Furniture Renovation Simple Projects Thrifty Ideas

Reupholstered Chair and the Central Pneumatic Stapler

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New black and white chair

This post is two fold.  First I want to show off my new chair, and then I want to tell you about the lovely new tool I used to reupholster it.  The Central Pneumatic 1/2″ Crown Air Stapler.

Central Pneumatic 1/2" Crown Air StaplerBut first lets get back to the chair.  I bought it a few months back from my local goodwill store; DI for those in the area.  It was in almost new shape with only a few scratches and I even liked the black finish.  Its only downfall was the fabric on the seat.

Old seat fabricIt reminded me of fuzzy corduroy pants.  Very utilitarian but not very cute.  The kind of fabric that  makes my thighs look a size bigger, but I digress.

I’ve had this fun black and white fabric since this summer, intending to make pillows, but when I saw it paired with the chair I knew it was a match made in heaven.  So as not to waste any fabric I first dry fit the fabric to the seat, determining how much I needed to cut and lining up the pattern.

Black and white fabricThen I easily removed the seat by unscrewing the three screws holding it in place on the underside.  (I love it when it’s easy.)

Placing the seat on top of the fabric I then started using the stapler to alternately put staples in the north and south sides.  Then repeated this process on the left and right sides, getting a smooth even stretch across the entire seat.  I ended by tucking and folding the corners down.

Back side of seat and staple gunAnd now allow me to sing the praises of this amazing little gun.  The entire process took about ten minutes.  Actually when you consider the time it took to find the tools, start the air compressor, choose the fabric, and take pictures, it took about half an hour.  But the point is that this staple gun was a breeze.

I already own a hand stapler and an old electric stapler, both of which take a great deal of muscle and force to control, so when I put  the first two staples in, I was pushing really hard and bracing for the backfire.  But it was like stapling into butter.  At first I wasn’t sure it had even worked because there wasn’t any jolt.  But sure enough, the staples was there and secure.  I could hardly believe it.  The other nice thing about using this pneumatic gun is no miss-fired staples poking up.  All the staples went in completely solid and flush.  My hand and electric staplers only work about every other staple and on a project like this I’d normally spend twenty minutes just picking out bad staples.

Now do you see why I’m so in love with the Central Pneumatic 1/2″ Crown Air Stapler.  My one piece of advice on it is to only load about half a row of staples in at a time.  It did catch when I filled it completely full of staples and wouldn’t shoot anything out.  Once I took out a few it worked perfectly again.  And the best part is the price.  Only $29.99 at Harbor Freight.

So to recap, here are the before and after pictures and a cost breakdown for the thrifty in all of us.

Before Chair $25 at DI (A bit more than I usually spend but I knew it had great potential.)

Before Chair

$2 in fabric if you consider I can use the leftovers for other projects.

New black and white chair

And $30 for staple gun I hope to use on lots of future projects.

Central Pneumatic 1/2" Crown Air StaplerFor a grand total of $27 (without the staple gun) or $57 (including the staple gun).

I’m happy, but what do you think?


I did not receive any compensation of any kind for the review of the staple gun mentioned above.  The opinion is mine, free, and subjective.

I’m linking to:

Just a Girl , The Shabby Nest , My Romantic Home , Remodelaholic , Finding Fabulous , Tidy Mom , Mustard Seed Creations , Color Outside the Lines , French Country Cottage , Chic on a Shoestring Decorating , A Little Knick Knack , Making the World Cuter , Made By You Mondays at Skip to My LouBetween Naps on the Porch , The DIY Show Off, Tools Are For Women Too , It’s A Blog Party , First a Dream: The RE-Party , Sugar Bee Craft Edition: Take a Look Tuesday , The Gypsy’s Corner , Today’s Creative Blog, House of Grace: Twice Owned TuesdayNifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm , Santa’s Gift Shoppe , Primitive & Proper


  • *I love the chair! I also have been holding on to this fabric for a chair and I think this post will help me get it done–it is gorgeous against the black.
    And Harbor Freight is wonderful.

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  • Thanks for the details. The Internet makes so much more communication and exchange of ideas with people all over the planet possible!
    I have a similar project. I have removed to layers of seat covers, one the original seat with professional staples and the second, my father did with a hand compression stapler–old school as my son calls it. I did one seat with new foam, then poly batting (first thing to staple) then the seat fabric (second round: 2nd set of staples). I did it but I had to hammer in each and every staple because the “old school” stapler didn’t quite penetrate the wood. Very tiring. I just check with a local upholstery business about renting or buying a pneumatic stapler* after checking local rental stores (who had none).

    The local upholster said he had the Central 1/2″ crown stapler for $30. etc. So having gone online to check this brand out, I’m so glad to hear from someone who has used one and to have gotten their opinion about the effectiveness of it. Don’t need another useless tool hanging around nor the wasted $$. I’ve been procrastinating doing the other 5 seats for my son (he now has my Mom’s dining room set) because of the effort it took to just one seat. However, after reading your account on the product that my local upholstery business suggested, I’m buoyed to finish this project (plus the promise that it may only take less than 30 minutes to do one seat) and move onto the christening dress I want/need to sew.
    *My first search a few days ago lead me to DIY videos on YouTube about re-upholstering chair seats–again very informative –this lead me to first consider a pneumatic stapler (professional grade & price). So happy to hear a review about the $30 version.