How to Repair Leaning Recliners

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Lumber

  • Handsaw

  • Drill

  • Foam padding (optional)

  • Upholstery fabric (optional)

  • Stapler and upholstery staples

  • Pointed knife (optional)

  • Newspaper

  • Lubricant spray

  • Rag

A leaning recliner allows you to unwind and relax.
Image Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Primarily designed for comfort and relaxation, an improperly functioning leaning recliner causes frustration. Age, rough usage and lack of routine maintenance weaken the recliner's structure and reduce its appeal. With a few basic tools, you can repair loose nuts or a broken footrest yourself, thereby restoring the piece of furniture to its original glory.

Broken Footrest

Step 1

Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the four bolts attaching the footrest to the recliner's frame. Do not discard the bolts, but keep these nearby to use when reassembling the footrest.

Step 2

Turn over the loose footrest and remove the upholstery staples securing the fabric and padding using needle-nose pliers. Remove the padding and fabric from the footrest and set these aside.

Step 3

Transfer the measurements of the footrest on an identical piece of wood. Ensure the wood matches the thickness of the footrest.

Step 4

Cut along the outline on the wood with a handsaw. Also transfer the exact locations of the four mounting bolts on the new cutout and drill a hole through each mark.

Step 5

Cover the wood with foam padding and new fabric or use the old padding and fabric if it's in good shape. Pull the padding and fabric taut over the front of the wood cutout and insert staples through its edges to secure it to the back. If reusing the padding and fabric, ensure the holes match up against the drilled holes in the wood. For new fabric and padding, insert the tip of a pointed knife through the padding and fabric that extend into the bolt holes in the wood.

Step 6

Place the padded wood board over the frame. Drive the bolts through the holes and tighten each with a wrench.

Squeaky Recliner

Step 1

Spread newspapers or an old sheet on the floor around the recliner to catch oil drips. Bring the recliner to the upright position by pressing the lever on its side.

Step 2

Assign a helper to grasp one side of the recliner while you hold its other side. Carefully tilt the recliner to its side, directly above the newspapers.

Step 3

Locate the joints and springs within the recliner's frame and spray lubricant on these to prevent friction that creates the squeaks.

Step 4

Wipe away excess oil with a rag. Set the recliner back to its original place and lower the footrest to check whether it still squeaks when released. If required, apply more lubricant on the recliner.


Replace missing or warped nuts or bolts in the recliner with identical ones. Tighten any loose nuts or fasteners with a wrench.

Tanya Khan

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.