Breathe New Life into your old Treasures

Jack’s Refurbishing and Reupholstering Tips

There is no right or wrong time to reupholster or refurbish your favourite piece of furniture. Many of us live with furniture that shows the wear and tear of daily living and, as it gets older, we wonder whether to repair or simply replace it.

Why should I restore old furniture?

There are many reasons why repairing and restoring your furniture is the way to go. First of all, you probably love the piece of furniture that you are considering restoring, and don’t want to let it go. By giving it a new lease on life, you will get continued use out of it. Secondly, in many instances, restoration or reupholstering can be a lot more cost-effective than replacing the piece. By restoring something old and precious, you can actually increase its value. After all, well-preserved pieces are all the rage nowadays and only stand to become more valuable as time goes by.

Repairing Wooden Furniture

Before you undertake any costly repair, consider the type of wood furniture you have. Single generation furniture is made cheaply using pressed wood and is held together by staples or glue. This type of furniture is not meant to stand the test of time and does not lend itself to costly repairs. Pieces made with solid wood or veneers over plywood are generally quite durable and can last from generation to generation. The better made the original piece is, the better a candidate it is for repair and restoration. If you are uncertain as to the quality of your wooden piece, take a closer look at it for wear and tear. Actual deterioration in the composite structure can indicate a poor-quality piece, whereas a few nicks and fading in a more solid piece will show you that the actual structure of the wood is salvageable. You can give good-quality wooden pieces a new lease on life with a good sanding-down, a lick of paint and a good sealant. An old, dull bookshelf can become a gorgeous feature piece in your home and that tatty old outdoor furniture can brighten up your garden considerably.

Furniture Upholstery Tips

  • To find out if you have a couch or chair with a basic, sturdy structure, carefully feel beneath the piece, avoiding any springs that may be sharp. If the underside feels hollow and all you can touch is a piece of cotton fabric, your piece probably does not have the best construction. It is, in all probability, a wooden frame with foam cushioning and does not have tied springs. However, it may still be worth repairing the seams and cushions for a fraction of what it would cost to reupholster. Often, a large couch is more cost-effective to recover with a pretty, new fabric than it is to replace.
  • There is a general misunderstanding with regard to the cost of upholstering. It is untrue that the average person cannot afford upholstering. Fabrics range in price and, even with labour, the work often costs less than a replacement does. Another benefit is that you already know how the size and shape of the piece fits into your home. Last but not least, you would be recycling rather than discarding, and this ultimately benefits us all. If your piece has been crafted in a specific tradition, it should be restored accordingly. A quality piece deserves historically accurate restoration.


If you are tackling a restoration project on a piece of wooden furniture, simply visit your local Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for sandpaper, paint and all of the hardware supplies that you will need.