Be sure to read Part 1 PAGE OF CHAIR INSTRUCTION

If you want free expert advice, post your questions into our upholstery Forum

How to upholster a couch, part 3. If you haven't already done so. Please check out Part 1 and 2. In this segment of our series we will discuss how to upholster the outside portions of the majority of the furniture made. Couch recovering is done the same way as we recover the chair.
Install upholstered outside arm panels

Blind tacking and preventing fabric from rippering.

Our first demonstration is on how to "blind tack" an outside arm. This arm is straight across the top. You would use the same procedure for an outside back or band that is straight or only has a slight curve or angle. Align the material (you marked the top didn't you?) so that any patterns or stripes match up with the inside arm and all staples will be hidden. Put a few staples in about a 1/2"-3/4" from the edge of the fabric. Next tack a piece of 1/2" cardboard strip over the staples. This prevents the fabric from rippling.

With some furniture recovering you will need to fill in the space, the distance between the inside arm and frame, with scrap cotton or Dacron and/or you'll need to staple a piece of scrap fabric over the opening. Some pieces have cardboard as a base for the outside padding.

Things you will need...... Click an image below:

card board strip roll Eze #7 air staple gun galvanized staples for staple gun
Bonded polyester on outside arm

Bonded Polyester

Here we're going to apply a layer of bonded polyester to pad the outside arm. It should be even or slightly above the top of the cardboard strip. After stapling pull lightly over each staple so it will sink within the padding leaving a smoothe surface. In most cases trim the the padding even with the outside edges of the frame. Pull the material tight and tack at the bottom a couple of inches back from the legs.

Attach tack strips

Further your progress with nail strips.

Next we'll close the sides using nail strips. Only a small part of the front of the outside arm is straight on this particular chair the rest is tacked to the front arm and will be covered by a panel. On many pieces a nail strip can be used to install the whole side of the arm and both sides of the outside back. This chair had a piece of welt cord which we have already stapled on. Cut the nail strip the right length with tin snips or wire cutters. Place the strip about half way over the welt piece or frame, pull the fabric tight over the nails and the nails through.

inspect the alignment of work

Check before moving on

Turn the nail strip inwards, making sure the nails are straight up and down.

Things you will need...... Click an image below:

#10 nail tack strips ply grip or curve ease Cotton welt cord white rubber mallet
drive nails with a rubber mallet

Secure the nails depending on the trim.

Drive the nails in with a rubber mallet. The fabric should be right up against the welt or edge of frame. This chair had a single welt (base welt) all around the bottom of the chair. On some couch or chair recovering jobs you may need to tack the welt on before you finish off the material around the leg. Other choices of trim include double welt, gimp, and brass finish decorator nails.
fold fabric around back leg

Fold the fabric

Here Mike has folded the fabric under to go around the back leg.

Part 4: How to upholster a sofa.