When we bought these chairs it was with the hope that they'd be maintenance free for the long term. That didn't really work out for us. I recovered two of them and the bench that we bought with them a couple of years ago, and now the rest of them are tearing up too. We thought we were being sold leather seats, but you know how that goes. Luckily, recovering is simple if a little muscle intensive.
I don't know if you can see the cracks in this chair's vinyl?
Here? Anyway it looks worse in real life.
I found this home dec fabric in JoAnn's and it was love at first sight. I asked them to order in enough for me to do all of the chairs while I was at it. First step is taking off the seat from the base. Usually a few screws is all that holds it on there. It's easy then to cut your fabric around the shape of the actual seat, with a little overlap to staple to the other side.
It doesn't need to overlap much as you see here. Just so that you can pull tight without danger of unraveling the edge. A handheld, non electric staple gun is plenty for this work, although I use a sledge hammer for the stubborn staples that don't go all the way in.
Then you place your seat back on the base, and screw it back on. This is where you sweat a bit. Odds are, you won't get the screws back into exactly the same place so it takes some muscle. Kind of a good thing if they go somewhere else to be honest, because it keeps the holes from being stripped so the screws fall back out again.
Finished product. If you really want to make it look nice and professional, trim the corners of excess fabric before stapling around the base. I never do this because I'm lazy and know I will probably have to do it again someday, but wrinkles in the corners are kind of a giveaway that you did it yourself. My strategies are: "pullitreallytight" and "hopethatnobodylookstooclose!".
I like how they turned out, although I was hoping to put some print cushions on the sofa, and that dream is dead with how busy this fabric already is. I bought some cushion covers from IKEA that I'll be taking back. Oh well. More money back in my account right?