How to Re-Upholster a Window Seat

Window seats are a beautiful and rare architectural feature. If you’re lucky enough to have one in your home, you may still be disappointed in the upholstery fabric or the overall style of the seat. Luckily, you don’t have to hire an expensive professional to change the look of your entire window seat. You can reupholster the fabric by yourself using a few simple steps.


Unless you were planning on stapling fabric directly onto your window seat, you will have to remove the seat itself before replacing the fabric. There is no need to dismantle an entire corner of your room to do so. Usually the bench top of the window seat will pop off in one piece. Once you’ve removed it, you’ll find that it is usually a sheet of wood with some sort of batting and fabric stapled to it. To remove the cushion from your window seat, wedge a screwdriver into the crack where the seat top meets the bench, and hammer gently, lifting up. The seat should pop loose fairly easily. If it doesn’t come up easily, don’t force it; you’ll splinter the wood of the bench which could cause permanent, ugly damage.

When you’ve removed the seat top, carefully remove the staples or nails that are holding the padding and the fabric in place. If you don’t rip the padding while you’re removing it, you can reuse it under your new fabric.


Prepare your window seat top for its new fabric cover. Once it has been removed and the fabric has been taken off, replace the cushion. You can either reuse the padding that was already on your window seat, or buy it new. If you are buying new padding for your bench, you have a few options. Large sheets of foam are easy to cut to size, and give your window seat a clean, streamlined look when they’re beneath fabric. However, if you make a mistake when cutting, it might be a bit costly to try again on another piece. foam might also not provide as much comfort as sheets of batting. If you buy sheets of batting, know that you’ll have to use more to achieve the same thickness as you would with foam. However, your seat will be plusher, and batting is very inexpensive to use and easy to work with.

Once you’ve attached some sort of cushion to your seat, measure your new fabric. You should cut enough fabric to cover an entire side of the seat with an extra inch to staple around to the back side. Lie your fabric face down on a stable surface, and place the seat- cushion side down- on top of the fabric. Tug around all of the edges so that there are no wrinkles in your fabric. Pull it tight around the edges of the seat, and staple the fabric securely to the wood. Use as many staples as you need- they won’t show. If your fabric wrinkles or puckers for any reason, remove as many staples as you need to smooth it out, and keep going.


Once your new fabric is securely fastened, reattach the seat top to the bench with nails or screws, and your window seat will look brand new!