Are you planning to reupholster your worn-out sofa or dining room chair? Reupholstering your furniture is advantageous because –

  • You can add value to an antique item
  • You can design reupholstered furniture to your liking with any color, pattern, or fabric
  • You don’t have to compromise on comfort
  • You don’t have to invest in a new piece of furniture

Professional furniture reupholstery might seem intimidating if this is the first time you are considering it. After all, you are not just swapping out a cushion or changing your curtains.

Before spending money on expensive fabrics and reupholstery services, you need to be sure you’re doing it the right way.

Here are the top seven things you should know about before reupholstering your furniture.

  1. Is The Piece Worth Recovering?
Ask yourself – does this piece of furniture really deserve to be reupholstered?

Not all furniture items are made the same way. Many of the furniture items available these days have poor build quality. These items are not designed for a second use.

Even the most fabulous upholstery job cannot fix up a chair having shoddy construction or bad lines.

You can think of some other ways to re-use such furniture items but you don’t have to spend a fortune on reupholstering them.

  1. Check Examples of Upholsterers’ Work
Check out an upholsterer’s catalog online or visit them in-person

Do not decide on an upholsterer immediately after you finish scanning through some online reupholstery quotes.

Furniture reupholstery is a complex process. It isn’t limited to replacing the fabric. Different service providers can quote high or low prices depending on the processes they follow.

The best way to gauge if an upholsterer has hands-on, relevant experience is to visit them in person. Take a look at the examples of their work. Tour their workrooms.

If an in-person visit is not possible, ask them to send you some before-and-after photographs or case studies of reupholstery work.

  1. Rely On Your Upholster to Understand the Options Available
It is always a good idea to involve your upholsterer in the creative process.

Considering a large number of options available in fabrics, colors, patterns, designs, etc., you almost need higher education in order to make the right decision.

Yes, you can always make a choice on your own and insist that an upholsterer agrees to it.

But, it is advisable to consider their idea as well.

Some fabrics are not suitable if you have pets or young kids at home. Others may stretch or become rigid. Your upholsterer can guide you through all this.

  1. Use Visuals to Convey Your Ideas  

Do you have some ideas on how a chair, bed, or sofa should be reupholstered? The best way to convey such ideas is to carry visuals.

You can look up on the Internet and find relevant visuals for different fabrics, patterns, styles, finishes, etc. In case you want a sofa to blend with a room’s décor, click a few pictures and show them to your upholsterer.

Visuals will help your upholsterer understand your preferences better.  

  1. Factors that Determine Whether You Should Reupholster or Not  
If it’s a statement piece or an item that’s close to your heart – by all means – you should upholster it.

Besides the age of a furniture item, you can also consider its quality and sentimental value to decide whether you should reupholster it or not.

For instance, if you want to keep your grandma’s rocking chair, it is a good idea to spend some money on updating it.

You may also want to reupholster a piece to increase its value.

Antique pieces in particular can be reupholstered to increase their value before you list them on eBay or sell them at a furniture store.

  1. The Time Required for a Reupholstery Project   
You can hope for a reupholstery project to last a week but you should always plan for more.

A reupholstery job typically takes around one week to complete.

But, it can take longer if a piece requires refinishing or restoration.

The exact number of days required for finishing a reupholstery project can be estimated only after the condition of the frame is revealed.

  1. There May be Hidden Costs
Upholsterers have not seen the frame when they quote you the initial price

Reupholstering a piece of furniture you already own is a good way to revive it. Sure, you can update your home décor but you also need to consider costs associated with such a project.

It is possible that you will overshoot your initial budget for a reupholstery job.

No, it isn’t an upholsterer’s fault.

Right after a piece is stripped down to its frame, you and your upholsterer may learn that the frame needs some work.

For instance, what if your furniture has to be treated for woodworms first?

Some joints may require fixing or your upholsterer may need to get the varnish done before putting on the fabric.

Flourishes and other such ‘additional processes’ can further increase the final tally.

So, it is a good idea to first consult your upholsterer on possible ‘extra costs’ that you may incur. This will help you in estimating the amount of money required for a reupholstery job.

Final Words

Always pick a fabric that can stand the test of time. So, avoid choosing colors and patterns that are too trendy.

Cushions can better withstand wear and tear if you use hard-wearing fabric or upholstery fabric for them.

Will Your Reupholstered Furniture be exposed to Sunlight? Go for a fade-resistant fabric if a reupholstered chair or sofa is likely to be used in an area that receives ample sunlight.

Lastly, avoid choosing an upholsterer based on price alone. It is likely that someone committed to delivering high-quality reupholstery services in your area will charge a bit more than the rest. 

Author Bio

Sought out and utilized by many of today’s prominent interior designers, Daniel Mizrahi offers over 40 years of experience in extensive design for custom upholstery, drapery, window treatments and design. Daniel has ran his own showroom since 1980 offering Los Angeles and Ventura County homes with professional hands on design expertise with unmatched quality.