Re-Upholstering Rollover Arms (How to Replace Foam)


The arms on this chair have obviously seen better days. Although the foam was not breaking down and could have been reused, my client decided she wanted it to be replaced. Replacing foam on furniture is quite costly, but it is sometimes necessary. If a chair smells bad, either from cigarette smoke or lingering pet odours, it is usually the foam that is the culprit. I find it can act as a sponge for bad smells.

20130520-081311.jpgFirst, I added a layer of cotton. This will give a full look to the arm. I don’t want hollowness here.

20130520-081428.jpgNext, I added a layer of 1″ high density foam.

20130520-081512.jpgI covered it with a layer of bonded polyester.

20130520-081618.jpgLaying the fabric on the arm, I made a v-cut at the back.

20130520-081719.jpgThis is what my v-cut looks like.

20130520-081822.jpgI stapled on the outside rail.

20130520-081912.jpgI made my v-cuts at the back.

20130520-081956.jpgNext, I shoved the fabric though under the arm support rail, and at the back through the back support rail.

20130520-082128.jpgThen I tacked it in place. I made my pleats on the front of the arm by securing the fabric at the bottom of the arm first, then pulling it up firmly. The pleats should be spaced evenly, and identical on both arms!

20130521-081501.jpgThe finished arm is round and full. And of course, I made arm caps (click here for DIY) to protect them!

2 thoughts

  1. Your chair is lovely and so very well done. How do you finish the front of the arms? Is the scroll sewn into the seam or attached separately? If you attach it, how do you attach it? I see no nails, staples, etc. It is absolutely perfect.

    1. Those are called “front facings”. They are made from wood or cardboard, and upholstered separately from the chair and then attached. They can be attached in different ways. I used brad nails because the fabric had an open weave that wouldn’t show the holes.

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