The Turquoise Sofa

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This is my first post ever…quite excited and a little nervous 🙂 So let’s begin!

Let’s kick this off with an ‘After’ pic – we’re going to be talking about this handsome-looking couch here (I feel a little proud every time I look at him :))

[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″]Solid teak wood frame[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

This is how the poor guy used to look when I rescued him (I tend to refer to inanimate objects like living beings with feelings and opinions…this is just something I do :P)  from a dusty forgotten little store-room. I paid Rs. 2,000 for his freedom and the previous owners were amazed that I was willing to pay even that much..haha. Little did they know I had found a treasure!

[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″]Solid teak wood frame[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

The first step was restoring the aged teak wood to its former glory. I started with a little sanding (I used No 120 grit). After this, the next step was filling the minor wear and tear with wood-putty.

After applying wood-putty

After this, I applied a coat of wood primer. The wood primer is an oil based paint and needs a day or two to dry completely depending on the weather. This is what our champion looks like now. Still not too impressive…but let’s keep going.

After having applied a coat of wood primer. Note the newspapers at the bottom to protect the floor.

The next part which was a defining moment in his life was the beautiful turquoise paint job 🙂 I decided to go with spray paint as it’s super convenient and easy to do. The finish is also a lot smoother with no tension about brush marks or uneven coating. This a good quality spray paint easily available in India.

[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Love love LOVE this beautiful turquoise..and the spray paint goes on really smooth![/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Made sure to spray inside the legs[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

I made sure to get the inside of the legs and the part right next to the fabric. It was a bright, sunny day and drying took only a few hours. By evening we were able to bring him inside to start with the upholstering.

Paining done, clothing next!

The color and material of the cloth is very important and Vivek and I spend a few hours selecting a noble-looking grey. We were very happy with what we found – the cloth has a slightly complex texture so it looks elegant and at the same time should stand up to a few years of regular usage. Light grey was a natural choice as I wanted something which would brighten up the room and not show too much dirt (something you have to consider when you have two little monsters living in your house :))

Next I began the actual process of cloth reupholstering. Some tips here: first understand the make of your couch and figure out how many different pieces of cloth would be needed. I counted 7 for this one. Then measure each area and cut approximate pieces for each. Further cutting can be done as we start upholstering. I started with the big rectangular panel on the back of the couch because it looked the simplest – as I later realized, it was quite tricky 🙂

Getting ready to start with the back...

I found it simpler to start by attaching the plain edge, all the while making sure that it was completely stretched out and straight. I used a staple gun to instantly attach the cloth to the frame. This was fast and easy, though the gun needs a good firm squeeze each time.

[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]The staple gun made attaching the cloth fast and accurate[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]This DeWalt staple gun took some muscle to operate, but that's what husbands are for :)[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

The curved edges were the tricky parts. The trick my mom taught me was to make small cuts all along the edge, they give the cloth a little elasticity and you can avoid wrinkles. I cut the cloth in approximately the same pattern as the edge and trimmed wherever necessary.

Cutting the back panel. Leave a good margin to make cuts later.[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Make small cuts perpendicular to the curve to allow the cloth to fold[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]The cuts shouldn't be too deep, just a couple of centimeters[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

And finally, done with the back panel! There were a few moments of panic, but it turned out pretty well eventually!

Back panel all done!

Once this part was done I gained a lot more confidence that the remaining parts would turn out perfectly too. The sides were next and the same small-cuts trick along the curved edges ensured a flawless result.

I used Fevicol to stick the edges in. I stretched the cloth and tucked in the edges (both sides) and then with a butter knife applied Fevicol inside the edge. I know it’s not the ‘correct’ way but it got the job done and it was super easy 🙂

A tight area near the front corner[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Used a butter knife to slip in some glue between the cloth and the cushions[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Credit for this knife-on-glue shortcut goes to my engineer husband. Simple, but effective![/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

The last complicated part was the lower front portion. It’s not a very prominent part of the couch so I was not too concerned but it feels nice to have a job well done. Now that the upholstering part is over this is how our old boy looks 🙂

[vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]Following the same cut-cloth-with-margin drill for the front[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]There was some slightly intricate cutting and folding involved, but nothing too serious![/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]

For the seat cushions I was running a little low on cloth, so I had to improvise and sew the cloth on to the cushions rather than making a removable cover. I didn’t want to do this and would not recommend it either. One very important lesson I learnt – don’t skimp on the upholstery cloth. The cloth tends to run quite expensive and while buying we try to save money and tend to get a little less than required — bad idea. Always buy a little extra, it can always be used later for some cushions or some chair somewhere and you can avoid the last minute goof-ups 🙂

Getting back to the main project after some intense advice…now that the cushions are all done we are ready to go!!

All that remains is to add some colourful back cushions to brighten things up 🙂

All done! Skimped on the cloth for the seat cushions, regretted that later...don't be me![/vc_column][/vc_row]

Comments 3

  1. Nice job Sharmi. I totally loved the creativity and effort. It is really nice to see how we can convert old furniture into new. You rock!

    Two questions – Did you remove the old cloth to reupholster? Also what was the total spend on this?

    P.S. – Please share more DIYs!

    1. Post

      Thanks Shilpa! 🙂
      I did not remove the old cloth, just cleaned and vacuumed it before reupholstering.
      The total spend on this sofa was Rs. 5,000 (Rs. 2,000 for the old sofa, Rs. 2,500 for the upholstery cloth and Rs. 500 for Paint, primer, sandpaper)
      It is a super economical and super fun way to decorate your house 🙂

      More DIY posts will follow soon!

  2. Pingback: Cutest Pink Beds - Scott & Emma

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