DIY Upholstery Tips for Beginners

Have you got some beloved furniture that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away? Whether it’s an old chair that needs a new seat, or you’d like to give a piece of furniture a bit of a revamp, having a go at DIY upholstery could be your best bet.

However, if you’re new to the upholstery world you might not know where to begin. This article will go over some of the top tips for DIY upholstery to help you make a start on your new project. From which upholstery nails to choose from to checking the inside of your furniture, here’s everything you need to know about upholstery before you start.

Get your tools right:

The first tip may be one of the most important, as without the right tools, there’s no way you could do a decent job! Having the correct tools will not only make your life easier, but the finished product will also thank you for it. Your final results will go from amateur-looking to professional level! Here are the most important tools to get right:

  • Upholstery gun: There are three different types of upholstery guns, the most popular being the pneumatic staple gun. This type will make the job much easier and quicker, so don’t just go for the cheapest option, as you might regret it!
  • Upholstery nails: You can choose from a range of upholstery nails to add a final touch to your product. Not only can these disguise any staples on show, but they can be used as decoration to give the furniture a certain look or style. You’ll need a hammer for this!
  • Fabric scissors: Good quality fabric scissors are essential for getting straight lines and avoiding tearing to the fabric.
  • Marker: You can use anything from chalk to a pencil to mark where you want to cut the fabric, this will help you make more accurate measurements.
  • Staple remover: For all beginners, you’re bound to make a couple of mistakes. Having a staple remover on hand will allow you to fix those errors swiftly.

Don’t forget the inside

When you first start upholstering, you only want to focus on updating the outside. With this in mind, you need to check to make sure the insides are in good condition. If not, this will be a job for a professional. 

You can check the insides are working correctly by testing how sturdy and solid it feels when you sit on the furniture piece. If it feels rock hard or you sink deep into the seat, these are signs that there are a few problems that need fixing and you should leave that piece to someone who knows what they’re doing!

Be picky with fabrics

You don’t want to put loads of effort into upholstering a piece of furniture for the fabric to only last a couple of months (or to rip whilst you’re working on it!). If you choose a fabric that won’t tear easily and is heavy-duty to withstand years of rubbing, you could give the chair or sofa a new lease of life for years to come.

Thin fabrics might be cheap, but you’ll just have to re-do the covering not long after! Heavy hemp fabrics and cotton twill or denim are all good choices for long-lasting upholstery.

Start small

It’s great to be optimistic, but if it’s your first time trying to reupholster a piece of furniture, it’s probably not the best idea to start with something expensive, large, or pieces that are important to you. It’s best to get your practice in first until you feel confident enough to tackle larger projects.

You don’t want to start with a large piece of furniture as this might be so difficult that it puts you off upholstering for a long time. Have a go with something small like a footstool as your first attempt to get yourself comfortable with the process. Buying something cheap will also put the pressure off getting it right first time, that way you can have more fun with it and any mistakes won’t be a big deal.

Practice makes perfect!

As with anything, skills take time to develop and the more time you give to it, the better you will get. Follow these top tips when tackling your first upholstery project and you should feel confident enough to make a start.

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By seohan
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