Spray a protective coating on fabric seats to repel liquid.

How to Protect Dining Chair Seats

by Mary Cockrill

Messy kids (and adults) can take a toll on unprotected dining chair seats, as can fading caused by direct sunlight. The type of seat, such as wood or fabric, can help you determine the best plan of action to protect your dining-area chairs.

1. Fabric Seats

An easy way to add a stain-resistant coating to existing upholstered dining chairs is to spray each seat with a clear fabric protector. The invisible covering shields the upholstery from spills and soil with a protective barrier that pushes liquids and stains away from the fibers. Blot any spilled liquids to protect fibers from damage caused by vigorous rubbing. In addition, serve kids light-colored drinks such as water or lemonade to prevent stains from drinks with highly saturated colors. You also can reupholster existing seat cushions with a durable, easy-care textile such as microfiber.

2. Leather Seats

Regularly vacuum and dust leather dining seats to avoid accumulation of food and dirt particles in corners and crevices, which eventually can damage the leather. You also need to condition leather dining chairs to protect the leather against drying and cracking. Immediately wipe up your youngster's spilled drink off his leather seat with a damp cloth or sponge. Use budget-friendly saddle soap to clean and condition leather dining seats simultaneously. Avoid using furniture polish or oil on leather seats; it can make them sticky over time.

3. Wood Seats

Even though wooden dining room chairs don't have upholstery to protect, wood-clad seats can get scratched, dinged and worn. Apply a clear top coat over wooden seats to shield the painted, stained or natural wood finish against harmful ultraviolet rays and spilled liquid. Add a comfortable seat cushion to each dining chair to guard a wood seat. If your kid like to tuck one of her legs underneath herself while eating, the cushion also provides a barrier between your kid's shoe and the seat.

4. Tips

Ensure any type of dining chair is protected from incoming sunlight by arranging table and chairs out of the sun's direct rays, or cover dining room windows with wood blinds or lined draperies to deflect the sunshine from the interior space. The sun's ultraviolet rays can fade upholstered and wood dining seats. Cover any type of dining seat with a protective fabric slipcover that fits over the entire chair. Select slipcovers you can throw into the washer and dryer, as well as those that have fabric ties to allow you to custom fit them.

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