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.

Is it cheaper to reupholster or buy new furniture?

Is my table worth reupholstering

If the furniture frame you currently possess has not been shattered or damaged, then it is worth it to reupholster the item. It will not be challenging to complete this process, and any local workroom professionals can do so. This will be a much more sustainable method to preserve your furniture in the long term. Financially, you will get more money for the table if you wish to sell it after being reupholstered.

Do I need to reupholster my furniture?

Choosing whether or not to reupholster your furniture can be quite a contentious decision. If the material has begun to fall apart, but the solid wood frame remains strong, then it is a good time for you to preserve this sofa through upholstering. If you wish to make yourself more eco-friendly, you can reupholster it with sustainable materials. 

Cost of reupholstering

Every item of furniture is produced uniquely; therefore, the standard cost of reupholstery will be relative to the materials you choose and the professionals you go to. Materials on the market that can be used for reupholstering can range from $12 to $200 a meter. The more expensive the material you use, the more often the quality is higher. 

Upholstery Price Guide

For chairs

You can expect to pay up to $1000 when you are reupholstering a chair. This amount is for the premium material that is designed. It has mainly to do with the size of the chair, the fabric, and the extent of the damage repair required. You can usually purchase upholstery fabric for $30 – $60 per meter. 

For Sofas

It will set you back between $600 to $1800 to refurbish a couch or a sofa. This price is estimated similar to a chair depending mainly on the finishes and labor you use. You can expect labor charges between $50 to $100 for every hour worked.

Upholstery Estimate Chart

To successfully estimate your upholstery requirements, you will have to measure all the cushions’ length and width on the piece. Ensure the show gets enough information to cover both the front and back sides. You must remember to provide yourself with an additional inch on top of your current measurements. This action will help to account for the seam allowances. After this, you will want to measure the solid wood frame to provide for any areas that are covered in fabric. Once complete, you will need to divide each measurement by 36 successfully.

Factors Influence Reupholstery Costs?

Labor Costs 

This skill and quality offered by the laborer that you choose to perform will influence the reupholstery costs. Some workmen are much more expensive than others because of the job they can do. It is possible to minimize these costs and do it yourself, although the process is not very straightforward.

Material Type 

Higher quality materials will be more durable but also more expensive. These will have an impact on the reupholstery costs that you choose. As mentioned earlier, the material cost can range from $12 right up to $200.

Frame Damage

If the frame has suffered any damage, the reupholstery cost will be higher. This cost happens because additional work time will be required to mend any damaged wood.

Leather Upholstery Cost

You can expect to pay between $30 to $60 per yard when reupholstering a chair that is made from leather. You will notice that it is possible to buy leather cheaper than most materials because it is not woven. It usually comes in much smaller pieces and allows you to purchase the required amount.

Loveseat Reupholstery Cost

Love seats are much bigger than regular sofas and therefore require more material. The average loveseat will need between 8 to 12 yards of fabric to be successfully reupholstered. This furniture should see you paying between $500 to $2000 in total. Do not forget that a love seat is much deeper than a regular sofa because it is made for two people.


You can expect to pay between $200 to $600 to reupholster your headboard with exclusive fabrics. The bed size behind the headboard will most definitely impact the total price you pay for re-upholstery. It should take about two to three hours for a qualified artisan to finish reupholstering your headboard.

Bar Stool

Bottles do not come with quite a lot of material and will cost you around $60 to $100 to reupholster. If the barstool comes with swivel options, you will require about one to two yards of upholstery fabric.

Sofa Cushion

Sofa cushions are the easiest to reupholster/replace. A new sofa cushion will cost you between $35 and $60. You will not require more than one yard of material to upholster a cushion fully. 

Cost to reupholster six dining chairs

Depending on the quality of material chosen, it will cost you between $300 to $1,500 to fully reupholster six dining chairs. It will be much cheaper if the dining room chair only has a single cushion. You will pay around $50.

How long does it take to reupholster a couch?

Depending on the intricacies, it can take 5 to 25 hours to reupholster a couch fully. If the professional is willing to take their time, it might even be a whole month before the chair is complete.

Can you reupholster a leather couch?

Leather is sold in much smaller quantities than regular material because it doesn’t have to be woven. Therefore it is much cheaper for you to reupholster a leather couch because it takes less time.

How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster Furniture Yourself?

Reupholstering furniture will become a lot cheaper if you do it yourself. The standard of reupholstery will be much lower, but it will be more affordable. It can cost between $60 to $100 an hour for labor cost to reupholster furniture. Given that it can take between 5 to 25 hours to complete Lee refurbish a couch, you would be saving a maximum of $2500.

What fabric to use for upholstering a chaise lounge

The material you choose will have to do with the decor you want and your budget. Many people prefer leather because it is cheaper and more accessible to the source. It is also a more reliable and durable material that works best in summer

Reupholstering vs. Buying new furniture

Reupholstering is a great way to buy new furniture because you won’t be able to sell your old item for an increased fee. You can then use this money to contribute towards buying new furniture. Many people prefer this route because it allows them to keep up with the modern designs currently on the market.

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