Sunday, May 1, 2011

French settee reupholstering journey

I have been working hard this past week on reupholstering my french settee.  Of course, if I were a professional, it would have only taken a day but I'm not.  Let me remind you of what it looks like.  Here is a picture of the before as well as the slipcover I made until I got around to reupholstering it.

I loved the idea of bare wood verses the fruit wood look.  Enter hand sanding.  I found out pretty fast that my puny little arms couldn't hand sand the entire frame.  Here is a glimpse of what I accomplished with hand sanding.

Obviously, that method would have taken forever.  So, I busted out the stripper.  Presenting the settee with the bare wood.

On to the upholstering!  First, I've got to say I absolutely love the pneumatic stapler I got for Christmas.  It is amazing how much easier upholstering was this time around.  Anyways, as with any upholster project I've done so far I always think it won't be so bad.  It is really only three pieces of fabric, right?!  Well, this project had its hiccups too.  

As with an piece, you usually start by removing the back of the piece.  I had to be careful to save the fabric to use as a template later.  

So, far so good.  Next, I decided I wanted to be lazy and keep the decking and just replace the facing fabric only.  

Did I mention that it isn't always a good idea to be lazy?  Needless to say, my hand sewing skills are not the best.  But using the existing fabric as a template, I sewed on my first piece of brown velvet fabric.  It wasn't great but it will do.   

As you can see from the picture, I then stripped off the last piece of fabric.  You would think I would just need to attach two large pieces of fabric on the front and back and be done but it just isn't that easy.  Stay tuned while I take you on my bumpy but rewarding upholstering journey. 


  1. Great job! I will be watching. I have an apholstered bench to redo in my finishing of our remodel. I will have to consult your instructions as I go! Can't wait to see your completed project.

  2. I love that settee! I have wanted one for awhile now. So jealous :). Can't wait to see the transformation! I know it will be beautiful.

  3. Very brave of you looks great!

  4. You are so generous to share this tutorial, Julie. Can't wait to see how it all turns out! You really have me considering trying my hand at upholstering. I have a great upholsterer who charges reasonable prices, but he's getting older and one day he won't be in business anymore. Looking forward to the next installment in your journey!


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