Figuring out how to Reupholster



I started tearing into the Teal Chair at the beginning of December so that when I bought my staple gun I would be ready to start stapling away. My thought was that while I was stripping the fabric, I could do some research on the right kind of staple gun and how to actually go about reupholstering the chair.


As for the gun, I quickly realized that a hand stapler or an electric gun were not going to be enough. The blogs I read and the people I talked to made me realize I would avoid a lot of frustration if I got a pneumatic staple gun.


This meant I would also need an air compressor though. So, next stop, any friendly neighborhood hardware store or craft store and even some online searching.

Craig’s List had slim or no pickings when it came to a staple gun. True Value  and only one, small air compressor. The craft stores in town (Hancock Fabrics, Michael’s and A.C. Moore) had at most an electric staple gun. That boiled it down to Lowe’s.

So, it was in between my first and second trip there that I learned there was a difference between a pneumatic staple gun and a pneumatic upholstering gun.


A regular stapling gun, like the one above, is better suited to home improvement projects. While I found that some of them listed upholstering as a use for the gun, that was usually last on the list making me think that it was not necessarily designed for that particular use.


A pneumatic upholstering gun, featured above, has a longer nose than a regular stapling gun, which makes it easier to get at hard to reach places. This particular gun is made by Porter Cable and will likely be the one I buy.

This gun is one hot commodity right now though. Home Depot is out online, the people at Home Depot had no idea what I was talking about when I called and Lowe’s doesn’t carry it at all. It turns out Amazon is the only place currently stocking it.

While I toyed with the idea of buying it from Amazon, I am not excited about whatever return process might be available should something go wrong with this mechanical device. Luckily for me, the people at Lowe’s were super helpful and are willing to order the gun for me direct from Porter Cable and give it to me at the Home Depot price! Thank you Bret and Mariellen at the Lowe’s on Folly Road in Charleston, SC!

That leaves actually learning how to upholster. So, amidst all of this staple gun research, I also checked out seven books from the library on the subject and sought advice from a couple of blogs.

The two books I found the most helpful so far are:


Upholstery Tips & Hints by David James and


The Complete Guide to Upholstery by Cherry Dobson. James even has a youtube video. Click here to check it out – it takes awhile to load. As for blogs, of course I went back to one of Miss Mustard Seed’s posts on upholstering. If you spend some time on her site she has other blogs that have helpful information about upholstering. In addition, I also found this other blog, Apartment Therapy, I really like. Click here for their list of DIY upholstery resources.

Happy Thursday all!


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