Lounge Chair Time Machine: Bringing Parlor Furniture into the 21st Century

The patina of antique furniture has a unique allure that has kept collectors occupied for millennia. If you collect antique furniture, it’s important to keep in mind all of the wear and tear it has been through already. Some kinds of wear and tear, like a divot in a favorite sofa seat cushion, can be a charming sign of comfort. However, don’t let that stop you from taking a closer look at how it may be affecting the integrity of the sofa. It is sad enough when a couch is too damaged to salvage, don’t let it happen to treasured antiques or heirlooms you hope to pass on someday.

Starting Out

There are a few ways to save your antiques from further damage, so don’t lose hope. The earlier you start, the easier it will be! To plan a refurbishing job you need to first assess the materials used for your couch. Most antique sofas are made of wood, upholstered in a variety of fabrics, and use some form of stuffing for the cushions depending on when it was made (anything from couch foam to wood shavings and horsehair). Seek professional opinions if you are unsure what your sofa is made of; you may find out it’s a little older than expected.

Wood and Tacks

There are many kinds of wood, but almost all antique wood will most likely require re-staining, buffing, and polishing. Make sure you thoroughly clean every surface before staining, and keep an eye out for structural weaknesses. Furniture tacks should be counted and checked for integrity; be sure to note any missing or damaged tacks so they can be replaced later.

Fabric and Stuffing

Part of the beauty of this process is replacing old necessities with modern luxuries. Fabrics and stuffing are finicky and you will most likely need to deodorize them and treat ancient stains. Sometimes it may be better to replace the fabric entirely if it is too damaged. This is a good chance to choose hypoallergenic materials and eliminate smells. Even if your piece is stuffed with foam you may still wish to consider sofa foam replacement if any smell or skin irritation persists. Measure the dimensions of your desired cushion covers to determine how tall the foam should be to provide proper support without straining the fabric.

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