Seeing beyond her cover, a vintage sofa makeover

Well after perusing Craigslist one morning, I found this gorgeous Victorian sofa.  Okay, so I know she’s a bit dingy and worn, but I am referring to her lines, curves, wooden accents and craftsmanship.  They don’t make em’ like this anymore.
PLUS, you know what they say about judging a book by it’s cover!  I know I don’t want to be judged, especially on the days when I’m not looking my best!  You know the days I’m talking about when you leave your house with no makeup, stained sweats and your hair in a disheveled ponytail?  Why is it, that this is ALWAYS the time when you run into that ex-boyfriend or someone you haven’t seen in years !?! Hmmm….???
Anyway, back to my pretty sofa.  
Because I could see beyond her old fabric, dust and dinged up wood, I fell in love.  Although I have NEVER taken on a job like this before I wasn’t really worried that I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t think about it too much, embraced the challenge and I pretty much got right to work.
When I bought the sofa at this neat antique store in Plymouth, I envisioned painting the wood an ivory and distressing it, but my husband (and others) convinced me not too.  The big reason I wanted to paint the wood is because the top wooden accent piece was almost black (yuck!) and didn’t match the rest of the wood which was more of a reddish-brown.  To fix that problem, I used a super fine steel wool and denatured alcohol and lightly rubbed the wood, you can’t believe how well that worked and the beautiful reddish-brown color came through (I’m SO happy I didn’t paint it !).  I also clean up some holes and dings in the wood with wood putty then lightly stained and used a rub-on polyurethane to seal it.
So, the rest I will show you in pictures, I don’t want to get too chatty….:)
The wood was pretty banged up, the fabric was very faded and dirty.
You can see that she was red originally and they covered right over that.
The fabric tore so easily, almost like paper.
I replaced all of the padding with a Bamboo fiber
Using the staple gun was fun but hurt my hands after a while….the wine helped 🙂
New padding and netting to hold it in place.
I used a TON of staples, I wish I knew just how many ??

I used bronze colored buttons originally and then changed them to white.
Trimmed it in white to cover the staples, which is pretty standard with Victorian sofas.
Love these buttons I got at Joann, they are so girly and vintage looking.  Putting the buttons on was probably the most challenging part for me.
Look at this lovely wood!  I love how it’s darker in spots.
And here is her new home, at the foot of our bed. 
I’m in love!

So there she is !  I bought her a week ago to give you a better understanding of the time it took me to redo.  The fabric was purchased on Monday (two days ago), so when I say I got busy I really meant it.  The only sewing involved was just two seams along the back, the rest was done using upholstery nails, staples and a hot glue gun to attach the trim.

The sofa also came with two chairs, not sure if I will be doing them anytime soon, I need time for my hands and arms to recover.  Who needs the gym anyway ?!?

I’m linking up to:


5 thoughts on “Seeing beyond her cover, a vintage sofa makeover

  1. Well done! You did a great job! It looks so crisp and clean with the new fabric. It really gave it a new updated life!

  2. Her makeover looks outstanding. Hop over and show her off at my NIFTY THRIFTY party…hope to see ya there:)


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