Friday, June 14, 2013

Vintage 1950s Sofa Reupholstery: Mint Green Velvet Part 1

A little over a year ago I fell in love with the vintage sofa featured in my favorite blog Little Green Notebook. So much in love, in fact, that when I made up my mind to find and/or make a ming green vintage sofa of my very own.  

As luck would have it, after a few short months of searching I found this classic 1950s  beauty at an estate sale. The springs and frame were in great shape, but the cover, cushions and woodwork needed love. 

After nearly 6 months of back and forth deliberation (sure I love mint green velvet now, but will I tomorrow?) I purchased 10 yards of Sunbrella's mint green outdoor velvet. That big decision made, I hauled my pretty little sofa out side and began tearing her apart. 

The first step was to strip away what was left of the 1950s varnish using steel wool and varnish thinner (acetone). 

Once stripped, I sanded, and sanded and sanded. I applied one coat of Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner followed by 2 coats of Minwax dark walnut stain. I applied the stain with a brush and allowed each of the coats to soak in completely and set for 24 hours (each). Between coats I sanded with 400 grit sand paper and rubbed out any excessive tacky-ness using a smooth cloth and acetone. After the last coat of stain was dried I applied three additional coats of clear polyurethane finish (sanding in between coats). 

Once the legs were dry I finished the sad process of tearing down the sofa. Once the material arrived, I constructed/sewed the deck. After the deck was in placed I was secured/sewed the deck corners and then added the inside arm.  Here are a few of the in progress photos: 

I love the fabric, but it's really difficult to work with, and I had an especially difficult time making the little strip of welting I used in the decking. This isn't my first upholstery project, but in the past I've done everything by hand (read without a hammer and tacks). For this project I went big and bought an air compressor and 100 psi upholstery staple gun. I thought it was a little frivolous at the time, but as it turns out this job would have been impossible without it. 

I'll post more pictures as I progress:) 

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