From Worn out to One of a Kind - Vintage Loveseat Restoration

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I'm constantly searching the internet for well loved pieces that have come up for sale. I come across so many couches, but they are usually outdated styles or super basic pieces people just want to dump. I've often considered giving reupholstery a try, but the available furniture pieces always looked like too much to tackle... not to mention expensive! If you follow our company you know that we are very price sensitive. We try to always put out quality but affordable pieces. I wasn't sure that couches would fit into that niche. 

However.... my indecisiveness was immediately cut when I saw an ad for a free vintage love seat! The unique lines and solid wood frame immediately caught my eye and I knew it was time to give upholstery a try! The before photos are scary, but I was hoping the end result would come out super gorgeous..


The first thing I had to figure out was where all of the panels connected and how I would re-upholster it. Never having done this before I decided to pull it apart piece-by-piece and take photos along the way. It turns out most of the fabric was just stapled in which is super easy to replicate. Under the fabric was batting still in really good shape so I decided to keep it. Once I removed all of the current trim and fabric (taking photos along the way to remember how it went), I started working on the wood.  

The loveseat frame was made of solid wood. All I did was do a quick sand down and used Rust-Oleum "Linen White" chalk paint to put on a couple of coats. I made sure it completely dried in between coats and the best part was that I could be sloppy because the foam would eventually all be covered back up. Once the wood was a beautiful white color I sealed it with Rust-Oleum Matte Top-Coat and the couch was ready to be re-upholstered. Still not being completely sure of myself I only painted part of the frame and decided to cover a few sections with fabric before deciding to buy enough to cover the whole thing. 

One thing I learned in this process.. fabric can be crazy expensive! Even with a 40% off coupon I ended up spending almost $200 on fabric and trim. Of course I wanted to make sure it was super durable given that it was going on a couch, but wow my budget was immediately thrown out!

I cut the fabric to size, stapled it along the edges and then used a trim with a little bit of excess on one end to hot glue into the seams. I basically did this the whole way around. I definitely recommend looking at how the piece was originally done and trying your best to copy the tactics when you're putting it back together. 

For me the sewing of the pillows was the most tedious part, but I just kept looking at YouTube videos like this one to guide me along. I think every time you sew a pillow cover you get better and I've definitely learned some tips for next time. 

In the end I finished with a very pretty love seat that all in cost me about $200 and a good 10 hours of time.

Would I do it again for the business.. probably not. After two weeks on the market I accepted an offer of $295. Leaving me with a $95 profit after a TREMENDOUS amount of work. However.. if I was looking for a super unique piece for my own home or a client was looking for an inspired piece I would definitely consider it.

The fabric price threw me off for sure.. so it's a huge factor to keep in mind when looking to reupholster a large piece yourself. The time and fabric costs on a regular couch may just warrant buying a new piece. 

If you have any specific questions or inquiries please feel free to reach out!

Laura Cone