So, this is what the kitchen chairs looked like before. They were OK, but nothing really exciting. This is microfiber, which does clean up fairly easily (if you don't have children who spill on them daily). I was tired of having to use copious amounts of carpet cleaner while scrubbing the heck out of these things weekly, so I decided to find a really pretty fabric to cover them and then put vinyl over that. You may find this unappealing...but then I would guess that you were a person without children (or that you had really tidy children, which I do not). Practicality rules at this house.
I found this really pretty and
neutral fabric at IKEA.
I really like their textile patterns.
First, I removed the seats and stapled the fabric all around, just like with the wheelchair armrests (although this was much easier because I had more area to work with. See my posting with the wheelchair covers here.
Then I just did the same with the vinyl over the fabric. One VERY useful tip I learned since then is to use a blow dryer to heat up the vinyl slightly when doing the corners. This allows you to get a very smooth corner, which is easy to do with regular fabric and not so easy to do with vinyl.
Ta da! Here is the finished product! It is so much easier to wipe down, and I am happy. The same could be done with oilcloth, as I did with the wheelchair (and you would have one less step), but I had a difficult time finding a neutral oilcloth that wouldn't clash with what I already have going in my kitchen. Many oilcloth patterns are very traditional (which are still really nice if you have the decor to go with it!). You can find more contemporary laminated fabrics but I found them to be a little pricey. I did six chairs with two yard of fabric at $6.99 a yard and two yards of vinyl at $2.99 a yard. I also had a lot of both left over. So it cost me less than $20 to do all six chairs (not too bad!).