Tag Archives: is it worth it to reupholster my sofa

Sofa Reupholstery Reveal


This post has been long delayed by the fact that there is apparently no time of day/afternoon/night or combination of weather conditions good for photographing a dark couch directly in front of a large, east-facing window. After a certain point, I just decided to give you what I got! There should be plenty more opportunities later on for this couch to make an appearance, but for now I think you’ll get the idea. So let’s skip straight to the reveal!

Couch before-afterIMG_6186IMG_6151-2

Is that a lens flare, or just the heavens shining approval on this beautiful sofa? Let’s all pretend like we don’t know the real answer to that.

Here’s the cost breakdown I promised to show exactly what went into this project:

          Sofa – $100
          Fabric – $85
          Upholstery (Labor) – $560
          Total – $745

A few words about each of these costs. The sofa came from a flea market. It was originally priced at $150, but after letting it sit there for several weeks and a bit of negotiation with the vendor, we were able to get it for $100. The cushion foam is new and the frame is in great condition, so I’d call it a pretty good bargain.

We bought the fabric at a local wholesale fabric store for $8/yard. We needed 12 yards, but at this store if you buy the entire bolt, you get a 20% discount, so we ended up getting 13 yards for around $85. Some people would probably contend that $8/yard is way too cheap to be quality fabric, but this particular fabric was recommended by the store owner and approved by the upholsterer, so beyond that, we just have to wait and see how it holds up. With 8 loose cushions, there is plenty of opportunity to distribute the wear, so I’m optimistic that we can keep the fabric looking good for a long while.

I think I’ve mentioned before that upholstery costs vary A LOT based on geography, but even given that we live the budget-friendly Midwest, I believe $560 is very cost effective for the labor to reupholster an 8-foot + couch. The original estimate I got for the labor was between $400-550, so although it ended up costing more than the high estimate (some work was needed with the springs, and it took more materials than expected to re-pad the frame), I’m still very okay with that investment.

When we looked into buying a new sofa, we figured out we would need at least about $1200 (though preferably twice that) to get something in the size, style, and quality we wanted. $750 is by no means chump change and is far and away the most we’ve ever invested in a piece of furniture, but I think it was money well spent. We saved a few hundred dollars, supported a local craftsman, gave a old, cool sofa new life, and got a custom piece that we love.