To Reupholster? Or Not to Reupholster?

Gabrielle Blair
Home & Garden

Have you ever had a piece of furniture reupholstered? Have you ever seen a piece of furniture at a yard sale or Salvation Army and thought it had potential? Wondered if it would be a good candidate for saving?

It can be a hard decision to make. Sometimes, having a piece reupholstered is as expensive as buying the piece new. But, then again, pieces made back in the day are often better quality than pieces made recently.

I've often wondered if upholstery was something I'd like to master -- then I could DIY my sofas whenever I was in the mood. So I was fascinated when I saw the before and after couch photos from Susan of Freshly Picked. She reupholstered the sofa herself. The "before" picture is above (it's kind of charming in an vintage granny sort of way). Click through to see the amazing after.

Here's the story. Susan found the couch at a local thrift store and she fell in love with the length -- a full 8 1/2 feet. Which is hard to find in a new couch. She said she was happily surprised when they examined the bones of the sofa. The springs were 8-way hand-tied and the wood was in excellent shape. They only had to retie a couple of springs and reinforce the wood -- because they were changing the couch shape a bit.

The after shot:

Can you believe it's the same sofa? Such a gorgeous transformation! This is what they did:

-- restructured the arms
-- changed the back to be a connected cushion
-- re-foamed the seat cushions
-- attached new legs (legs were found here)

The coolest part? They filmed the whole thing. Here is a time-lapse video of the process, taken at nine 2-hour upholstery classes:

Clearly the 18-hour time commitment was hefty. Want to know materials cost? Here's the breakdown:

-- $30: Couch
-- $90: Fabric -- 17 yards of microfiber bought at a (lucky) truck sale
-- $320: Upholstery Class -- $160/per person
-- $120: Other Materials -- staples, foam, jute, legs and muslin
-- $560: Total

What do you think? Would you be interested in tackling a project like this? Have you ever had a piece of furniture reupholstered?

Nice work, Susan (and hubby)! We're so impressed.

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