Author Topic: Reupholstery worth it?  (Read 2507 times)

happyfeet

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Reupholstery worth it?
« on: August 19, 2014, 03:16:12 PM »
I am looking for some comfortable, classic upholstered furniture.  Much of the furniture available in the market today is just crap and expensive. 

Is it worth it to purchase a used old upholstered piece and have it recovered?  I have been looking at Henredon, Drexel, Baker.  You can find these pieces dirt cheap on CL - under $200.

What brands are best?  What do you look for?  How do you check springs and stuff like that? 
Has anyone had any success with this?  What did you spend?  I know fabric can make a huge difference.

The upholstery guy today said totally worth it to recover(but that is his job) and that the wood alone in an old wing chair(hardwoods) is worth $500.

I found an upholsterer that charges under $500 for a wing chair and around $1000 for a couch.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Jules13

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 08:19:18 PM »
If you have (or found, cheap) a chair that you love, I think reupholstery can be worth it, however $500 is a bit steep.  Does that include the price of the fabric?  I would check around with everyone you know.  I bet you can find a better price. 

Roots&Wings

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 06:53:09 AM »
I've had several inherited pieces reupholstered.  For me, it was worth it from a cost/quality/reuse perspective.  Most recent item was a couch.  The upholsterer charged $550.  I provided the fabric (which cost about $60 since I went the painters drop cloth route...classic cream linen look, which can be dressed up with pillows and should last another 20+ years). 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 06:56:17 AM by step-in-time »

BeardedLady

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 07:42:26 AM »
If you are feeling especially badass, do the reupholstering yourself. I have done a few dining chairs and a wingback chair, and I am quite pleased with the results. My mom and I did a loveseat and sofa pair, and it was about the same amount of work as the wingback chair due to the number of pieces. It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, but you do need some muscle to stretch the fabric. There is minimal sewing involved with most projects, but you will need a power stapler (around $20-30). Take lots of pictures as you are deconstructing, and you can use the old fabric pieces as a pattern.

Lis

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 08:02:03 AM »
I'm with BeardedLady here... there are plenty of DIY tutorials online to show you how to upholster on your own. If you're nervous, you might want to pick up a crappy dining room chair or something (free on Craigslist!) and test it yourself. Worse case scenario, you find out that you can't do it and wasted ~$20. Best case scenario, you just flipped a chair and found out you could save a couple hundred bucks.

If you can't/don't want to try doing it yourself, put out an ad on Craigslist to see if someone can do it for you for cash. I'd bet you'd be able to pay less that $500 for someone to come over and do it themselves.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 09:43:36 AM »
If you are feeling especially badass, do the reupholstering yourself. I have done a few dining chairs and a wingback chair, and I am quite pleased with the results. My mom and I did a loveseat and sofa pair, and it was about the same amount of work as the wingback chair due to the number of pieces. It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, but you do need some muscle to stretch the fabric. There is minimal sewing involved with most projects, but you will need a power stapler (around $20-30). Take lots of pictures as you are deconstructing, and you can use the old fabric pieces as a pattern.

That's awesome you've done this!  I've done easy things like dining chair seats and bar stools myself, but a sofa was beyond me.  You didn't need a special heavy duty sewing machine to do the piping/edging? 

BeardedLady

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Re: Reupholstery worth it?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 12:47:51 PM »
Thanks! It seems daunting at first, but I didn't find any piece to be any more difficult than the others, some just took longer. First, piping is always optional! I did one piece with piping and used a regular sewing machine. You can get a special piping foot for the machine for a few dollars, but I just used a zipper foot since that was included with my mom's machine from the 70's. (Why buy when you can borrow?) Piping is tedious, but it can add a lot of style.

One thing that will surprise you when you start taking furniture apart is that there are almost no seems at the edges unless there is piping or if you can see the seem in the furniture's unmutilated state. Fabric just gets folded over cardboard or metal to make a clean edge and then stapled in place.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 12:50:43 PM by BeardedLady »