When reupholstering a chair, label the fabric to mark its place on the chair before removing it. Use pliers to remove the staples holding the fabric in place, and use the fabric as a pattern to cut the new fabric. Pry difficult staples loose with a flat screwdriver. Before stapling the new fabric into place, cover the back and seat with cotton batting. Pull the fabric taunt, and use as many staples as necessary to keep the fabric tight.
If the fabric is sewn together, mark the fabric indicating the location of the seam. Use a seam ripper to separate the pieces of fabric. Remove any padding that covers the chair frame, and replace or repair damaged items, such as springs, inside the chair before covering it with batting.
To make a pattern from the old upholstery, layer the new and old fabrics together with the right-side facing down on each piece. Pin the fabrics together, and cut around the old upholstery.
When reupholstering an arm chair, place the fabric on the inside of the arm first, and pull the fabric through the frame at the bottom of the arm. To apply trim, apply a 6 to 8 inch bead of glue on the fabric, and press the trim into places. After the trim adheres, apply glue to the next section.