Repairs and Restorations | Reupholstery

Antique Settee | How to reupholster

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that is broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique settee!

the big question

The question was asked, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer of course, is, “One bite at a time!”

That’s no different than asking, “How do you reupholster an antique settee that is broken and seemingly unrepairable??”

Yeah, I’ve got the answer for ya’! Keep reading!

Remember where we left off with this gorgeous antique settee? It looked something like this. Well, not exactly gorgeous yet!

Want to learn how to reupholster an antique settee? I will take you step by step through the process of how to reupholster this gorgeous antique settee! #reupholster #furnitureflip #vintagefurniture

start with repairs

I started some of the repairs in our last post, but today, I will share even more repairs.

Want to learn how to reupholster an antique settee? I will take you step by step through the process of how to reupholster this gorgeous antique settee! #reupholster #furnitureflip #vintagefurniture

This settee was in really rough shape. In fact, the more layers I removed, the more I realized just how bad the situation was.

But we were up for the challenge!

clean break

The back was literally broken in a couple of areas like the one you see below. Fortunately, the breaks were clean and a little chunk had been taped to the piece! Someone knew my hubby and I would need that little piece 🙂

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

See what I mean about a clean break? I had an idea of how this should be repaired but I wanted to run it by my repairs department, aka, my hubby ; He seems to have a knack for figuring out these things.

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

One thing I knew would have to be done was to create a brace. This brace would stretch from the broken section to a section that was still in tact.

I cut a piece of scrap oak to fit the area. It took a couple of cuts to get the angel right. If you do this type of repair, be patient and take small cuts at a time to get the angle correct.

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

Here is another section that was completely broken. I cut a piece just like the first one, making a couple of cuts until the angle fit just right. Before attaching it, I used wood glue on both of the broken surfaces…..

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

….then I clamped it tightly. You can see here that I allowed the glue to squeeze out a bit. That way, I insured good contact. I wiped off the excess with a damp paper towel.

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

Next I attached the wood piece that I cut. I predrilled holes and then used screws long enough to span from the piece of wood into the frame of the antique settee.

You can see that I angled it so that the screw would reach into the frame.

Let me show you how to guesstimate the angle for the drill bit….

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

…see how my hubby held the drill alongside the area that needed to be repaired? Doing this step first, before drilling can give you an idea of the angle and how deep to drill with the drill bit.

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

all the steps

This repair on the antique settee would be more visible than the repairs I did earlier. We like to use this method to make this type of repair:

  • drill a hole through sections that need to be reconnected
  • use a drill bit the same diameter as the dowel rod you will use (we used a 5/16th” dowel and drill bit)
  • fill the hole with wood glue. We like Titebond
  • mark the dowel the length of the drill bit (so you know when it has gone all the way in!)
  • insert the dowel and tap in with a mallet to the mark
  • cut off level with the surface using a flexible hand saw
  • use 150 grit sand paper to smooth out the surface
  • stain or use another finish to blend the dowel with the piece.

The images below should help you understand the steps:

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture
Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture
Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture
Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture
Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

bungee baby!

We did this on all four of the broken sections of this antique settee! Whew!! That’s a lot of work! When we were finished, we used bungee cords to hold everything as tightly as we could. Then we let the piece dry overnight.

You can see this post for another way we use dowel rods to repair furniture:

Transform Vintage Vanity Nightstands

See the bottle sitting on the seat of this antique settee? That’s is my own mixture of fabric softener and water. I sprayed the whole piece down several times during this process of repairs. The piece is pretty old – at least 100 years old – and even though I vacuumed it well, it is just plain musty and dusty smelling. This mixture really helps to conquer the mustiness 🙂

Want to know how to reupholster an antique settee that if broken? In this post, I will teach you how to make the repairs needed to restore this antique! #antiquefurniture #reupholster #restoredfurniture

Well that’s it for today! This series will be pretty lenghtly because I want to show you all the details when reupholstering an old piece of furniture like this antique settee!

In case you missed it, here is the first part of the reupholstering an antique settee series:

How to Reupholster | Antique Settee

….and here is the third part of this series:

Reupholstery Tutorial | Antique Settee

join the journey!

Join our journey so you don’t miss any of the process! I’ll send you this fun freebie just for joining! It’s a list of our favorite items to reinvent!

You can also join our reinventing journey on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube! You will find us in all the places at @reinventeddelaware!

Pin any image in this post to your project boards for future reference!

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