You can refurbish your old sofa using easy do-it-yourself techniques.

How to Refurbish an Old Sofa

by Maria Magher

As one of the most used pieces of furniture in your house, your sofa takes a beating. It doesn't take long before your sofa starts to sag, its pillows lose their fluff, and stains and tears appear in the fabric. When that happens, you may think that it's time to start looking for a new sofa. However, instead of spending a few hundred -- or even a few thousand -- dollars on a new sofa, you can refurbish your sofa quite easily by yourself for a fraction of the cost.

1. Reupholster It

The best way -- and perhaps the hardest way -- to refurbish your sofa is to reupholster it. Though reupholstering may not be as difficult as you think, it will still require a lot of your time and a lot of your sweat. Most sofas are designed to be reupholstered, so the large pieces that make up the frame typically come apart very easily. After removing the dust guard along the bottom of the sofa, you should be able to locate the hardware to remove both the sides and the back of the sofa from the deck. The fabric on a sofa is typically stapled to the bottom edge of each piece of the frame. Remove the staples to remove the fabric. You can then use that fabric as a pattern to cut your new fabric. Sew the pieces that need to be sewn and then staple them back in place. Once you put the pieces of your frame back together, it will look like you have a brand-new couch.

2. Cover It

If reupholstering your sofa sounds like too much work, or if you feel intimidated by the process, you can easily create a new look for your sofa by simply covering it. A number of attractive slipcovers are available for all sizes and styles of sofas. You can buy a cover that is all one piece; it drapes over your sofa and tucks into the corners, somewhat like a sheet. Other covers are available for the individual pieces, including the cushions, allowing you to create a more professional look.

3. Clean It

Most old sofas don't need to be recovered or replaced at all -- they just need to be cleaned. The accumulation of dust and dirt as well as the collection of drips and drabs from drinking and eating on the sofa can leave behind large, unsightly patches of discoloration. You can either hire a professional upholstery cleaner to come to your home and give your sofa a whole new look, or you can rent the equipment and do it yourself. With the right cleaner, you may be able to restore your sofa to its original beauty, making you feel like you have a brand-new couch once again.

4. Fluff It

Sad, saggy pillows can make a sofa look old and worn. If the fabric is in good shape but the pillows seem limp and lifeless, just give your sofa a good fluff to make it as good as new again. Depending on the type of sofa you have, you will either need to replace or support each of the cushions with high-density foam or polyester fiberfill. You'll get your pillows back to their full volume again, making the sofa nicer to look at and more comfortable to sit on.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Getty Images