Ask an Upholsterer: Reconditioning as an Alternative to a Complete Reupholstery Job

I think everyone has been affected by this “Great Recession.”  Gary and I are no different.  So, because I’ve been the recipient of many great money-saving tips, I thought I’d return the favor. 

Say you have a sofa or chair that you are happy with except for the condition of the cushions.  If a complete reupholstery job is outside of the budget, reconditioning your current upholstered piece can be a good option. 

Reconditioning a sofa or chair is a few steps short from a complete reupholstery job, and it will vary from piece to piece.  There are many things that can be done to your furniture to extend its life without the expense of a complete reupholstery job or the cost of new furniture.  Here are some reconditioning methods that Gary has employed throughout the years.  He has:

1. Replaced seat cushions with new foam cores;

2. Replaced inside back cushions with new filling;

3. Rebuilt decking; and

4. Professional cleaned the existing upholstery fabric.

There are some more complex options, too.  In fact, just recently, I purchased a cool green vinyl fabric chair with a headrest cushion.  Unfortunately, because of the high use of the headrest section, the vinyl on the headrest was worn and cracked (see the picture).

However, instead of reupholstering the entire chair, Gary was able to save money by taking vinyl from the back of the chair, which looked like new, and using it to reupholster the headrest section.  I then picked out a coordinating fabric for the back of the chair and added some nailheads.  Voila!  Like new again!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.  So, next time you think that your favorite sofa or chair has reached its useful life, or a total re-do is out of the budget, consider contacting a good upholsterer to discuss your options. 

Remember, you’re only limited by your creativity!


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