I love the ease of wood dining room chairs. The ability to wipe any sticky mess left behind from children (other children, of course, because my children are super clean and never sticky). The chairs I have are padded and covered in cloth with a classic silhouette including elegant and classy Queen Anne legs. The huge downside to cloth covered chairs is how quickly they look worn, but the upside is that recovering the pad is easy and inexpensive.
The first step is finding a fabric you love; preferably one that hides stains well. I found this shower curtain on clearance (love clearance items) at Target and decided I liked the pattern. Because it is a shower curtain it has a film finish (to repel water) that has allowed me to wipe off stains with ease (now that is what I call a win win).
Next step is to turn the chairs over, remove the screws holding the seat pad in place, and remove any old staples or fabric so the new upholstery fits snug and secure. In some cases I had covered over two layers of fabric and in my experience it does not wear well with time.
Then measure out your fabric and cut, leaving yourself a good margin of fabric to fold over the bottom of the chair.
Grab your staple gun and start securing, pulling the fabric nice and taught. I start at the ends of the stripe because it is important for it to be straight. Be sure to use plenty of staples across both ends of the seat pad.
Now we move to the corners. Corners can be tricky. If they are too loose it will look cheesy (for lack of a more technical term) and will eventually get torn or ripped out of the staple. The key with corners is to leave the fabric long enough to fold and twist. It needs to be tight before you staple it.
Once all corners have been folded, twisted and stapled in place the chair is done. All you need to do now is screw the pad back into place.