My plan is to use the two antique captain's chairs I inherited from my grandmother to create a sitting area which will replace one of our ratty "couches" (a broken sectional disguised with pillows, a well-placed toy box, and a throw blanket), so I figured I would start with one of them and get to the standard dining chairs later in the update.
The chair was in good shape; it did have a few scratches and dings in it, but not enough that I have any interest in refinishing it. My major issue with the chairs is the cushion fabric: it, like just about everything else in my grandmother's house, was pink and had to go.
After cutting, I chose to ScotchGard the fabric. I went back and forth on this, but ultimately I tested a small piece of fabric and was completely amazed to see droplets of water bead onto it and not soak in. With small kids in the house, I figured this protection was a must.
After that, the process was shockingly easy. I stretched the fabric around the wood base with the original filling (pulling it pretty tight) and stapled it in place. Then I used the same piece of black stuff I had removed to cover the raw edges of the fabric and screwed the seat back into the base. Boom! Done! I know that people do this all the time, but it was my first try, and I am incredibly impressed with the results. From start to finish, I would say this took less than an hour.
There are imperfections; my seat has bumps, and I am not 100% sure the fabric is aligned perfectly. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I got, and I assume my second captain's chair will turn out even better. As soon as I get it done, I will post pictures of my little sitting area!