Seven Ways to Breathe New Life Into an Old Couch

The couch is typically the main point of focus in any living room, and is easily one of the most-used pieces of furniture in any household. If your couch is looking a little worse for wear, purchasing a new one isn’t your only option. Here are seven ways to breathe new life into an old couch.

Clean Your Couch

This first tip may be the most obvious, but it also can make a big difference: clean your couch! Sometimes all an old couch needs is a little vacuuming and cushion cleaning. See if the manufacturing care tag has any cleaning instructions before you start. Here are what some of the most common letters on care tags mean:

  • W: Clean the material using water.
  • S: Don’t use water; use a special solvent-based solution to clean.
  • WS: Clean the material using either water or solution.
  • X: Vacuum only.

If you vacuum your couch and see some stains, you can try to spot clean them as long as your couch is okay with water. A microfiber cloth dampened with a little distilled water and dishwashing liquid is great for spot cleaning. You also may be able to clean your couch with a steam cleaner, or unzip cushion covers and throw them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water.

Expose or Switch Out the Legs

Changing up the legs of your couch, whether that means getting rid of a skirt that hides them or exchanging them for a different style, can really upgrade the look of your couch. 

To expose the legs of your couch that are hidden by a skirt, you can remove the staples that hold the skirt in place with a flat-head screwdriver or pliers, and then attach the remaining fabric under the couch after the skirt has been removed.

If your couch already has legs, you can always switch them out with ones of a different style from a furniture, antique, or hardware store. Simply unscrew the existing legs, then bring them with you when you choose new ones so that you can purchase correct replacement legs.

Restuff or Replace Throw Pillows

Maybe the problem isn’t your couch, but the throw pillows or back cushions. Restuffing couch pillows is easy. Purchase a material such as Poly-Fil, foam stuffing, or pillow batting at your local craft or hardware store. A lot of couch cushions or pillows have hidden zippers you can access to stuff, but you might need to do some sewing if you can’t find any access points.

Sometimes all it takes is a couple of new throw pillows to replace those ones you might be tired of looking at. Choose something with a different color, pattern, or shape to spice things up and change the look of your couch.

[Related: When to Reupholster vs. When to Buy New]

Paint or Distress Wooden Elements

If your couch has a wooden frame, consider using paint to change the look and style. For example, paint a wooden frame dark brown or black and add a high-sheen gloss for a sophisticated look, or use distressing techniques and white paint for a shabby chic feel.

DIY a No-Sew Slipcover

Slipcovers allow you to protect your couch’s original upholstery while updating the style. Large one-size slipcovers can be frustrating, especially if the shape of your couch is unique. To create a slipcover that’s customized to your couch, you can either purchase one of those premade slipcovers or go to the fabric store and make some alterations to get the look you want using folds, tucks, and a staple-gun. You can find plenty of tutorials for DIY no-sew slipcovers online.

Rearrange Your Surroundings

Have you ever rearranged your bedroom and walked away feeling like you had a whole new space? If you’re tired of your couch, try rearranging the furniture in your living room, changing the way the throw pillows sit, adding a new side table, or adopting some plants. When you refresh the environment your couch lives in, you might see it in a new, more favorable light.

Reupholster Your Couch

Sometimes the best and longest-lasting solution is to have your couch reupholstered by professionals. The experts at Queen Anne Upholstery can examine your furniture and listen to your vision for the piece, whether that means choosing from one of our thousands of fabric samples in our showroom or custom-ordering something just for you. Contact us today to get an estimate or schedule a consultation!