Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sofa Reupholstery

I finally dropped my sofa off for reupholstery.  It is exactly the same as the one in the photo below, but in a blue velvet.  Since there are so many options for upholstery it can be a pretty big deal.  I thought I'd discuss the steps, my choices, and some resources for those looking for information.

via NY Mag {photographer: Annie Schlechter}

For the last few years my poor sofa has looked sooooo sad and dingy and things like this have happened {bad kitty}.

via jeanine

I purchased it about 10 years ago from a local consignment shop for about $250, steam cleaned the cushions {which were in good shape except that one side was about 5 shades of blue lighter than the other} and used it happily ever since.  It's super long and super comfortable but the last 10 years haven't been kind to the sofa, especially the cushions.

One of the changes I'm going to be making is converting the 3 cushions to a single one.  I think the look is a lot cleaner {see my sketch below} and then, when there are a bunch of people on the sofa at once, no one is sitting on a cushion seam.

via jeanine

About 4 years ago, I purchased this chocolate brown cotton velvet from Kravet intending to reupholster it soon, but that didn't happen. The fabric took up residence under a bed and then moved to the closet.  It will be really nice to have that closet space back since I have added two more fabric rolls to the party. 

via jeanine

I was considering painting the wood with a glossy white no-VOC paint.  I have the right paint for this from Mythic, but I decided to just touch up the wood.  I was having some serious reservations about whether I would like the white long-term and sanding and painting the carved wood would take forever.  I'm taking the chance the wood color will look okay when it's done.  If not I might carefully stain it to look more like this.

via Room & Board - scanned from an old catalog

Another change I will be making is to use nailhead trim instead of a double welt.  I ordered some nailhead trim styles to see which I like better, the brass daisy or nickel plated.  I decided on the nickel plated.

photoshopped from images via Beacon Fabric

Here's where I admit I'm a big hippie at heart.  I purchased natural latex 'foam' for the cushion since regular foam has some nasty chemicals in it that I'd like to avoid if possible.  Natural latex is pretty pricey {the piece I purchased cost me more than 14 yards of fabric did}.  I priced out having the seat cushion made at the local natural fabric/furniture store but they wanted to charge $1,000 for the cushion alone and use twice as much fabric as I estimated necessary.  They also seemed very strange about the whole process, like they had a big secret that made them extra special and that no one else could do what they were doing.  I didn't tell them I'm an interior designer and, hopefully, know more than the average person walking in.  I kind of like going places in 'stealth mode' to see how they are, and it was disheartening to see they treat people this way.  I think I'm not the only one who doesn't want to work with them since their office chairs were all broken.  I had to perch on one that was leaning dangerously to one side while I spoke with them.

via Natural Comfort on Sale

I finally purchased the foam from a place in North Carolina called Natural Comfort on Sale.  I didn't have any problems buying the latex mattress {I really bought a 4" medium-firm mattress topper} from them - there are some foam companies out there that aren't very honest or easy to deal with so do your research.  I wanted to try it out on the sofa first to see how it sits, but it's extremely heavy and I know I won't be able to get it back in the plastic and the box myself to transport it, so I'm praying I like the final result {once latex is exposed to light/air it begins to break down and I bought it while I was on a long waiting list}.  Feeling it through the plastic reassured me that it should be okay.

I also had a very good interaction with a company in Arizona called the Arizona Premium Mattress Company but they didn't have the 4" cushion I needed.  They were great to deal with and answered my questions promptly and honestly while I was doing my research so they are another great resource if anyone is looking.

Dacron is typically used to wrap the cushions and give them a nicer shape.  I figured it didn't make sense to use that when I went to all the trouble to get a cushion with fewer chemicals.  I found a wool batting for intended for quilts at Fabric Corner {they are super nice} and got the twin size so it can be cut and sewn to make the cover.

via jeanine {notice the gross baby? stain and two toned upholstery}


To save money I'm having the sofa reupholstered at the state prison, the prices are so good they have an 8-10 month waiting list.  Word on the street is that they do a good job so I'm giving them a try. 

I'll take pictures of the sofa and share the result when it's finished, I'm very excited.  I'm using many different products and a different upholsterer than I have before so I'm excited to see how things turn out.  Now if only I could get these cane chairs done.  Perhaps getting the sofa in good shape will be motivation for some caning and sanding.

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