Is it Worth it to Reupholster an Accent Chair?

Accent chairs serve both an aesthetic and functional role within a room. They are typically made of a different material, fashioned in a different color, or are designed with a totally different style than the rest of the furniture in a room. These accent pieces are most commonly used in living rooms, but it's not uncommon to see an accent chair in a bedroom or dining room. Like all chairs, accent chairs might experience some wear and tear that require reupholstering. Should you reupholster your accent chair? In this brief guide, we'll answer this question and more.

Reupholstering a chair is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle chairs that have taken a beating over time, that's for sure. Unfortunately, depending on the material chosen and the style of the chair, reupholstering might not be the most cost-effective thing to do. There are several things that go into reupholstering that will impact the final cost:

  • The size of the chair
  • The material that is chosen for the reupholstering
  • The upholsterer's charges for labor
  • Any repairs that must be made to the framework

Reupholstering an accent chair can be worth it if it's a piece that you are seriously attached to, or if the chair is vintage or an heirloom of some type. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to reupholster is up to the individual.

Is it Worth it to Reupholster an Accent Chair?

I know that this sounds like a lot to consider, but if the chair we're talking about is one of great personal or material value to you, it's worth looking into further. In the article below, we'll tell you everything that you need to know about the reupholstery of accent chairs.


Examples of Reupholstered Chairs

In case you're not sure just how transformative reupholstering a chair can be, here are some examples to get your imagination hard at work, thinking of the possibilities!

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This office chair went from drab to fab with a whole new look!

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In this side-by-side before and after example, this faded chair has been restored back to life in vivid color!

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A nice (but plain) chair can be morphed into a work of art via reupholstering!

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster an Accent Chair?

Reupholstering an accent chair ranges wildly in price, from as little as $50 to upwards of a thousand dollars. In this section, we'll discuss in greater detail the factors that contribute to the overall cost.

Size and Complexity

The seat of an accent dining chair is obviously going to be less involved to reupholster than an entire recliner that's outfitted with many intricate components. Reupholstering requires a complete teardown of the chair, not just stripping away the old material and replacing it with new fabric. Repairs to the framework may be made and the padding replaced, among other repairs that may come up over the reupholstering process. A simple chair is clearly going to cost much less to reupholster.

If you want to add other details to the project, this will drive up the price, as well. Things like recliner skirts, pillow-top cushioning, and nail heads will add up. Basically, the more there is to do, the higher the price will be.

Hourly Rate

Different upholsterers charge different hourly rates for their work. They may charge a flat rate regardless of the job, or they might choose to charge a higher hourly rate for more complicated orders. Additionally, the upholsterer is likely to charge another percentage as a shop fee. This shop fee helps to compensate for the wear and tear on repairing and reupholstering materials that they will use during the process. It's worthwhile to get a fully itemized breakdown of what your local upholsterer will charge you.


Upholsterers who provide the fabric used for the reupholstering will charge you for the fabric, so it may be a good idea to purchase your own if you've got access to it. This cost, regardless of how the material is obtained, will depend on the total amount of material required and the cost of the material per yard. If you take a stroll through any fabric store at any time, you can see that the price per yard varies drastically across different types of materials.

Leather is a  more high-end material that comes with a more high-end cost. Additionally, it is sold by the hide. This is something you need to keep in mind if you're considering reupholstering a leather accent chair. A hide can cover a lot more than you'd need for small reupholstery projects, so you might want to see if your professional upholsterer can point you toward a store that sells leather in scraps.


If we're talking about a chair that's seen better days, perhaps one that's been in the family for many years or purchased second-hand, repairs may be made necessary in the process. After all, reupholstering is all about making a chair legitimately better, in both looks and functionality. The reupholsterer may need to make changes or repairs to the overall framework, joints and other components that are found in the chair.

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Stressless Chair?

A stressless chair goes by another name: recliner. It makes sense that it will cost more to reupholster a recliner, as they are composed of various different parts that perform different functions. Remember above, when we said that reupholstery can cost around $1,000? Most of the time, it is a stressless chair - or recliner - that's behind that cost. Even repairing it at home, if you're experienced enough, can cost you nearly that amount in terms of tools, fabrics, and other supplies.

Many times, it is simpler and less expensive to purchase a new recliner outright. But if you have a deep attachment to the recliner and you want to keep it around, reupholstering is certainly an option.

If you do decide to go this route by recruiting the help of a professional upholsterer, you can see some tremendous results, like these:

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How Much Do Upholsterers Charge Per Hour?

When you pay for the reupholstery of an accent chair, you're paying for materials, supplies, and tools. Additionally, you are paying for the upholsterer's time and labor. With all of this in mind, you can expect to spend anywhere between $50 to $100 per hour, with $70 being the average most often quoted. A padded seat for a dining chair might only take an hour, while a more complicated recliner can take upwards of six hours.

If the chair is damaged in terms of framework, it may be a job outside of the upholsterer's scope. If this is the case, they will require the assistance of a carpenter to get the job done to their (and your) standards. A carpenter will charge $50 dollars per hour or more.

Can I DIY My Accent Chair's Upholstery?

The do-it-yourself approach is a great way to handle many household projects, but a DIY reupholstering can be particularly taxing, even for the experienced. It is possible, however, if you've got the confidence and enough experience to handle the tools. We recommend starting with something small and inexpensive for your first reupholstering project, though, because you don't want to get stuck with a huge supply and tool cost only to not get the results you wanted.

Here are a few more resources for aspiring do-it-yourselfers looking to reupholster their accent chair:

Reupholstering a high-backed chair from Better Homes & Gardens.

How to reupholster an armchair from 

Reupholstering a dining chair seat from HGTV.

Is Reupholstering an Accent Chair Worth it?

If you're seriously considering reupholstering an accent chair despite the known costs associated with the process, then it is certainly worth investigating your options further. There are some accent chairs that are more than just an eye-catching feature in the home: they're sentimentally or materially valuable to the owner. You could also simply be an ambitious do-it-yourselfer who's eager to sink their teeth into new projects. If you can find a reason within yourself to justify the cost - even though buying a new chair for cheaper as a replacement is an option - then it's worth doing!

Reupholstering is and can be costly, but let's say that you're buying a new one and you want a new arrangement of these chairs. You should check What to Put Between Two Accent Chairs to utilize its design to bring out its beauty.

Read more about accent Chairs:

How Many Accent Chairs Should You Have in a Living Room?

17 Farmhouse-Style Accent Chairs

21 Stunning Leather Accent Chairs You Need To See Right Now

How Tall Should an Accent Chair Be?

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