Asked on Apr 07, 2016

How to repurpose a 1970 sofa into a yard or patio set?

Janet Glabas
by Janet Glabas
Would like to see if anyone else has redone one of these. I already know what I am doing to mine.....just would like to see some already done. Thanks
  25 answers
  • Casey Gragg Casey Gragg on Apr 07, 2016
    I had a set like that yrs ago!! I'd go with a nautical theme too sea blue/green and a sandy color canvas type fabric for the cushions. I wished I had my old set, it would make a fun project. Take photos of what you do with the set, I'd love to see finished project!
  • Janice Janice on Apr 07, 2016
    This was my first project with this type furniture. I have since done a sofa, rocker, another chair and 3 side tables. I hated this furniture for inside but am in love with it for outside. Painted,I think I would like it inside as well
    • See 4 previous
    • Helen Drinkwater Helen Drinkwater on Dec 27, 2019

      Hi to everyone and Merry Christmas I have one for sale in fabulous condition :)

  • Dawn Dawn on Apr 07, 2016
    Ha! I have a similar set as well that was a hand-me-down. The furniture itself is comfortable, but so ugly! I have recovered the cusions at least a half dozen times trying to make it attractive. It never dawned on me to paint the wood!! Duh!!
  • Linda Linda on Apr 07, 2016
    Love the look of it painted!! The lines are perfect for outdoor furniture!!!
  • Rebekah Patterson Rebekah Patterson on Apr 07, 2016
    Here is a blog post where someone made over a whole set like that for outdoor furniture.
  • Katie Katie on Apr 07, 2016
    I replaced the cushions on a similar set with one's I ordered from Home Depot that were meant for outdoor furniture. Just measure your chair and search online. I kept mine inside so I can't speak of waterproofing the wood for outdoors and they are in our rental so I'm not even sure how the cushions have held up. My husband doesn't notice things like that ;)
  • Patti Britt Patti Britt on Apr 07, 2016
    What an incredible make-over. Having seen the original, I couldn't imagine that anything so attractive could result. Fabulous!
  • Gerry Gerry on Apr 07, 2016
    My daughters have been bugging me about getting new furniture for my screened in porch. (pretty sure they want what I have now) I looked a several stores and they want more money that it would cost to put new furniture in the living room. Now if I can find the right pieces at the second had stores I will be golden. Thanks!!!
  • Martha Earles Martha Earles on Apr 07, 2016
    stain the wooden parts with weather proof stain then get you soon indoor outdoor cloth and cover the cushions .works perfect
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Apr 07, 2016
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Apr 07, 2016
    Have not started yet
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Apr 07, 2016
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Apr 07, 2016
  • Doreen Dwviniczuk Doreen Dwviniczuk on Apr 07, 2016
    Hi There, a few weeks ago I found this post on Hometalk and thought I would copy for my old sofa set. I think it looks fabulous. Good luck
  • Tamara Sanders Tamara Sanders on Apr 08, 2016
    Is this going to be in a covered porch or sun room? I'm not sure but I had one almost !ike it in the 70's. If you paint it a bright color I think it would stick out like the elephant in the room. I would sand off the shiny look on the wood and prime it white or a blue pastel. You can buy outdoor fabric and just make drawstring cushion could distress it for a softer look.
  • Gabrielle Falk Gabrielle Falk on Apr 08, 2016
    You can buy from fabric shops, fabric for exterior use. I have absolutely NO idea of how sun resistant these fabrics are. Over time, any fabric, exposed to the elements, even under cover, will fade and degenerate. I have a very comfortable set of a 2-1/2 seater plus 2 generous one seater chairs. The supposedly 'weather/sun resistant' fabric, looked decidely the worse for wear after a few year. The set was under a cabana. Not totally wet weather resistant, but the set still copped a bit of sun from the east and north. I installed bamboo type roll up blinds, facing the east and north, but they fell apart after about 2 years. The sash cord also disintegrated which pulls the blinds up and down. So rather than spend $1000's either on new furniture or fabric , or $4000-$5000 on a carport type of cover (I am totally inept at sewing), I bought some lovely throw rugs (I keep the rugs and cushions stored in a little garbage bin behind the sofa - you can't see the bin). If you are going to keep your setting totally outside, just purchase some weather resistant cover (like u do for BBQ's) from the hardware shop, and when u want to use the seating, just 'whip' the cover off, hide it, and ergo: you have a lovely seating arrangement. Paint is always a good answer to resist the elements. I tried marine varnish, but it just didn't stand up to the hot and relentless Australian sun. However, if you live in a humid, rainy type of area, and if you keep the set under (permanently) a plastic cover, you will need to keep a check on it, as moisture seeps in everywhere, and you will end up with mould, mildew on the cushions. Air the setting every so often. Isn't decorating FUN?? Best of luck Gabrielle from Sydney, Australia (been there done that).xo
  • Gabrielle Falk Gabrielle Falk on Apr 08, 2016
    One other little comment. My lovely parents-in-law had a setting just like this. Would it be better, if you offered the setting for sale, rather than expend heaps of $'s on trying to refurbish, and go on Ebay or whatever, and find a suitable outside setting. I did that the other week, (in Sydney) and bought a beautiful table with 6 chairs and chair paid for A$299. All it needs is some external oil treatment. What I'm trying to say, is just weigh up your options. Best of luck. Gabrielle
  • Janet Glabas Janet Glabas on Apr 08, 2016
    I have the paint and material already..............I just wanted to see what others have done with these
  • Pat whitmus Pat whitmus on Apr 09, 2016
    Sunbrella fabric is completely sun resistant. I've a couch that is very similar and have considered doing what you are doing. If I do it...I"ll use the 'brella fabric as it is a proven item. Will sand the wood and paint it a complimentary color to the fabric and seal with Spar Varnish.
    • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Apr 09, 2016
      @Pat whitmus Just a hint on Sunbrella or any other outdoor fabric I found the cheapest price on line at Fabric guru.
  • Lana hill Lana hill on Apr 09, 2016
    I refinished one...I took the cushions and back cushions off and put wooden slats across the bottom to make a solid seat as well as across the back (between the spindles), to sturdy the back up. I painted it exterior lime green, then painted exterior black over top of the green, gave it an antique finish bought some foam for the seat, covered it with exterior fabric and then bought throw pillows for the back and it looks great. Its been out in a covered porch for years !(I bring the cushions in for the winter)
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Apr 09, 2016
    I would paint the wooden base of the couch WHITE...I would dye 1-2 linen drop cloths BLACK & make the cushion covers. Then get many pillows different materials & sizes. Even 2-4 floor pillows.
  • Sha5022832 Sha5022832 on Apr 10, 2016
    I found this on Good Housekeeping. There is a picture, then a link to some more info on it. Looks very similar to your sofa. Hope it's helpful :)
  • Justfixit Justfixit on Apr 10, 2016
    I Love these couches. I have always wanted to get my hands on one! They last FOREVER!
  • Penny Loar Penny Loar on Dec 07, 2023

    Does anyone have measurements for the 70s sofa an love seat?

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 07, 2023

    Can't help there as never needed to do it myself. Wood require waterproof covers for cushions. Maybe using a Shower curtain etc.