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Furniture Upholstery Ideas


Need some furniture upholstering ideas now that you've decided to reupholster that old but comfortable couch or chair rather than exchange it for a new piece of furniture? The basics of reupholstering essentially concern fabric choice--what kind of fabric you want, whether you want a pattern or solid color and methods of upholstering furniture. Fortunately, since many different ideas exist in the world of upholstering, you don't have to worry about discovering that piece of fabric or pattern which matches your existing apartment decor.

Fabric Types
Just because the piece of furniture you want upholstered is covered in a cloth fabric doesn't mean you have to keep with that tradition. Consider an alternative type of fabric such as vinyl, leather, faux silk or suede to make it seem like it is actually a new couch or chair. However, remember that vinyl and leather are easily cleaned with a damp cloth if food or liquid is spilled on it, whereas suede or other porous fiber may require special furniture fabric cleaners to remove the stain. Also, fabrics containing a high thread count and denser weave will last longer than those fabrics possessing low numbers of threads per square inch.

Colors--Blend Well or Stir Gently?
Consider upholstering your sofa or chair using more than one color of fabric. For example, if you have a sectional couch, you might alternate medium to dark shades of one color for the back and seat areas. Longer couches look interesting when they are divided by similar shades of one color. Chairs can be upholstered in the same manner. However, just remember that you do not want different fabrics covering one piece of furniture. Also, the cut of the fabric (the nap or grain) should align with all areas of the couch or chair.

In addition, having children in your apartment may make your color decision easy. Light or pastel colors definitely reveal where something was spilled more readily than dark colored fabrics. If you have chronic spillers in your family, you might want to consider a medium to dark shade of blue, green or brown.

Painting a Masterpiece–On Your Furniture
Upholstering furniture does not require that you possess the sewing talents of your great-grandmother. One alternative to reupholstering is "painting" your furniture with fabric paint, a type of paint which is absorbed by fabrics (but not vinyl, leather or any fabric which resists spills or staining) and feels like cloth after it dries. Always test a hidden area of your couch or chair before proceeding with this type of substance Wait 72 hours and then check the results by rubbing the spot with a white cloth to see if the color is permanent. You don't want guests sitting down and leaving with a piece of your furniture stuck to their clothes!

Whether you choose to upholster your furniture with fabric or "paint" your furniture with fabric paint, following these aftercare guidelines may guarantee you won't be needing to give your furniture another facelift in the near future:

attend to stains as quickly as possible by blotting, not rubbing
if the stain has already dried, try brushing away the stain with a soft toothbrush
check the contents of any cleaning solution--don't use if it contains bleach
ask a professional upholstery expert if you are unsure about using a certain cleaning solution--some cleansers may chemically react with the stain, causing it to become permanent
when applying a liquid cleanser, use a dry cloth to blot a small amount on the stain (after the stain itself has been blotted). Never rub or scrub the spot.
quickly drying a stain which as been cleaned with solvent prevents those whitish rings from appearing around the stain. Use a blow dryer to facilitate drying.
Brighten your apartment with colorful and comfortable upholstering fabric that can transform old and worn-looking furniture into elegant and inviting sofas and chairs which you can continue to use for many years to come.
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