Asked on Nov 23, 2014

Faded upholstery on couch, how do I fix it?

Hello, I lucked out at Savers yesterday and picked up a beautiful Thomasville sofa for $7.00! The reason why it was so inexpensive was because the upholstery is faded from the sun. Otherwise the couch is perfect. I am hoping for some reasonable options to repair the fading issue. I have a picture, but I am not certain how to upload it. The cushions are all removable and I can unzip them from the inside padding. I was thinking of dying them with RIT fabric dye but the couch itself is also partly faded as well. Any suggestions would be helpful! Thank you!

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The cushions on the back are faded from the sun.....any suggestions to help fix this would be appreciated.
  21 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Nov 24, 2014
    Dye would be a good option, difficult to find an exact match to replace the damaged fabric. Another option is to make new ones with coordinating colors.
  • Carole Carole on Nov 24, 2014
    You can paint fabric. Lots of posts on here on how to do that.
    • Melissa Cannistraro Melissa Cannistraro on Nov 24, 2014
      I have as well, but I don't want the material to stiffen up if I paint it. I have read that this is usually what happens, and it softens with wear. Thank you for your suggestion.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Nov 24, 2014
    Hi Carole- I just spotted this post and wanted to tell you that I recently dyed my sofa slipcover and it came out beautifully! (the DIY is listed in my posts) It is almost the same color as your sofa, and I used Rite Dye Denim Blue. Some of my cushion covers were faded and one was even bleached and they all came out about the same. The result was a lovely faded blue look. They do make fabric spray paint, but it is quite expensive-would cost you as much as a new couch to cover everything-lol! Good luck!
    • See 2 previous
    • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 09, 2017

      I did do it in my machine. After I was finished I did a wash and rinse with the washer empty and used some bleach. then added a second rinse just to make sure!

  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Nov 24, 2014
    I think using the RIT dye is the way to go.
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 24, 2014
    Hi again. Just read another post. Use 1/2 latex paint mixed with 1/2 fabric medium. Use a spray bottle to spritz down the furniture first. They said it gets softer as its used and it has held up over two years. Best part is spills bead right up. They used about a half gallon of paint. Try on a toss pillow first.
  • Lola Lola on Nov 24, 2014
    Do not paint it. Go to an upholstery shop or tailor and ask for an estimate to make new covers, if you intend to keep it. You can use your own material or pick one out. You can get a quilted look like Anthropologie by using old quilts or matelassé blankets. If you can sew you can make your own covers or cover the cushions by making the covers yourself.
  • Melissa Cannistraro Melissa Cannistraro on Nov 24, 2014
    Hi Lola, I wish I did sew, it would save me alot of money. I love the idea of using quilts! Thank you!
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 24, 2014
    Don't know how good you are at upholstery, but I have done this before. Unpick the whole lot, reverse the fabric and re upholster.
  • Melissa Cannistraro Melissa Cannistraro on Nov 28, 2014
    Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond to my question!
  • Sandy Burrell Sandy Burrell on Nov 29, 2014
    look for slipcovers online or get a pattern to make them. I got some really good ones that were stretch suede from surefit on ebay for cheap and they sure stay on well and made our old furniture look like new.
  • Slgibbs1 Slgibbs1 on Dec 08, 2014
    I love slipcovers. I have a cat and sometimes I just rip the slipcover off, wash it and looks like new again! Also they are great for creating a whole new look!
  • Providence Hill Providence Hill on Dec 09, 2014
    I painted my couch with chalk paint for $40.00- it turned out great and it is still soft. If you use latex paint it could crack and make a mess. It would cost a fortune to reupholster it. I am currently reupholstering 2 chairs of my own and the fabric alone was over 100.00. If you take it somewhere be prepared for sticker shock! :)
  • Fenya Kashergen Fenya Kashergen on Jan 11, 2015
    dye it first and if that doesn't work, then paint it. Sometimes a bargain is a leave-it-rite ( You know a leave-it-right there).
  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Jan 12, 2015
    I have had great luck painting upholstery with CeCe Caldwell's chalk and clay paint. I figured that if it didn't come out right, I could recover or slipcover it. But no problems so far. Finished with CCC Satin Finish, it has a stain resistance to it. Also, it has the feel of a fabric that has been Scotchguarded. Two years later and no cracks or any other problems. I did two chairs for about $15 worth of paint.
  • G Durrane G Durrane on Apr 23, 2016
    Try the CCC paint but FYI: Thomasville is a very good quality sofa. It is most likely 8-way tied coil springs and wood in the interior of this sofa. If you intend to keep this sofa it will hold up for many more years than the inexpensively made ones with synergy(?) coil springs and lots of foam and MDF board on the inside which you get in today's furniture. Believe me it may be worth your while to have it professionally reupholstered. Inquire at local shops to see how much it would cost. I purchased an expensive sofa 30 yrs. ago, got tired of the upholstery and had it reupholstered because I knew I would not find the quality of workmanship in my sofa at a reasonable price if I purchased a new one. It was pricey to have done.....$1200 plus $200 for fabric but I do not worry about the coil springs sagging, looking old and tired or needing a new sofa in a few years. A new sofa the quality of a Thomasville sofa will cost approx. $3,000 and up. I know be caused I priced them. There are times in life when you should opt for quality furniture and if your sofa is going into a beautiful living room, a sofa of substance is one of those times. If it is for a playroom where it will get a real workout, then you may just want to paint it.
  • Janettem44 Janettem44 on Jul 05, 2016
    I have a expensive couch and ottoman that is re d floral . Love it and is very badly sun faded . The couch looks new other then that. Help!!! How can I brighten it up???
  • Rae Rae on Oct 10, 2016
    I would probably finding a color in fabric that I like and recover the faded cushions with the coordinating fabric and maybe make some throw pillows in the same to bring it all together
  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Dec 07, 2017

    I have subsequently painted other chairs and instead of using Satin Finish, I have used wax. They have a much softer feel.

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  • Kevan Kevan on Jul 08, 2022

    I know this post is from 8 years ago, so I'm sure u probably are onto ur next couch by now. I just wanted to suggest a product called duplicolor hi gloss vinyl and fabric coating. I personally have not tried it yet. But it sounds promising. It's a spray can so if anyone does see this and ends up using it for a project, I'd love to hear the results. Another thought is if there is a design on the fabric that is wanted to be restored, I'm sure there is a business out there that would print out fabric from a picture and tbh, why even remove the old fabric, just apply it right over the old fabric. Hope this helps. 😎

  • Deb K Deb K on Jul 16, 2023

    Hi Melissa, hope this helps.