Upholstery Tip #2: Shop for Good Bones

Tip #2: Choosing the Right Furniture for Reupholstery

Are you a beginner about to shop for vintage chairs for reupholstery? A great tip is to make sure it has "good bones"! Good bones basically means a solid and sturdy frame that doesn't require extensive structural repairs.

Here are a few things to consider if you're a beginner shopping for a vintage project:

  • Check for any wobbles when you sit on it. If it is a bit unsteady, leave it.
  • Tap onto the wood itself. Listen for any hollow sounds that may indicate rot or borer (I will talk about borer in another post!). If it sounds dodgy or you see borer holes, leave it.
  • Squeeze the padding to check if it's still good. If it needs replacing, leave it.
  • Look underneath and check for broken springs. If the springs need replacing, leave it.
  • Check if the fabric is still in one piece. If the fabric is badly torn, rotten, or missing, leave it.

Your goal as a beginner is to find a chair with good bones and nothing needs to be replaced except for the fabric. That means no repairs to the frame or springs, and with padding and fabric intact. Why does the fabric need to be there? If it's badly damaged or missing, you won't have a pattern! Using the existing fabric as a pattern is an enormous advantage for beginners. Happy shopping!

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