Upholstering Recliners


Your treasured recliner has given you much comfort and a feeling of security for many years. As you think about recovering your special chair it is well to give some thought to what the process would include.

Besides the normal concerns and procedures in upholstery, recliners have an additional set of concerns that don't apply to most furniture. Partly because of the mechanisms and partly because of the design, recliners have a lot more complexities to deal with in recovereing them as compared to a standard upholstered chair.

Check the Mechanisms

Recliners are built upon a set of metal mechanisms. If a recliener is older and has gotten a lot of use, sometimes the mechanisms can be worn. Before deciding to upholster your recliner, examine the joints of the mechanism to see if it is worn or tight. While you can check this yourself, it is best done with a helper.

Lay the recliner pm on its side so that you can easily see the recliner mechanism. While the recliner is on its side (the side without the footstool handle, if it has one), have someone move the footrest to open and close the recliner. As that is happening, closely examine every joint on the mechenism to see if  it is tight or is worn. After you (or your helper) h as stopped moving the footrest back and forth , then grab each joint and try to push it back and forth, side to side, up and down, to see if it has looseness attributed to being worn.

Check the Padding

Here is something to consider. You may be perfectly happy with the way the padding on your recliner feels right now. However, you need to think about the future. Will the foam or padding on the reciner last the life of sthe new cover. Remember, once the new cover is installed over the existing padding there is no eay way to replace the padding if it wears out before the cover wears out. Even if the padding feels good now, it is going to have to last another 10 or 20 or 30 years (depending upon the quality of the fabric that you choose.

Changing the Padding

Changing the padding does add some significant cost to the the project. Beside replacing the padding or foam, at the same time we replace the burlap and other supports under the padding. The procedure helps to significantly extend the life of the recliner. To see how we replaced the foam/padding and burlap on one reciner, watch this slideshow. Replacing seat foam on LaZBoy.

The Cost

Recliners are more costly to recover because of the extra time involved in disassembling and reassembling, making sure everything fits. Recliners have more parts to cover and they often have more complexity, such as attached pillows on the arms and backrests.