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Located in Beaverton, serving the greater Portland, OR area since 1986
Located in Beaverton, serving the greater Portland, OR area since 1986

The Sofa or Couch Restoration Process Explained

sofa restorationA favorite sofa or couch may still have the style you love, but years of use have left it less than comfortable or attractive. Whether you want to bring new life to a family favorite or a valuable vintage or antique piece, the sofa or couch restoration process can help. Any seat can be revitalized and made like new again. The experts at Lim’s Upholstery have the experience and knowledge necessary to make it happen.

When you get a sofa or couch restored and reupholstered, the process takes many steps. Care and close attention to detail must be used at every step along the way to create a beautiful and unique new furniture piece from an old one.

First, decide if it is worth it to restore or reupholster the piece of furniture. The sofa or couch should be structurally sound with no rot or drastic insect damage. Also, the reupholstering should cost less than it would to replace the sofa with a new one. Unless the furniture in question is a family heirloom, it does not make much sense to put new fabric on an old couch when buying a new one would cost less. In most cases, this would not be an issue, however.

The next step in the restoration process is to take apart the couch or sofa. On a clean floor, the couch is disassembled into its base parts: the bottom, the two arms or sides and the back. If the particular couch you are having refinished has separate legs, they will be removed at this time as well.

Removal of the old fabric comes next. Each side will be carefully handled and marked in order to make a template for the new upholstery fabric. This process usually involves pulling out tacks or staples with a pair of pliers and can be quite time-consuming. If the couch has removable cushions on the seat or the back, the fabric will be removed using a stitch ripper to maintain its integrity for copying the shape later.

If the cushions or stuffing are compromised or need repair or replacement, this will happen next. The person doing the reupholstering will probably ask if you prefer a firm or soft cushion and will use the appropriate density of foam to create them. Cotton batting is also used to reshape the chair arms, back and front.

The old pieces of fabric will be used to cut out the same shape of new upholstery fabric that you chose. Any initial stitching such as darts or corners will be made and then the fabric will be slid into place, starting at the base and then moving to the arms and the back, and the cushions will be done last.

The standard procedure for reupholstering a sofa or couch involves fitting the new fabric snugly over parts of the couch and tucking it down through the couch structure to the underside. When it is pulled smooth and tight, a staple gun is used to attach it securely to the wood. After all parts are covered and secured, the last piece of lining fabric is affixed over all of the loose edges.

Browse our topics
  • Antique to modern furniture restoring and recovering
  • Completely custom made furniture
  • Custom made window cornices
  • Custom pillows
  • Headboard covering
  • Teak chair canvas restringing
  • Wood refinishing
  • Foam replacement
  • Interior Design - Color selection and coordination
  • We offer Eco Friendly fabrics and foam products made from Corn and Soy.
  • We also carry 100% natural Latex Foam.
We also provide pick-up and delivery services for your convenience.