How to reupholster an ottoman


What you will need

  • Upholstery material / fabric
Mybecca 100% Cotton Muslin Fabric/Textile Unbleached, Draping Fabric Wide: 63 inch Natural...
  • 100% cotton
  • Muslin fabrics are a staple for fashion designers and quilters Use them for backing, backdrops, Embroidery, fittings, Draping and...
  • This fabric has a smooth finish, with a soft touch. It also has a natural light drape and stiffness, thanks to its cotton content....

You can find these from online stores pretty easily. Etsy, Amazon or Wayfair should have what you are looking for. This is the most outer cover of the ottoman furniture.

  • Leather or supporting fabric
NAT Leathers | Cognac Rustic Brown Two Tone Lodiz Soft Faux Vegan Leather PU (Peta...
  • Medium Brown/ Tan synthetic leather, thickness 0.9 mm, 1 yard (36 inches x 52 inches)
  • very soft pliable. package will come folded, normally fold marks will become less over time
  • Listing is for One yard cut, if you need one continuous piece for bigger projects, please look at listing id B079795VTS (where you...

You will need this when you are attaching the underlining hardware.

  • Ottoman padding
Dukal Cotton Roll, 1lb, White, Pack of 1
  • Package Length: 13.0"L
  • Package Width: 6.0"W
  • Package Height: 6.0"H

This is different from the main foam or cushion. The padding is a cover piece material that will keep the foam in place. This is not the cover or the outer material that people will actually see.

  • Upholstery foam
FoamTouch Upholstery Foam 2" x 24" x 72" High Density Cushion, white
  • Polyurethane foam. compress by 1 inch
  • Upholstery foam cushion high density standard (seat replacement , upholstery sheet , foam padding)
  • Good for mattresses, bedding support, and all other home and commercial upholstery applications, Has a compression rate of 44 lbs...

You don't want to sit on hard wood. It will hurt your bottom, which is why a foam is needed to make it more comfortable. How thick it should be depends on your furniture piece.

  • CS Osborne combination tool

In order to take out the materials inside your old ottoman, you will need this to remove staples, nails, etc.

  • Scissors

For cutting purposes, pretty straight forward.

  • Screwdriver

For nails, tacks, or screws you will be using.

  • Knife

To cut the foam or materials that scissors can't cut well.

  • Stapler

To attach the fabric, foam, and padding together.

  • Hammer

To hammer nails or tacks.

  • Ruler / tape measure

Even if you think your eye is pretty good at guessing the length of something, you will need a ruler or a tape measure to make sure everything fits well together.

  • Sandpaper

No products found.

You can use sandpaper to smooth and clean old wooden pieces or boards.

  • Nails, Tacks, Staples

Pretty straightforward.

  • Hole puncher

No products found.

You will need this to keep tacks nails or screws in place, and also it will look cleaner.

  • Metallic spray paint
Rust-Oleum 249131 Universal All Surface Metallic Spray Paint, 11 oz, Oil Rubbed Bronze
  • Works on virtually any surface including wood, plastic, metal, fiberglass, concrete, wicker, vinyl and more
  • Oil-based formula with excellent adhesion prevents rust, resists fading and chipping for a long lasting finish
  • Fast drying formula dries to the touch in 30 minutes and covers up to 15 sq ft per can

Some of the wooden leg, or furniture piece might have worn out metal. You can use metallic paint to give at a nice and fresh new glow.

  • RIT Furniture dye
Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye, Dark Brown
  • Get creative and create something unique with an easy dye technique, like an ombré, dip dyed, marbled, shibori or tie-dye pattern

Depending on the furniture piece, the legs might be different color, so use the appropriate color that suits the furniture.

  • Spay adhesive glue
Gorilla Heavy Duty Spray Adhesive, Multipurpose and Repositionable, 14 Ounce, Clear, (Pack...
  • Heavy duty - dries permanent
  • Repositionable, non-yellowing, Photo safe
  • Comfort nozzle - wide pad, controlled fine mist - even application

Paint glues can work, but adhesive glue is easier and simpler to use when reupholstering.

  • Newspaper / paper tape

You don't want any paint or glue on areas of the furniture you don't want. Make sure to cover them with tape or newspaper.

Reupholster steps

Now that you have all the materials you need, here are the steps to reupholster your ottoman and make it like it's new. The example video shows a small ottoman bench, so depending on your specific ottoman furniture piece, how much material you will use, how much it will cost, etc will vary.

Step 1. Take off legs, fabric, and attachments

  • Legs

Use your screwdriver to take off any screws and detach the legs.

Use your metallic spray paint to paint the metal pieces to make it look new and fresh. Be sure to use newspaper or tape to cover the area where you don't want paint on.

After drying, use your RIT dye to paint the wooden legs. Then let them dry.

  • Fabric & attachments

Use your CS Osborne tool to remove tacks, staplers, etc to remove the foam padding, and outer fabric of the furniture.

You might be able to reuse the foam and padding if they are in good condition, so use your own judgment when it comes to this.

Step 2. Cut the foam and padding

Use the wooden ottoman board to get an outline of the the foam and padding you need to cut. The foam is easier to cut with a knife, and depending on the thickness of the padding, scissors or knife will do.

Step 3. Glue the foam, padding and the ottoman board

Use your adhesive spray to glue the ottoman board and foam together.

Once dry, use your adhesive spray around the foam and cover it with your padding and staple the padding to the wooden board. Make sure all sides are equally tight and stapled.

After stapling the padding, cut out the excess material with your scissors.

Step 4. Staple the outer fabric to the wooden board

After your ottoman wooden board, foam, and padding are looking nice and neat, place them on your fabric of choice and cut the fabric to the appropriate size.

Depending on your furniture piece, how much fabric you will cut and how much extra length you should leave will vary, but it's better to have your fabric cut on the longer side rather than short. Don't be the guy that doesn't have enough fabric to cover the furniture piece...

Once you have the fabric cut, cover it over the ottoman frame and begin to staple. Remember they should be equally tight on all sides.

After that, cut the excess fabric.

If you prefer you can nail in decorative tacks or other pieces that you want to attach to the ottoman.

Step 5. Attach the underlining fabric or hardware

The ottoman itself may come with underlining hardware with the screw and nail holes already outlined for you. If you want to change the underlining hardware, you need to cut out a new one and use the hole puncher to outline where the wooden legs will be attached. This will cost you more money and time.

Step 6. Attach the wooden legs and finish

Once you have the hardware ready, cover it with the leather cover or your fabric of choice to hide the underling hardware.

Then hammer in a few nails on the center of the sides to hold the fabric in place while you screw the base for attaching the wooden legs.

Once you have the base screwed, stretch the leather or your fabric and nail or staple so that the material does not sag.

Make sure everything is in place and looks neat and tidy. If you want, you can use decorative tacks and a few more decorative piece.

Lastly, attach the wooden legs back to the main ottoman piece, and viola, your ottoman has been reupholstered.

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