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How to Reupholster a Couch


Although reupholstering a couch is an exciting project, the process can be challenging at the same time. Whether you want to transform or revamp a vintage couch or liven or revive an old couch in your living room that is almost worn, reupholstering can help you create a new and attractive look for an old couch. It can also establish your reputation as a do-it-yourself upholstery expert while saving you money.

The Materials You Need to Reupholster a Couch

There are essential materials you need when undertaking your reupholstery project. They include:

  • New fabric
  • Strong scissors
  • Pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Staples and staple guns
  • Staple remover
  • A pen and a notebook
  • Fabric glue (optional)
  • Cord or trim (optional)
  • Sewing machine (Optional)

Steps to Follow to Reupholster a Couch

Studying your Couch

The process of couch refurbishment requires first familiarizing yourself with the piece you will be working on to ensure seamless reupholstering. You first need to find out if there are any missing staples, the presence of the slipcover, and if the buttons have tufts. You also need to check if the cording is visible where the seams meet. You can save a ton of time later on by taking pictures and notes for future use.

Remove the Bottom Cover

Most of the couch will be covered with a lightweight fabric stapled to the enclosed bottom of the sofa called a dust cover. Typically, this fabric is the last one attached to the couch, and the first one to come off during reupholstering. With your staple remover, take out the staples around the dust cover and place it aside. If you don’t have a staple remover, use needle-nose pliers or a flathead screwdriver instead.

Strip the Upholstery Fabric Away from The Pieces

After you remove the dust cover, you will see how the other upholstery pieces on the couch were pulled and stapled to the wooden frame. Examine the upholstery and try to pull out the topmost fabric layer. Often, the last one you take off is at the rear end of the sofa. Then, insert the staple remover between the materials, extract the staples without damaging them, and throw them away. Note-taking and photography are a must as you strip each piece of fabric one by one to aid you in placing the pieces correctly back later. You must know the order you followed when removing the pieces, where the pieces go, how they were located on the sofa, how and where the fabric was tightened and attached, and if there were any special materials while removing the fabric, such as cardboard underneath or tack strips beside staples. You will have to follow those details when you add the new fabric to your old couch.

Buy and Cut the New Fabric

Use the measurements from your old sofa fabric to buy yards of fabric in the correct shape and size at your local fabric shop. You are not restricted to any particular upholstery fabric, but always keep in mind that the thinner the fabric, the faster it wears out. However, stapling hard-wearing fabric to your couch frame may be harder than stapling lightweight fabric.

Affix Your New Fabric to The Couch

Using your notes, place the new upholstery fabric in the opposite order as you did when taking down the old fabric; the last piece you removed should be the first piece you attach. Use a staple gun to put the fabric back into the frame. In case of doubt, have a look at your notes and photos. Tighten the fabric as you upholster it, ensuring it won’t drape awkwardly or look too wrinkled because it is hanging loose.

Reattach the Dust Cover

The last step is to re-staple the dust cover underneath the bottom of the couch. The cover will hide the stapled work below, making your couch look neat.

Add Trim as Needed

If your couch has corded trim to hide staples, you should also buy a matching cord or a plain one and attach a fabric cover. Sew it using fabric glue to add a final touch to your couch.

Sew Pillow Covers

If your couch has back or seat cushions, you must also sew new covers. Do the same thing you did when dismantling the upholstery. Unzip or cut the covers and use them as a pattern to cut the new fabric. If your couch cushions had zippers, save those zippers to avoid buying new ones. This step involves using a sewing machine. You should follow the old cushions’ stitching to create similar ones for the new cushions.

In conclusion, couch refurbishing can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring patience and tenacity. Do not be ashamed to call in professionals if you are unable to do it. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, consider having your couch professionally upholstered.

The post How to Reupholster a Couch appeared first on World Newswire.

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