How to Recover a Recliner Sofa

Lindsay Fay
by Lindsay Fay
3 Materials
4 Hours
I have a red couch. A very red couch. It's about ten years old, so maybe it's time for a new couch, but honestly this couch is the world's comfiest piece of furniture, so I'm a little reluctant to replace it. But I'm tired of the red. I thought about purchasing a slipcover for it, but slipcovers for recliner sofas are almost nonexistent. So I decided to recover it myself.Full disclosure: This is a bit of a cheater method. Sewing a slipcover for a reclining sofa is difficult, and my sewing skills are mediocre at best. This, on the other hand, was quick and easy, which was exactly what I wanted.
I started by covering the back of the couch with fabric, tucking the fabric into each fold until the fabric was taut.
I artfully arranged the fabric on the sides of the couch, then secured it in place with brad nails (and a nail gun.) Brad nails aren't a super secure way to hold fabric, so if you're looking for long-term use, staples are a better option.
Then I trimmed the fabric on the back of the couch, and stapled it to the bottom of the couch.
Then I did the sides, laying out the fabric and tucking it into the folds of the couch.
Once again, I secured the fabric to the bottom of the couch, and "artfully arranged" the front pieces before nailing them in place.
I repeated this "tuck, arrange artfully, staple" process for both of the seats.
Finally, I wrapped fabric around the footrests and stapled it in place.
Then the couch was done!
I love how it turned out! It's so much better than the red and stained version it started as! Plus, it looks fantastic in my finished living room:
If you like it too, be sure to check out the full post! And if you love how my living room turned out, see the full reveal (with plenty of pictures!) over at A Butterfly House.
Resources for this project:
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Lindsay Fay
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 8 questions
  • DonnaBorg DonnaBorg on Feb 24, 2020

    Do you think I can do this on an old comfortable leather recliner sofa? I guess I don't see why not. The leather is old a ratty at this point but the sofa itself is in great condition. I am the least creative person I know but I truly want to tackle this project. I will send pictures. Thanks for any feedback.

  • Sissyc Sissyc on Feb 16, 2021

    Did you use more than one drop cloth?


  • Monicap352 Monicap352 on Feb 18, 2021

    Did you "scotchgard" your material first?

Join the conversation
2 of 55 comments
  • Marian Goetsch Martinez Marian Goetsch Martinez on Feb 16, 2021

    Very nice job!

  • Lynne Lynne on Feb 16, 2021

    you did an amazing job!! your post was a god send, i have my dad's recliner that dates back to the 70's. my dad is no loner here, and the cat has scratched up the vinyl on top. i bought a surefit cover, but it doesn't fit good. i am going to try this, and thanks so much.