HOW TO RECOVER A CHAIR, RECOVERING A COUCH OR SOFA
INSTALL OUTSIDE ARMS, BACKS, BANDS AND PANELS
Our first demonstration is on how to "blind tack" an outside arm. This arm is straight across the top. You would use the same procedure for an outside back or band that is straight or only has a slight curve or angle. Align the material (you marked the top didn't you?) so that any patterns or stripes match up with the inside arm and all staples will be hidden. Put a few staples in about a 1/2"-3/4" from the edge of the fabric. Next tack a piece of 1/2" cardboard strip over the staples. This prevents the fabric from rippling.
With some furniture recovering you will need to fill in the space, the distance between the inside arm and frame, with scrap cotton or Dacron and/or you'll need to staple a piece of scrap fabric over the opening. Some pieces have cardboard as a base for the outside padding.
Here we're going to apply a layer of bonded polyester to pad the outside arm. It should be even or slightly above the top of the cardboard strip. After stapling pull lightly over each staple so it will sink within the padding leaving a smoothe surface. In most cases trim the the padding even with the outside edges of the frame. Pull the material tight and tack at the bottom a couple of inches back from the legs.
Next we'll close the sides using nail strips. Only a small part of the front of the outside arm is straight on this particular chair the rest is tacked to the front arm and will be covered by a panel. On many pieces a nail strip can be used to install the whole side of the arm and both sides of the outside back. This chair had a piece of welt cord which we have already stapled on. Cut the nail strip the right length with tin snips or wire cutters. Place the strip about half way over the welt piece or frame, pull the fabric tight over the nails and the nails through.
Turn the nail strip inwards, making sure the nails are straight up and down.
Drive the nails in with a rubber mallet. The fabric should be right up against the welt or edge of frame. This chair had a single welt (base welt) all around the bottom of the chair. On some couch or chair recovering jobs you may need to tack the welt on before you finish off the material around the leg. Other choices of trim include double welt, gimp, and brass finish decorator nails.
Here Mike has folded the fabric under to go around the back leg.