Asked on Dec 2, 2019

How can I affordably reupholster a battered sofa bed?

Susan Shelton MontgomeryDeeMichelle


My kids and pets have destroyed a $900 sleeper sofa. I Am wondering how would be the best and most affordable way to cheer it up?

One arm example

Back of couch under arm

11 answers
  • Nan W.
    on Dec 2, 2019

    Rebecca: this could be a good way to go

  • K. Rupp
    on Dec 2, 2019

    If you want to do it yourself, Reupholstering is not that expensive. The cost is mainly fabric, staples, a staple gun (if you don't already have one). The fabric can get expensive depending on the type of fabric you want to use. But you can get some very affordable upholstery fabric with discounts and coupons. This doesn't look like too difficult of a job either. No tufting, not too many seams.

    I have 4 parts(posts) to a bench project that I re-upholstered with a ton of great helpful details on how to re-upholster. All projects are different and even though it doesn't look exactly like this, things will be similar in some ways.

    • This post shows how to remove the fabric for an upholstery project
    • how to label and use each piece as a pattern.

    • This post shows how to refinish the wood after removing the fabric. I used a dark stain and finished with Waterlox.
    • I had to do some sewing to the back of my upholstered bench so in this post I show how to really get a very strong seam without having to use a commercial sewing machine when you are sewing upholstery fabric for seating.
    • You may not have any seams in the backrest like I did so you will have to see if you need this post to help you.

    • This post shows you how to staple the fabric back on and get that tight fit.
    • I had panels in my upholstery project which you probably don't have, so you won't have to worry about that.
    • Look at the hand technique for pulling and stretching

    • this post is a summary of everything(above) I did to re-do the upholstered bench.
    • I also talk about how much everything cost to redo it myself
    • Here I give all the BEFORE and AFTER pics

    GOOD LUCK! Go for it...Re-upholstery is my favorite way to re-do furniture. You get such a fulfillment from an amazing transformation.

  • Slip covers are perfect for this situation -- loads of stores will have them. It'll save you lots of time, effort, and money.

  • Lifestyles Homes
    on Dec 2, 2019

    If you can get to the parts where it is to be stapled, then yes, re-upholster it and buy scrubbable fabric.

    If not, make a slip cover for it.

    Fabrics to buy: nylon, polyester

    Fabrics to not buy: olefin/polyolefin/polypropylene, cotton, rayon, acetate, acrylic and silk. I can explain “why” for each of those, if you wish.

  • Jaynie
    on Dec 2, 2019

    K. Rupp's answer is great. Be sure that when you pull the old upholstery off, you're careful and save it so you can use it as a pattern for the new fabric. Good luck!

  • Jodi Murray Hendon
    on Dec 2, 2019

    I've slipcovered a sleeper sofa, a couple of larger couches, and wing chairs with slipcovers from Surefit. Bed, Bath, and Beyond stores carry Surefit slipcovers, too. I like the fact that they can be removed and washed.

  • Jaynie
    on Dec 2, 2019

    OR!!!! You could paint it. There are tons of tutorials on this site for painting furniture.

  • Flipturn
    on Dec 3, 2019

    I do not agree that painting this sofa would be a good idea. Paint will not halt the continuing shredding and disintegration of the fibres. Also, as there are visible spots that are stained, dirty, and worn down, paint will just accentuate that these areas are different and not uniform to the rest of the fabric.

  • Michelle
    on Dec 3, 2019


  • Dee
    on Dec 4, 2019

    Go to Ikea and check out their slipcovers. Pottery Barn has them too but at Pottery Barn they are expensive.

  • Susan Shelton Montgomery
    on Dec 8, 2019

    You can reupholster yourself ...there are many videos that can show you inexpensive but sturdy material can be the painters of luck with your project!

    Merry Christmas!

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