How To Make An Old Sofa Look Modern? A Few Tips to Remember

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
12 min read

There are three things you may do to update the look of an outdated sofa. Maybe the space itself needs updating rather than the sofa, or maybe the sofa just needs little TLC. Since sofas typically cost a lot, it’s not as simple to just get a new one whenever you want.

Keep your sofa looking fresh and modern with the advice in this article. Is re-upholstering the couch an option you’re thinking about, too? Before you decide to reupholster that leather sofa, check out this thread.

How To Make An Old Sofa Look Modern

Solution #1: Pick Up a Paintbrush!

We were skeptical when regular writer Katie Steuernagle decided to try using Angelus leather paint on a $50 loveseat she found on Craigslist, but the finished product is stunning. The original black leather still peeks through in some spots, but because we’re fans of the weathered look, we don’t mind it one bit.

Solution #2: Dip It In Some Dye

We’re no strangers to the magic of dye (see out some of our favorite projects here), but we fell in love all over again when we saw how ordinary Rit Dye transformed a white KARLSTAD sofa into a hip pink seat. Krys from Melodrama utilized petal pink, yellow, and tan colors to tint the slipcover, demonstrating that blending multiple dyes is the key to achieving a nuanced color.

Old sofa makeover – upcycling DIY | CharliMarieTV - YouTube

Solution #3: Tuft a Saggy Sofa

Couch pillows that are looking a little flat can be perked up by adding tufts. Oh Everything Handmade transformed a KARLSTAD sofa using this method, which requires no paints or dyes yet yields a striking new look. That’s how you fix a sofa that doesn’t fit.

Solution #4: Tuck in a Makeshift Slipcover

To get by until they can afford to have their magnificent 1962 sofa reupholstered, the owners wrapped the cushions with quirky floral fabric, as seen on Design Sponge. If you want to avoid reupholstering, use Rebecca Atwood’s tips for turning fabric or rugs into temporary slipcovers.

Solution #5: Fix It With Fringe

Bullion fringe trim, a decorative trim formed of twisted cords, is one technique to preserve a sofa with scratched-up legs. Inspired by Megan Pflug’s embellishment of a slipper chair for One Kings Lane with fringe, we’re considering adding fringe to our sofa as well.

Solution #6: Spritz It With Spray Dye

Meredith from The Starving Artist used six cans of Simply Spray to give an inherited couch new life. This produced a clean gray charcoal finish instantly. Also, over a year later? Except for a few locations that needed retouching, the color remained mostly unchanged. While we wouldn’t use this technique on a high-end couch, it’s a simple approach to get more use out of a bargain find.

Solution #7: Plump It Up with Poly-Fil

Ashley Poskin, a DIY whiz and contributor to Apartment Therapy, found the answer to saving her parents’ wrinkled leather couch: Poly-Fil. Poly-Fil is a combination of polyester fibers that is available at most craft stores for around $25 for a 10-pound package. Adding polyester fluff to the seat backs and quilt batting to the seat cushions made this high-end leather sofa appear around ten years younger.

How Can I Make My Old Couch Look Better?

The best solution: paint it

In addition to fixing it up, adding new throw pillows, and sprucing up the room around it, you may try giving your old couch a new coat of paint. Painting a leather sofa can give it a new lease on life while yet preserving the leather’s natural textures and patterns. The sofa may be dyed to match any decor, just like any other piece of furniture.

How Do You Redesign An Old Sofa?

Repurposing an old couch is challenging since you have to work with its existing structure. Due to its age, it may have become fragile in places; if you handle it roughly, you could end up damaging it. Consider hiring a skilled craftsman to assist with the redesign if you find the fees to be reasonable or if the couch is a family relic you wish to protect.

What Can I Do With My Old Sofa?

An old couch can be repurposed in numerous ways. To begin, if it has sentimental meaning to you, think about updating its style with new accessories or reupholstery. If the item is still in usable shape, you can try selling it or giving it; however, before doing so, you should research any regulations concerning the disposal of secondhand furniture.

What, though, if the couch is too misshapen to use? In order to disassemble the sofa, put like parts together. Prior to contacting your city’s waste management service, you could try selling or reusing the items.

7 Tips on How to Maintain Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs

Fluff Up Your Cushions

The soft cushions in your home get sat on, jumped on (if you have energetic kids), and eventually flattened out. When the upholstery material stretches out, the furniture becomes unusable.

Make it a habit to give them the occasional smack, prod, and gentle punch to fluff them up so they continue to provide support and comfort for years to come. Investing a short amount of time for substantial benefits.

You can keep your upholstery in great shape for longer if you avoid distorting the cushions by tucking them in or propping them up in unusual ways.

When fluffing pillows, it’s best to give the super soft ones more air and the stiff ones less.

Remodelaholic | 28 Ways to Bring New Life to an Old Sofa

Avoid Direct Sunlight on Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs

Keep in mind that expensive textiles, leather, and leatherette will fade and crack after being exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Sunlight’s UV rays degrade the quality and lifespan of your furniture’s upholstery.

Even while occasional sun exposure is fine, it’s best to protect your upholstered furniture from fading by closing the blinds or moving it out of the sun’s direct path.

Flip Your Upholstery Cushions Over

To ensure that your upholstered cushions last as long as possible, it is recommended that you rotate them on a regular basis. The cushions will keep their form for longer and the wear will be distributed equally across the upholstery.

In the case of three-seat sofas, the center cushion is especially important. People tend to shun the middle seat in favor of the side with the armrest. If all three seats on your sofa have the same cushion, rotating them regularly will keep the cushions from flattening out in the middle and will safeguard the fabric on the two outer seats from wear.

Invest in Stain Protection Products for Your Upholstery

If you want to know what stain guards would work best on your upholstery, you should consult with the store where you bought the furniture and a professional upholstery cleaner. Protecting your upholstery professionally can make it easier to clean by creating a slippery barrier between your furniture and any potential spills. Sun damage can be mitigated with the help of stain protectants.

Vacuum Clean Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs Regularly

The longer you avoid vacuuming your upholstery, the worse the damage. Dust settles on everything in your home, your upholstery included. Whenever you sit on your sofas and chairs, the weight forces the dust down deeper into the fibers of the upholstery. With prolonged periods of no maintenance, the dust acts like an abrasive, cutting, and scraping your upholstery on a microscopic level, thus causing the material to wear out a lot faster.

It’s important to vacuum your upholstery regularly to prevent permanent damage. Every surface in your home, even your furniture, eventually becomes covered in dust. When you sit on your couches and chairs, the weight of your body compacts the dust farther into the upholstery’s fibers. Long periods of neglect cause the dust to work like an abrasive, cutting and scraping your upholstery on a microscopic level and hastening its demise.

Keep the Tags Attached to Your Upholstered Furniture

A tag is commonplace on newly upholstered or brand-new furniture. When it comes time to re-upholster or clean your upholstered furniture, this tag’s details on the design, fabric numbers, delivery date, frame, and cushion fill will be invaluable. Put it somewhere safe so you can find it quickly the next time you need the information on it.

Hire a Professional Upholstery Cleaner to Deep Clean Your Upholstered Sofas and Chairs Once a Year

An annual visit from the upholstery cleaners will guarantee that your upholstered furniture is thoroughly cleaned, something that regular vacuuming cannot do. Certain stains on your upholstery, nevertheless, can only be removed by a professional cleaning service.

The top companies for cleaning upholstery employ a hot water extraction approach combined with specialized antimicrobial cleaning products to leave your furniture feeling fresh and looking new.

How To Revive An Old Sofa: Inspiring Makeovers

In other words, don’t wait for your upholstered furniture to look unclean before having it professionally cleaned. It is recommended that you deep clean your upholstery once a year to maintain its beauty and comfort. In addition, it plays the essential role of preserving your furniture for a longer period of time.


If you’re tired of looking at the same old sofa every day, perhaps it just needs some TLC and creative thinking. You just read about three easy and inexpensive ways to update the look of an older sofa. To review, your to-do list includes fixing the couch, updating the room’s decor, and rearranging furniture.

Painting or dyeing your old couch is another great option for giving it a new lease on life. Since couches have always been in style, it’s simple to update yours whenever necessary. Making your sofa follow these guidelines will give it a contemporary look even if it isn’t in keeping with the latest fashions in terms of style or color.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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