How to Upholster and Refoam an Old Sofa Back to Life

How to Upholster and Refoam an Old Sofa Back to Life

Furniture is expensive. There is no doubt about that. If you’ve stepped anywhere near a furniture store lately, you’ve probably run the other direction, not wanting to part with so much cash. Instead of spending a small fortune, you may be looking into breathing new life into your existing furniture and, thankfully, there’s a great way to do this via the process of reupholstering and refoaming.

Instead of throwing out your old couch or scoffing at the cheap, used ones you can find in your local classifieds, why not give it a new lease of life? Reupholstering is not an easy task. It can be both labour-intensive and time-consuming, but if you’re up for the challenge, read on!

Look at your sofa and decide your plan of action. 

Now that you’ve decided to take on this DIY challenge, take a step back and thoroughly look over your sofa. Make sure that you have a notepad and camera ready. Look over every square inch of the sofa and take notes and pictures of EVERYTHING. Are there any decorative buttons, and where are they attached? Where are the staples? Taking detailed notes will help you down the line when the process gets more complicated.

Remove the cushions. 

Once you’re comfortable with the ins and outs of the sofa, remove the cushions and take detailed measurements before taking off their covers. Be sure to look closely at the foam. Many companies recommend replacing the foam at least once every two years, even if you don’t reupholster, because of the lack of comfort that comes with regular use and the possible build-up of germs and bacteria.

Remove the bottom cover. 

The last piece of fabric to go on the sofa is the bottom dust cover, therefore it needs to be the first piece to come off. You may need to lay the sofa over on its back for this step. Using a staple puller, carefully remove all of the staples and take off the dust cover. Make sure to note where all of the staples were. Set this piece aside to measure for reupholstering.

Remove all other upholstery. 

Study the sofa further and find the piece of fabric easiest to take off. Remember to take notes of exactly how it was stapled onto the sofa. Repeat this step until all fabric has been removed.

Thoroughly clean all parts of the sofa. 

While you have a bare sofa, you don’t want to make it a dirty sofa. Remember that any dirt and dust left behind will be trapped there until it is reupholstered again. You can use a damp rag and an old toothbrush to clean it. Be sure not to soak the frame as you could risk letting mould and bacteria grow.

Buy the fabric and foam. 

This is the point where you need all of the fabric that you removed. Use a measuring tape to measure the pieces and calculate the exact measurements of fabric required to reupholster the sofa. Make sure to take the cushion covers into account! While you are picking and buying your fabric, be sure to buy the correct foam size and density for furniture cushions you have

Attach the new fabric. 

Use the old fabric to trim the new pieces. Once you are done, use your notes and pictures to start attaching the fabric to the sofa. Remember that you will use backwards order to put it back on. If you took the back piece off last, you will put the back piece on first and so on. Buying an upholstery staple gun and staples will make the process much easier.

Sew the cushion covers. 

Using your old measurements and new fabric, you can sew your cushion covers. Leave enough room for the new foam to go easily in, but not enough to where the covers will have extra fabric. A high-quality sewing machine and upholstery needles that will not break easily will help the process considerably. You can use the old cushion covers as a pattern for the new ones.

Put new foam in cushions. 

Once you have finished your covers, you can put them to use. Carefully put your new foam in the covers. This part can be tricky, so having an extra pair of hands can be very helpful. Once you have your covers on, make sure they fit back on the sofa. Now all that’s left is to enjoy your good-as-new sofa!

Don’t worry if this process sounds a little complicated. It can take a bit of time to get used to the techniques needed to refoam and reupholster a sofa properly, but it’s not your only option.

Using a reupholstery service is also a great way to bring your sofa back to life! When using a professional service, you can ensure the job will be done right and not have to worry about forgetting a step or buying expensive tools.

You can also be sure that the experts will get the right fabric and foam for your type of sofa. Cushion foam should be replaced every couple of years, if not sooner, for a high trafficked sofa. A reupholstery service can fit new foam that can easily make the difference between a sofa nobody wants to sit on and a super comfortable relaxation spot. While DIY projects are always great to do, it may be better to save your sanity and hire an expert to save yourself some time, some money, and ensure the job’s done right.

No matter which path you decide to take, remember that there are always cheaper and better options than buying new. We can always breathe life back into your old sofa and other furniture. Embrace your new mindset and get ready for a fantastic looking and feeling sofa!

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