piping at the base of the chair, so I couldn't just staple on the new fabric without covering that pretty piping.

So with the piping now exposed, I started to remove it.

I built up quite an assortment of staples on our coffee table.

Ta-da!  The piping was completely removed.

At that point, I covered the base of the chair in the faux leather, using my staple gun to attach it tightly.  Then I got ready to add the piping back on.

Staple gunning my entire way around, I finally finished that task.

The finished product!
Do I love it just as much as how it originally looked?  Well ... not necessarily.  BUT --

... did I save us $100+ in what it would have cost us to replace it?  Absolutely!  And that makes me a happy girl.


  1. What a great job! You took some lemons and made lemonade. :)

  2. Impressed!

    I bet Ian wont ever shake the fuschia ink cartridge again!

  3. Wow! It looks great, April!

    I wish I knew how to replace the fabric on a recliner-type chair (same shape, doesn't recline). My fiance and I are moving and we were kind of pushed to take a few things (plus we don't want to offend anyone), one of them being this PINK chair (even though we already got a brown leather sofa and recliner) and it doesn't match at all! I'm trying to figure out a way to make it work! Ha!

  4. Well done! You so handy, great idea to recover it.

  5. Wow! You did that well in a pinch. In my opinion, just to integrate the leather-esque fabric some more, I would cover the buttons in the same material too!

  6. I've recovered several of our chairs here and there and 'thought' I was going to recover our dining room chairs to save $$.
    OH GEEZERS! that was going to be harder than I thought so I paid someone.
    I think you did an awesome job!

  7. Way to go, girl. You were super frugal! I like the new look of it.

  8. Way to go, girl. You were super frugal! I like the new look of it.

  9. Looks at you! Now that is impressive! xo

  10. Ok you are a pro at that! Amazing job!!

  11. Great job! I takes a great effort to accomplish such task and you made it beautifully!
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  12. I have a chair just like this! Thank you so much for this post and it was nicely done :) I will be able to cover my chair now, thanks again :)

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