Cinderella Story Couch Makeover

7 Materials
8 Hours

Once upon a time there was a couch locked away in an attic and in need of rescue from a fairy godmother.

I jokingly refer to this couch makeover as a Cinderella story-like fairy tale because of the circumstances surrounding it.

I happened upon this beautiful old Victorian couch and chair left out on the curb while taking my son to school one day.

I hurried to drop him off and get back before someone else grabbed it and was somehow able to load both into the back of my car by myself.

While I am not a furniture repair person and do not know how to reupholster, I could see the couch had potential as a shabby chic display piece and plan to put it in a greenhouse I hope to build one day.

The first thing I needed to do was pull all of the deteriorated fabric, nails and springs (I kept those!) from the center frame, which was itself broken in several places.

Next, I created a template to cut a new seat out of OSB sheeting I had on hand. I didn't know the best way to go about this, so I laid black roofing felt under the couch and rigged a colored pencil to an arrow and used it to trace the outline of the base. Don't judge me, it worked.

After cutting that piece out using a jigsaw, I tapped it into place (i.e., pounded away at it with a hammer) and experimented with painting a small section of it with paint.

Liking the results, I lightly brushed white over the entire couch which helped camouflage the broken areas and really made the carved details "POP."

Next I turned my attention to the horribly faded, water stained pink upholstery that was still intact on each side. I ordered expensive sage green fabric paint online and hated (like, really HATED) the color in person. Not wanting to spend any more money, I decided to look around at what I had on hand and luckily had left over paint by the gallons from my home renovation several years ago. Considering I found this piece on the curb, I thought "what do I have to lose?"

I painted the fabric with regular, good old latex house paint and it completely transformed the piece in front of my eyes.

Next, I created a template once again using roofing felt and cut a backing piece for the center using hardboard and covered it with coordinating wallpaper.

The finishing touch was adding scroll brackets and a shelf to the center portion. I plan on displaying plants on both the lower and upper portions.

To see this transformation come to life, please see the video, attached. This couch makeover received over 10M TikTok views within a couple months and I've had calls from friends asking to borrow it for wedding and senior photo shoots.

As for the homeowners that left it on the curb? I often drive past that house and wonder if they even realize their trash has gone viral. ;)

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Mary Lou Soutar Corbett
    Mary Lou Soutar Corbett
    on Jun 15, 2020

    Where is the video?

  • Patricia Atwell
    Patricia Atwell
    on Jun 16, 2020

    That's absolutely wonderful!

    My question is...if you know where they live, then why don't you bring a photo to them to show the new life it has? I really think they would be grateful.

  • Mary jane
    Mary jane
    on Oct 29, 2020

    What did you do with the other chair? Wonderful. Don't you wonder what stories the loveseat could tell. Maybe the owners at the house could tell you. If they don't answer the door just tape a picture of the loveseat to the front door with your email address.

    • Jennifer Cline
      Jennifer Cline
      on Oct 30, 2020

      Yes! I keep wanting to stop and ask but never catch them outside. I grabbed the chair as well. It’s currently on my porch decorated with flowers and spider webs for Christmas. The frame alone was perfect for Halloween. 🎃

Join the conversation

2 of 71 comments
  • Maureen
    on Jun 18, 2020

    Absolutely beautiful. This is an unbelievable makeover. You did an amazing job. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  • San87tx
    on Jul 24, 2020

    Llllooovvveee iiittt

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