How to Reupholster a Settee

Reupholstering a settee

Tools to use

  • Pliers. Regular and spring-loaded needle-nose.

These will help to pull out the more challenging staples and nails.

  • Upholstery staple remover.

This tool will be helpful to remove the upholstery staples.

  • An empty container to collect the nails.

This container will help prevent you from accidentally losing any of the nails.

  • A stool on wheels.

Reupholstery of a settee is a long and tedious process that will require you to work on different parts of the sofa. This stool will help maintain a decent amount of convenience when working.

An antique armchair undergoing an upholstery repair
  • Compression gloves.

To avoid any harm coming to your hands, it’s essential to wear a pair of protective gloves. This action will prevent you from cutting yourself or dealing with any unpleasant splinters from the wooden frame.

  • Face mask.

This move is not fully necessary, but it can help protect you against eye damage in the event of a flying staple.

Removing the fabric

Thoroughly inspection of your antique sofa to determine the most optimal method to remove the upholstery. The base of the upholstery is a prime place to start. The best way to begin is with the sofa flipped over. Use the staple removing tool to perform this activity, but be careful to prevent damaging the sofa’s structure.

It will be vital to record where each important piece you take off came from. This plan will save you a lot of time in the future when you are now installing the new upholstery. Drawing diagrams or keeping notes is an excellent way to do this.

Antique sofas are often uncovered and therefore easier to inspect. Before reupholstery, you will need to fix any damaged internal sections of wood. These sections include padding, wood, and chrome paint.

Choosing the suitable replacement fabric


Depending on the amount of traffic your sofa is likely to experience, it is vital that you have a fabric that can handle everyday wear and tear. A meaningful way to determine the durability of a sofa is through the manufacturer administered double rub taste. This is a test that uses a frequent back and forth motion. The manufacturers do this to imitate what the sofa will be experiencing in its everyday life. These can range from 10000 to 100000 double rubs. You will also need to take into consideration stain resistance and UV protection.

Young professional decorator choosing the best upholstery for the armchair


Upholstery is not easy to clean, and therefore you must choose one that you are comfortable maintaining consistently. You need to be aware of the manufacturer’s instructions and be prepared to do them often. This maintenance will help keep your sofa in good condition and maintain its value.

How to reupholster a settee bench

  • Tear off the old upholstery

You’ll need to put the bench on its back. Using a star or flat screwdriver, begin to remove all the screws that keep the upholstered bench tight to the base.

  • Stain the bench wood

We then want to stain the wood underneath the upholstery to preserve it for the long term. This will prevent insects or moisture from causing this wood to decay over time.

  • Attach Foam

Next, spray the bench with a heavy coat of contact adhesive. Attach the foam and make sure it is evenly distributed. This action will help to secure the foam in place.

  • Add new fabric

Adding the new fabric will be relatively simple if you remember how the old one was placed. You will need to measure enough material and then cover the entire bench. Add staples to the base of the fabric and ensure that these are very tight.

How to reupholster a French settee

reupholstery process to renovate chair cushions with cool grey linen, diy and furniture flipping

Painting the frame will help to bring some life to the entire project. You can choose a color you like or go with a traditional varnish. It is easier to do this when all the material has been stripped because you can also protect the internal sections of the chairs.

Removing the old reupholstery

The first stage that we will attempt is to remove all the current fabric so we can replace it with the new option. You will need to deal with all the nails, buttons, and staples. Attempt to do this procedure very slowly and carefully while noting where you have taken off the pins from. This stage is best performed by using a staple remover and a pair of pliers.

Sorting the webbing

  • You will need 2inch rubber webbing.
  • Clips that can secure the webbing. You will need two for each strap.
  • A tape measure will help you to have accurate dimensions.
  • A carpenter’s square will be helpful to cut the strap at 90-degrees.
  • A sharp scissors or pocketknife
  • Help from a friend

Thorough cleanup

Replacing the fabric after many years, you will undoubtedly find a lot of dirt. This will require you to perform a thorough clean of the sofa. Using a water and vinegar solution in a ratio of 2:1 will help clean the chair. This way, the upholstery redo is also very hygienic and sanitary.

Adding fabric

Measure & cut your fabric. Correctly cut the amount of material you need to reupholster. It is normal to add an extra 10cm to the amount you measured because this will allow you to make it tighter.

Redoing the fabric

Meticulously staple the new fabric to the edges of the chair. Any excess can be cut off with a sharp pocket knife or scissors.

Elissa Smith
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