How to recover a settee

Updated February 21, 2017

Recovering your settee will give it a renewed appearance. All you need is some upholstery fabric, a staple gun and some staples. Upholstering a settee is much like covering a couch, but you don't have the arms of the couch to cover. A settee is intended for lounging, so consider purchasing an upholstery fabric that can take the wear and tear that occurs when someone sleeps on a piece of furniture. If the batting on the settee is intact, there's no need to replace it.

With a measuring tape, measure the dimensions of your settee: the width, length and height. Take these measurements with you to the upholstery shop when you purchase your fabric. Also bring a pillow or blanket from your room to help you match colour of fabric to the decor in your room.

Take the old upholstery off the settee. Using needle-nose pliers, remove any tacks and staples that hold the fabric to the frame.

Use the old upholstery fabric as a pattern to cut your new upholstery fabric. Place the old fabric on top of your new fabric and pin it securely. Cut the new fabric with the scissors, using the old fabric as a guide. Leave an extra 3 inches to the perimeter of the new fabric when cutting.

Lay the new fabric over the front and back of the settee, tucking it into the seat and using the staple gun to staple the back end to the underside of the frame. Keep the fabric taut while stapling so it lays smoothly against the back of the settee. Pull the sides of the fabric around either side of the settee and staple them to the frame.

Place the fabric on the seat of the settee and staple it underneath the frame on the front and sides. Hold the fabric taut while stapling to get a smooth fit.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
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About the Author

JIm Cooper is an attorney and business consultant. He serves on the board of many corporations. He is also a published writer with more than 30 years of experience. Cooper's articles have been published in "American Executive," "Men's Health" magazine, "Newsweek," "Marie Claire" and "Mademoiselle" magazines.