Love Seat Makeover

Nadine Hartman Bourne
by Nadine Hartman Bourne
16 Materials
4 Weeks
I've had this love seat and it's matching couch for about 15 years. After a while it started have aging issues like we all do. The seat springs started breaking, I put a piece of OSB under the cushions for support. That lasted quite a long time. (I actually just used it yesterday to make a storage shelf in my garage.) The cushions started to compress and it was no longer comfortable to sit on. Time for a face lift.
This is what I had to work with. I really didn't like the rounded arms they take up so much space in my already small living room. See that white patch on the cushion that is a hole worn in by the broken under spring.
I stripped off all the fabric except for the back seat support, that was still in good condition. See how wide the arms are and they are hollow, that gave me an idea for storage space.
This was the matching couch. I removed the four hundred trillion million staples that is no exaggeration. There were so many. It really was overkill. I learned how to use a reciprocating saw to cut apart the pieces that were attached with huge staples. I had tried to use a hammer to bang parts loose but the wood just splintered. The stuff in the bucket is small bits and splintered bits that as of this moment I can't think of a use for so will most likely be used as kindling.
I used a circular saw to cut the rounded arm parts flat. I used the reciprocating saw to remove the side slats. I was hoping to just fill in the blank spots with the wood from the couch but the spacing was just wrong so remove and replace. And I removed what was left of the seat springs.
I bought a 20 yard roll of Red Upholstery Craft Jute Webbing off Amazon it was $20. There are two kinds red and black. I found out the red is for seats the black is for back rests. So I bought red. I watched a few Youtube tutorials and learned how to stretch and install the webbing. I also bought a stretcher and tacks.
Some how a chunk came off the back side of the armrest area. I covered a couple of pieces of wood with plastic food wrap and used some clamps to hold them on. A sort of makeshift mold. I used some plastic wood filler and over a couple of days I filled in the gap.
Now because I wanted the arm rests to be storage I needed to fill in the gap to the underside of the Love seat. I cut planks of wood from the old couch to fit the area. I laid them on more plastic wrap and used wood glue and clamps to secure them into one piece. I then used screws to attach them. Once the inside was in place I moved on to the outside. I cut each plank to fit. The skinny pieces are from the old couch arm rests. The widest piece is from the bottom of the old couch armrests. I popped out the pieces of metal that the couch legs threaded through and filled in the holes with wood putty. All of the wood I used was from the old couch.
I was hoping that the front of the old couch was going to be long enough to make the top of the armrests, but it was a few inches too short. I thought maybe I would use some left over cedar fence boards but, I really wanted to use those for something else. Then I had the idea to make them like plank flooring where each piece is a different length. So I cut a bunch of the skinny planks to varying lengths and played with the layout until I had a pleasing look. I numbered where I wanted each piece to go and then sanded them with different grits starting with 60 working my way up to 220. Replacing the numbers each time. I then used wood glue and clamped them together.
The hollow area in the seat back needed filling as well. I had to do this in two pieces. I slid the wood into the gap and used a pencil to draw where I needed to cut. Cut, sanded then screwed in place.
Once the armrests were dried I noticed there was a bit of a gap in some areas. I wanted to try something I had heard about so I used what little wood glue I had left and mixed it with the sawdust powder from my orbital sander. I used a putty knife to spread it and fill in the holes. I will say it is a lot more durable then purchased wood filler. It took a lot of sanding to get the overfill sooth. There was virtually no shrinkage. I was originally going to use hinges to attach them but I am trying to do this as cheaply as possible. So I cut a couple scraps and made them just the inside width of the storage area. After sitting on it for a bit now, I have realized I should have placed them closer to the front and back to stop the slight slide when too much pressure is applied.
I then mixed up some of the Procion dye that I had left over from my ice dye project. It is just a couple tablespoons of the dye mixed in about 2 cups of water. I used a paint brush to apply it. I then coated with some left over oil based polyurethane. I did 3 coats. When you use a dye you have to be sure to coat it well. Any area that was missed with the Poly if it ever gets wet the dye will bleed onto what ever it touches.
The armrest area I wanted well protected as people tend to put plates and drinks on there just go look at the first picture the armrest was filthy. I used a 2 part epoxy that I had left over from my two tiered lazy Susan and my kitchen window shelf. The wood grain really pops and it is like looking into a black mirror. That is the reflection of my ceiling fan. It is just stunning.
Ok time to finish this up. This project took way longer than I was expecting and I was starting to lose interest. I had the foam mattress pad in my closet. I was going to use it on my bed but, I ended up buying a new bed instead. That old bed was cut up to make the new seat cushions for the love seat and the sofa bed that I did in a previous post. The mattress pad I cut to fit the back, with a little excess length to staple on the back side. I did the seat cushion as one piece. and used my ice dyed fabric to cover the back and the seat cushion.
The storage area. I have 3 handmade afghans stuffed in there with a little room left over. In the other arm I'm going to put some throw pillows. You could also use the area to store toys or some craft project you want to keep close by but out of reach. I crochet and cross stitch so the armrest would be perfect to keep my project away from my kitties. The inside area with out getting into quarter or half inches is roughly 35" front to back, 5" wide and 18" deep (top to floor). As of right now I haven't covered the back area. I am still deciding if I should buy some wood to finish it as there wasn't enough from the old couch. Or I might just leave it open. I could pull the couch out and store some boxes of crochet stuff back there. Or if I pull the couch out like I sometimes do when I rearrange furniture I could put cat beds back there out of the way. I could make a back on a hinge for storage.... Like I said I'm still contemplating.
And here she is all finished. That is my ice dyed fabric there. You can read all about that here.
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  • NormaJean Linza NormaJean Linza on Sep 12, 2018

    In the final picture it,appears that you covered the storazge area? Did I miss when I was scanning your words?

    In my opinion, you definitely need wood across the back for extra support. You could put a small insert in the storage for : drink holder, notion holder, pin cushion, etc. I'm sure, as handy as you are you could add a cup insert.

  • Joe Jones Joe Jones on Sep 13, 2018

    How much do you think you have in it as far as time goes? Also next time you or anyone needs to make a wood piece or fill a big section. Durham’s water putty is the best thing I’ve ever used. I normally use plastic wood too and this Durham’s is a powder you mix maybe a Teaspoon of water with a tablespoon of the mix it’s powder and it looks like wood doesn’t shrink and sands so smooth. I loved it.

  • Mms Smith Mms Smith on Sep 20, 2018

    Have you ever fixed a bed mattress that has a couple springs trying to pop out?

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  • Becky Becky on Sep 23, 2018

    Waaaay too complicated for the average Jane. Me.

  • Virginia Virginia on Sep 23, 2018

    It is very complicated in the reading

    . Good end product. But as I was reading, I thought,"she's enjoying this, the process, the problem solving" You upfront satisfa tion reminded me of 'life is in the living' and Enjoy the process. Keep on enjoying and sharing.