How To Remove A Recliner Back A Step-By-Step Guide


A Recliner Chair

Do you have a recliner that you would like to get rid of but don’t know how to remove the back? If so, don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to easily remove the back of a recliner. This process can be a bit tricky, but with our instructions, it will be a breeze! Let’s get started.

Recliners come in three different types, depending on how they’re attached.

  • Locking Levers attach with a lever that locks into place and can’t be pulled back;
  • Locking Tab or Catch recliners have a tab or catch that locks the back into place;
  • Bolted-on backs have an extra panel of metal for added stability when sitting (think behind your head), while tabs or catches allow you to fold them up quickly, so no one sees what’s going down.

Remove The Screws From The Bottom Of The Recliner’s Base

You will need to use a screwdriver or Allen wrench for this step to not damage any part of the recliner. Once removed, you’ll have access to how they were attached at one end (usually by small screws).

If there are no screws visible on either side of your seat back, it means that they’re hidden underneath covers, which must be pried off with force – try using pliers if necessary. If still unsuccessful, pull up as hard as possible until something gives way; hopefully, this won’t result from too much damage, but sometimes things like these happen during DIY projects.

It may take some time before getting through all four sides because each corner has its own set of attachments, so don’t worry if it takes a little while.

Once all screws have been removed, the recliner back should be free to move. Gently pull it away from the seat and set it aside – you’re done! Again, congratulations on a job well done! If this is your first time removing a recliner back, we hope this guide was helpful. If not, please feel free to reach out to us for further assistance.

Pry Off The Back Panel With A Screwdriver

Just like how you would pay off a car door panel, the back panels on recliners tend to stick together, so it might take some force for them to come apart. Use caution when applying pressure not only because they’re held down by screws but also because of how fragile these parts can be! If you break one side, though, don’t fret too much as there will still be enough room left over once everything is removed from underneath that section where nothing important should get damaged during removal anyways (make sure).

Now slide your screwdriver under each corner and start prying up gently until all four sides are separated – no need for brute strength here; use finesse instead! You’ll know when everything has come loose when the entire panel can be pulled off without any resistance.

Set the back panel aside and move on to the next step.

At this point, you should have removed all of the screws that were holding down the recliner’s back as well as pried it away from the seat. Now it’s time to remove the fabric!

If your recliner has a bolted-on back, an extra metal panel (usually at the top) will be held in place by screws. You will need to use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove it. Once these are removed, you can fold up the metal panel and set it aside – voila, the job is done!

Take Out The Old Upholstery And Padding

This is probably the most tedious and time-consuming part of the entire process, but it’s still not that difficult. Start by removing all of the staples that are holding the fabric in place. Once these are gone, you can begin pulling out the old upholstery and padding.

Be careful when doing this, as there might be some remaining nails or tacks that were used to hold everything together – try not to damage them too much as they will come in handy later on. If they’re too stubborn to remove by hand, then use a pair of pliers to get the job done.

Once all of the old materials have been removed, discard them in the trash and start cleaning up any messes that were made.

Now it’s time to install the new padding and upholstery!

Cut New Upholstery To Size And Attach It To The Frame

If your recliner already had a bolted-on back, then you can skip this step altogether.

For everyone else, start by cutting the new fabric to size – make sure that there’s enough extra material on all sides so that you can staple it in place.

Once the fabric is cut, begin stapling it to the bottom of the seat (you might need help from someone else for this part). Work your way around until the entire seat is covered and then do the same for the back.

It’s best to start at one end and move towards the other instead of working in random patches; not only will this look more uniform, but it will also be more secure.

Once everything is in place, reattach the metal panel (if applicable) and give the recliner a final test to ensure that everything is working correctly.

You did it! Congratulations, your recliner is now good as new.


Although removing a recliner’s back might seem daunting at first, with this step-by-step guide, it can be done in no time. Just make sure to take your time and be careful when prying off the panels – otherwise, you might end up breaking something.

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Preeti Shah is a person who loves checking out different styles and designs of houses. She took interior designing in college and is practicing in the field of home improvement for five years now. In her spare time, she is usually searching the web for interesting and fascinating home designs.


  1. Very nice, you share beautiful and nice design steps for the furnishing and decoration of home improvement. Actually, I’m searching for a good recliner sofa and I got to know a lot more things about it. So I really enjoy seeing your blog and your concepts are so impressive. you make a beautiful sharing blog.


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