Wanting to learn how to do DIY upholstery? Then it’s time to wave goodbye to the sewing machine and say hello to a few new tools.
Learning how to reupholster furniture is a great way to renovate beloved pieces in your home. When you’ve got a piece of furniture you simply love, whether it’s the memories or the quality of it that makes it so special, renovating is always better than buying something new that doesn’t mean as much. (But if it has very important sentimental value, you might want to leave that one to the pros, you know… just in case).
Upholstery can be easier than you think! But if you’re a beginner, there are a few key tips you should know before starting your first project. This article will look at the tools you’ll need, the steps it takes to recover and renovate and when you should put the tools down and leave them to the professionals instead.
Table of Contents
What Tools Are Needed?
Before you start upholstering furniture, you’ll need to stock up on a few tools. This will depend on the furniture you’re renovating, but you’re most likely to need the following tools for an upholstery project…
- Upholstery staple guns – Hand staple guns are a godsend for renovation projects. They make the job a lot easier, and they’re not that difficult to use! Do your research into the types of staple guns available, as a pneumatic model will save you a lot of hard work. Other types might not get the job done as quickly.
- Fabric – For seating, opt for upholstery-weight fabric. Avoid thick fabric that’s hard to fold.
- Hammer – A hammer won’t always be required, but if you need to tap in anything like nail heads or grommets, make sure you have one to hand.
- Tack strip – A tack strip is a long strip of cardboard that sticks on both sides. You can use this to create a clean finish and hide any staples underneath.
- Batting – Batting is used to create the puff underneath your fabric. It can be quite cheap, but it’ll add the perfect touch you need.
Recovering vs Reupholstering
There’s a difference between recovering and reupholstering. When you recover, you simply place new fabric over the old fabric. When you reupholster, you replace everything from the old fabric to the inside foam or inserts.
How to Reupholster a Chair?
If you’re wanting to upholster some furniture but aren’t sure where to start, follow this step-by-step guide to help get you going! The example used is for upholstering a chair or seat.
- Remove the piece you’re upholstering. For example, if you’re upholstering the seat of a chair, flip the chair over and unscrew the seat.
- Cut the batting into the size and shape of the seat and place it on top.
- Lay your chosen seat covering fabric over the batting, make sure there’s plenty of overhanging fabric. Flip the seat over.
- Pull the loose edges of the fabric and staple them into the surface, trapping the batting inside.
- If you want to cover the stapled side (which can look quite messy) use the upholstery tack strip and stick another bit of fabric over the side you want to cover.
Top Tips For Upholstery
– If it’s your first time trying to reupholster, keep it simple.
– Only attempt projects like dining room chairs or headboards, take the more difficult stuff to professional upholsterers.
– Avoid using thick fabric like leather as it can be difficult to fold.
– Change the old fabric wherever possible, especially if it has been left in the rain to avoid any mould.
When to Get a Pro?
There will be times when you’re going to need to hand the reins over to a professional. If a piece of furniture needs full upholstery, a beginner shouldn’t risk trying to fix it themselves. This can include large sofas, ottomans etc. If you want a professional finish, or you don’t want to risk ruining an important piece of furniture, then get a pro to help.
You should be feeling a little bit more optimistic about upholstering some old furniture after reading this article! If you require further help, there’s plenty of helpful videos on YouTube which can take you through the process or get in touch with a professional to help you instead.
check this video as a referance.