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I'm into crafting, recycling, and making things my own.  I like simplicity and hate clutter.  I work for a building envelope consulting… read more

Comments - Amateur Reupholstery: Couch

CelestialVoyager on May 08, 2007:

A big attagirl for a job well done. I have done a few projects and enjoyed each one. You save the old material to use as a pattern. You may need to strip down to the frame, depending on the condition of the item and upholstery. Remove and reglue all areas that were excessively tacked or stapled to prevent future splitting. Refinish the piece before reupholstering. Minwax makes an antique oil finish that works well in restoring the luster to finishes. Cover tacking areas with trim pieces of matching color and/or materials. Replacing springs can be a tuffy, don't try it unless you are extremely patient and willing to spend the time to get the right tension as well as the proper slope.

I have bought tools and materials at garage sales, yard sales even eBay. I would rather have a quality used tool than a new cheap one.

adorn on Apr 17, 2007:

I think the only tools I bought were the staple gun and needle-nose pliers, which weren't all that expensive.  It was probably around $200 total, including the fabric.  It would probably be a lot faster with a better way to remove the staples, but I don't know what would work.  I have to admit that there's still a bit of the old fabric stuck between the couch arms and body, but it's covered by the cushions.  In order to get all of the old fabric off and tuck the new fabric in properly, I think the frame would have to be taken apart a bit. 

Thanks everyone, and good luck.

baconthecat on Apr 16, 2007:

Oh my goodness, thank you SO much for this post. For real, you have practically changed my life!!! lol I recently became extremely interested in reupholstering, but after reading several articles on the subject that proclaimed this to be a tough, expensive, and sometimes-not-worth-it pursuit, I became weary. How much did it cost you to this, including the new tools you bought? Which tools would you say are absolutely essential for a project like this (a couch, no less!!)? I'm going to start with smaller, free furniture I can scrounge off CL (nothing around the house for me to reupholster right now), and any more tips you have would be great. Thank you!

moniquelovescats on Mar 09, 2007:

Very cool; I am about to start a similar project with my sleeper sofa. Your info was great. Thanks!

sparkie on Jan 07, 2007:

Great post.  Love the attitude, thinking of taking photos of demolition BEFORE you finish, discount shopping, recycling, free and more!!!  Good Job!  And, you took some scarey out of reupholstering.  I have never tried it.

P.S. Before I got real tools, I could do quite a bit w/ merely a kitchen butter knife and ceramic coffee mug as a hammer.  Vaseline too for grease/oil lube and chapstick if in a pinch.

Nimue on Jan 07, 2007:

Thanks for posting this!  I have an old rocker loveseat covered in a lovely orange & brown cabin & woods print that I plan on reupholstering this month.  I've been a little stressed about how I'd size the new cover correctly but now I'll just use your nifty trick of using the old pieces as a pattern & using photos as a reverse guide.  3 cheers for the "just do it" attitude!

yoooo on Jan 07, 2007:

You've inspired me. I saw a retro chair on Craig's list that was pink. I decided it would be too costly to have reupholstered. But now I'm going to do it myself. I know a great place in my neighborhood that sells retro fabrics. Thank you thank you!

Keter on Jan 06, 2007:

Nice job!

I've reupholstered a few things in my day, and it's mostly - as you describe - brute force and determination.  ;o)

I'm a sucker for a creative use of duct tape...and I think you raised by standard by which I'm going to be judging "creative" now!

I hope your unique example here will convince a few people to not go the oh-so-generic slipcover route.  ;o)

Oh, and congratulations to you for sticking with a project that took so long to complete.  I know that the longer a project takes to complete (for whatever reason) the harder it is to finish it (lost parts, other time demands, other projects that become more urgent, etc.).

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