This time of year, I often find myself exploring estate sales, flea markets and antique shops, looking for a special piece of furniture that would benefit from a fresh, new fabric and coat of stain or paint.
You know, a little TLC goes a long way towards giving a thrown away chair or sofa a whole new life! Have you found a piece you’d like to recover? Read on for tips on making the best decision…
- Do you like the shape of the piece? An upholsterer has to work with the structural frame of the piece although they can plump cushions, lengthen or remove a skirt or add tufting.
- Is the frame solid? The back of the frame should not move back and forth. The piece should not wobble nor creak when sat on.
- Is the frame made of hardwood? If the piece has some weight, it’s probably hardwood.
- How do the arms feel when you squeeze them? If the arms feel squishy inside, chances are the chair may have been made with cheap foam, which is a sign of an inferior piece and not worth recovering.
- Is the piece a name brand? Check the label. Look for Drexel, Henredon, Baker, Century and other well made lines of furniture. That says a lot about the quality of the frame.
- Does reupholstery make economic sense? Reupholstering a piece can cost as much as a new piece of furniture. There is almost as much labor involved in rebuilding an old piece as crafting a new one. Having said that, there is nothing like sentimental value and only you can decide if it’s important to recover your grandmother’s sofa.
- Do you want to be “Green”? Reupholstery is a great way to re-purpose furniture and one of the first forms of recycling. It’s better to purchase a high quality piece and have it recovered than to buy a cheap piece that won’t last long.