when to reupholster your furniture

Have you ever wondered when to reupholster your furniture and why you should reupholster? The truth is that it is generally not about saving money or not wasting, it is about the emotion – perhaps it is a chair your gran used to sit in or your first couch you bought as a newly married couple or maybe it was just a really good purchase, and you cannot find anything similar to replace it with.

Regardless of what the motivation is, reupholstering is always a great option.

Having said that here are a few things to look out for if you are considering either reupholstering an existing piece of furniture or buying a piece to reupholster.


How old is the couch? If you are purchasing a piece specifically to reupholster, determine the age from the seller or dealer the piece may be really badly made and then it is not worth reupholstering. Older pieces are usually of better quality. A piece that’s been in use for over ten years and is still sound structural is probably a well-crafted couch.


Gently shake the couch or get a professional to look at it. If it feels sturdy and solid, it is probably durable enough to last many more years. If it feels wonky at just a mere shake, then think twice or make sure the framework is repaired

The Frame

The quality of the frame is an ideal clue to the worthiness of the couch. It should be made of solid hardwood with little to no knots in the wood. If you are unable to see the couch’s frame, then you can usually tell by the weight of the piece.

Another clue to the quality of the piece is how it is jointed. It should be connected with dowels and glue, not staples. Newer furniture tends to be made of composite materials, such as plywood, and the joints are secured with metal staples.

The Springs

Examine the springs of the couch. High-quality couches are built using coiled springs that are tied with twine to secure them and add to the stability of the piece. Furniture that is not worth reupholstering usually has S-shaped coils that run horizontally or rubber panels that completely replace the springs. Well-built couches typically maintain a tight dust cover, even after many years of use.

The Cushions

Feel the cushions and padded areas of the couch. They should be firm and hefty. Low-quality foam cushions and padding is typically soft and pliable. If the cushions compress easily, then it may be a good idea to replace the cushions with better quality foam. If the material is lumpy and stiff, it could still be altered into a comfortable couch with a new fabric design. Older couches often have a rigid, lumpy feel, but can be renovated to feel like new.


Probably the most important consideration in determining if a couch is worth reupholstering is how much you like it. Will you find another piece of furniture that appeals to you as much or more than this one? Does this piece have sentimental value? If you really love the couch and no other will do, then make the repairs and have the piece reupholstered.

Why get your couch reupholstered?

Reupholstering a piece of furniture keeps it out of the landfill, which makes it an eco-conscious choice. As long as the couch is of high-quality craftsmanship and meets your needs – both in terms of space and design – then it is worth your time to speak to a trusted upholsterer about minor repairs and fabric choices.

Mary Interior Decorators has more than 4 decades worth of experience in décor and design and can assist you with repairing and reupholstering that much loved couch or chair to give it a totally new lease on life.

Give us a call on 011 268 0329 or visit our showroom for more information. You can also email nikos@marysinteriors.co.za

Recommended Posts