I could hear my mom’s (Gete) voice when I bought this kitchen set—“Honey, it’s pretty but don’t you think the fabric is a little light? Do you know how easily those chairs will stain?” Yes, I knew—but the set was perfect for our kitchen, so aesthetics beat out practicality, and the rest was history. Within a year, one of the chairs had gotten a pretty decent spot on it, and then another one got marked up with every day splatters. I couldn’t stand looking at them anymore.

Always there——in a good way…

Another win for Gete. Certain people leave indelible marks on us. We feel their presence even when they’re not there. That can be a win for working parents who may not be there physically, but whose spirit can be felt anyway. I counted on that when I was working when the kids were young and we had nannies. One of our nannies told me that my presence was always strongly felt in that house. I think she meant that in a good way but…yes, let’s go with that…it was a good way😊

My mom has always had that effect on me—usually in a good way:) Even now, she does—she passed in 2007, and somehow I still find so many situations where she is right. I’m sure she’s looking down at me right now, shaking her head about those chairs.

It‘s supposed to be easy…

I knew that changing the chairs’ upholstery was a pretty simple task—for some people. My cousin had changed the covers of my mom’s dining room chairs, and our neighbor helped me with ours when we lived up north. I’d never done it on my own, though, and wasn’t sure that I was up to the task. So—what else could I do? We bought two chairs to replace the ones that had gotten ruined. As my brother says, “Ka-ching…”

Important: I believe this fabric is a linen blend, and I used the stain cleaner in the Life Hacks and Household Hints section of this site on it, in addition to using another cleaner. Twice, the cleaner that I posted on this site hasn’t worked on linen for me, though it has had amazing results on other fabrics. Please note that I strongly discourage the use of that stain remover on linen or a linen blend.

And yes, you know what happened next. In fact, I’m the one who did it and I did it good—a big old ice tea spill that only grew bigger as I tried to fix it. Oye…!!

 I wasn’t able to match the fabric that was currently on the chairs, so at a designer’s suggestion, our kitchen set now has “Host and Hostess” seats that coordinate with—but don’t match—the rest of the chairs. (Hey—I was willing to give this a try but wasn’t going to do all six chairs if I didn’t have to!! 😊)

So unless you really want to, don’t buy new chairs to get rid of the stains on your cushions. Reupholster them. If I can do it, you probably can too. Here is a YouTube link from Artisan Upholstery Studio. You’ll see how easy it is—the instructor does a great job explaining the process step-by-step.  

Note: I only replaced the fabric cover, and not the foam underneath the fabric.

Tips: (1) Be generous in measuring the amount of fabric that you’ll need to cover the chair. I traced the outline of the old fabric (which I thought would be the perfect amount of fabric) but still wished I had a little more to work with when I was pulling the material over the frame. Don’t go crazy with that generosity but give yourself a little more fabric than you think you’ll need. While you can always trim, you can’t add more material once its cut! (2) Get a power staple gun. I used a manual one and (a) had a hard time getting enough pressure to make the staples flush with the wood (as they are in the far left photo above; and (b) my hands hurt for two days! and (3) Pay special attention to the instructors comments on the cornersmine had a little bit of a pleat.

Good luck—you can do this!!