If you’ve got an old piece of furniture that has seen better but is physically in good condition, you may want to learn how to reupholster. Most furniture can be reupholstered to restore the appearance and a couch is no different. Even the most beat-up looking couch can be revitalized by reupholstering, for a fraction of the cost of a new couch. So, if you have an old couch that is tattered, stained, or just looking dated on the outside but is still in excellent shape on the inside, you can learn these simple steps for how to reupholster. Or, if you just have a piece of furniture that you want to personalize, reupholstering is the perfect solution.
Most couches and furniture in general, are actually designed to be reupholstered. The key to creating a beautiful new couch through reupholstering is the condition of the inside of the couch. Once you have found a couch style that fits your taste or your room’s décor you can pick up some fabric and filling material and you’ll be ready to start. It is always advisable to take pictures of the couch before you take it apart and during the process of disassembly so that you will have pictures for guidelines for reassembly.
Once you are ready to take the couch apart, start with the sofa upside down or on its back and start removing fabric along with the staples on the bottom of the couch. Next, flip the couch upright and remove the outside back and arms, inside back and arms and deck. If you are careful not to damage the existing couch cover, you can use this as a template for cutting your new fabric. Also try to retain all the parts of the couch that you will need to use again.
Check your cushions to determine whether they will need new filling material. High quality foam makes the best filling as it has a long life while providing a comfortable material for sitting. Medium density foam for the bottom cushion and soft density on the back is standard. You may use the existing filler and just purchase enough material to fill the cushions although this isn’t recommended as foam tends to compress over and deteriorate over years of use.
Using your pictures as a guide, you are ready to create and fit the new cover. On a large, flat surface, cut the fabric according to the size and dimensions of your couch. Again, you can use the old cover as a template ensuring to give about ½” of extra material around the seams. For stapled edges, you should add between 2 and 3″ more so you have plenty of give when pulling the new fabric over the couch. You may need a heavy duty sewing machine in order to sew the seams on your new cover, but if you choose a lighter material you may be able to use a standard sewing machine. Always use a heavy duty thread and needle and allow ½” for seams.
When you are attaching the new fabric to your couch, you should use a sturdy staple gun. Attach the new cover on your couch from the inside out. Start with the sofa deck and progress to the inside arms and back and then finish with the outside surfaces. Always ensure to pull the fabric tightly as you attach it be as the fabric may stretch over time.
For some crafty individuals, reupholstering a new couch will be a breeze. However, if you are already daunted by the task, don’t be afraid to seek expert advice or assistance. Even if you know how to reupholster, the process can be time consuming and requires some skill with fabric and sewing.