Upholstering my wood desk chair is going swimmingly, slowly, but trucking along nonetheless. The chair was taken apart prior to me documenting, but so far I’ve made the chair weight bearing, built the cushion, and attached the top piece of upholstery. Today, I’ll show you how to attach the dust cover on the bottom of the chair.
After attaching the top piece of upholstery fabric in Part 3 of this series, the chair looked like this. It looks finished, doesn’t it?
It isn’t though, if you know where to look. See the burlap hanging down from the front frame of the chair? That needs to be hidden behind a dust cover.
A dust cover is a thin, lightweight piece of fabric used to hide the under or backside of an upholstered piece of furniture. It hides structural pieces to give the bottom of the chair a finished look. The dust cover also protects the insides of the chair from dust.
I purchased my dust cover by the yard from Jo-Ann’s. At first, I picked up a pre-packaged dust cover from the upholstery section. It has 5 yards of fabric in it which is way more than I needed for this project. So I opted to purchase a different version from the bolts so I could purchase just the amount I needed. For this project, I purchased 2/3 of a yard, and it was just enough.
The dust cover fabric I purchased was grey. It is usually black. If I were purchasing it again, I would look elsewhere for black. The grey was so thin, it was see-through if not double layered. Perhaps it was supposed to be double layered? No one will see it so it doesn’t matter, but I would like the look of opaque black better.
Cut Dust Cover to Size of Chair Bottom
Just like with the other fabric parts, cut the dust fabric to roughly the size of the chair with a few inches on all sides. I planned to tuck in all the edges, so I didn’t bother with a very precise cut. After cutting the fabric, lay it on the chair to make sure it fits, trim as necessary.
Tuck Edges Under and Staple
To make the edge look more clean and finished, tuck the extra fabric under towards the inside middle of the chair before stapling. Then following the same North-South-West-East pattern, secure one staple on each side. The reason for following this pattern is to keep the fabric centered on the chair. If you work around the chair, you will pull the fabric off center, possibly enough to not have any left to finish stapling at the end of the chair!
Always start at the top (north) then pull the fabric taut and staple at the bottom (south). Go to one side pulling the fabric gently, but not too tight, secure with a staple (west). Finish up by pulling the fabric taut on the other side (east).
I used short, 1/4″, staples to secure the dust cover. This layer is not structural and will not see every day use, so these short staples should be plenty to hold it in place.
Continue working around the chair in this pattern, always securing staples opposite each other, until the whole dust cover is secured.
Trim Around Edges of Legs
The dust cover fabric will be bulky at the corners, by the legs of the chair. Trim some of the overlapping fabric before securing the staples. I didn’t follow a specific method for this. Just trim any folded up fabric to thin out the layers and allow the dust cover to lay flat.
See how thin this dust cover fabric is? I didn’t expect it to be so see-through when I purchased it. In the end, it is the bottom of the chair, no one will see it. However, I like the finished look of an opaque layer though, and if I were doing it again, I’d buy black dust cover fabric.
And now a chair with a finished dust cover! No more burlap hanging all jagged from the bottom of the chair! Even though the dust cover is a little visible from this angle, anyone standing up will not see any of it. The solid grey line looks more clean anyway than jagged burlap!
Attaching the dust cover was probably the easiest, fastest step in finishing this chair. I think it took about 5 minutes, including cutting, stapling, and trimming the fabric. Following the North-South-West-East pattern is key to the fabric laying evenly without puckers or overstretching in any direction.
That’s one step closer to a finished chair! To see the rest of this upholstery project, click on the links below!
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