Once upon a time, I got a free sofa frame.
A friend messaged me one day and sent me a photo of a free sofa frame that someone was getting rid of in town. I thought for sure it was going to be gone already, as most free things are, but I messaged the girl anyways. I couldn’t believe when she told me it was mine if I could pick it up. Trav was dying to come with me, so away we drove…and the rest is history, that I’m about to tell you all about.
This is it…isn’t it a beaut?! I love these old wood framed sofas with all of the cute character! I was so excited that it had been deconstructed already. I thought to myself, “well, at least I don’t have to deconstruct it”. BUT, I forgot about the bottom side and all of the remaining tack nails and disgusting burlap and fill. I used a tack nail remover and a needle nose plyers for most of this part. If you have an upholstery project that you need to get tack nails and staples out of, I highly recommend one of these tack nail lifters…it saved my hands for sure!
Once I had all of the extra burlap and staples removed (which took hours), I started on figuring out the frame coloring that I wanted. Because I like to take my projects to the most difficult level, I decided to sand the frame instead of painting it. I started with my hand sander and it was quite the task. There were so many nooks and crannies in the frame design that it was difficult to get the old stain out of those areas. I just couldn’t seem to get it to the point of loving it. I was about to paint it because the dark stain was looking a little too dark inside all of the cracks, but I decided instead to pull out my rotary sanding tool. I spent more hours using the little rotary tool to get the stain out of the indented design areas and it looked much better!
The wood was also a little more “yellowy” that I wanted it to be, after I had it stripped down. I was having trouble finding fabric that I loved with the wood being the color that it was after just sanding it down, so I decided to start trying different techniques on the wood to get it the color that I desired.
I started with some Minwax “weathered oak” stain. After I wiped that on with a lint free cloth, I dry brushed some Behr “off white” paint on top of the stain. When dry brushing, I dip my paint brush into the paint and then wipe almost all of it off onto a paper towel. I then brush the paint that is remaining on my brush onto the frame. It gives it a very light washed look, while still being able to see the wood grain underneath.
It was still a little too light after the stain and the dry brushing so I decided to add some antiquing glaze. I wiped it on with a lint free cloth, just as I wipe on stain. It worked and looked amazing. It gave it the “Restoration Hardware” furniture look that I was going for! I love how it turned out!
Now that the frame was finished, it was time to work on the seating and backing for the sofa. Now remember, I’m no professional, hence my turkey cutter cutting the foam, below. But, let me tell ya, it works amazingly well!
Trav, my hubs, had cut two pieces of wood for the seat because I had to take the springs off. They were all rusty and falling apart, and a little too attached to all of the dirty burlap and fill that I had taken off the bottom of the bench/ sofa. Trav cut the plywood for the seat by cutting out pieces of cardboard that matched the seat frame and then used the cardboard to measure and trace the wood design that he needed to cut for the seat. He had to cut two pieces, as we couldn’t get one large piece to fit with the way that the design in the seat lies. I cut two pieces of foam to match the wood seat sections that he had cut, and then attached them with spray adhesive.
The foam cut was not the most perfect cutting job in the world, but it wasn’t a concern since I was going to cover it with batting before adding the fabric.
After I had the foam for the seating cut, I held some one inch foam up to the backing of the sofa and traced the pattern of the seat onto it from the back side. This helped give me an approximation of where I needed to cut the foam to fit the backing of the sofa. I then cut that foam with the meat carver too. I cut it larger than I had traced the pattern so I had room for mistakes. I could always take more off if needed.
Once I had the foam cut, I added it to the back using my air stapler. I then added the cotton batting on top of the foam, using my air stapler as well. I stapled it into the edge of the sofa frame. I stapled the fabric that I had picked up at Hobby Lobby to the sofa frame on top of the batting and then tucked it in at the seat and stapled it to the back bottom underside of the sofa, after pulling it taut.
After I had the batting and fabric stapled to the back, I did the same thing to the seat. I laid the batting down first, wrapped it around to the bottom of the seat, pulled it taut, and then used my air stapler to attach it. I didn’t use upholstery webbing since I had a piece of wood that I was using for the seat. I probably should have used upholstery webbing for the backing before I added the foam. It would have kept it from sagging as much later on, but I guess I will see how it lasts over time.
When I was done stapling the fabric to the seat, I cut off the excess. I didn’t add anything to the bottom of the sofa to hide the cut and stapled upholstery since it was so low to the ground and it would never be seen.
And, that’s pretty much it, except for the back of the sofa, which I explain below. Once the frame was done, stapling on the foam, batting, and fabric was a breeze!
I love how it turned out! I’m so excited that I finally got the wood frame to look exactly how I had pictured it looking in the end!
When I couldn’t get the stain out of the crevices, I was going crazy! But, now that’s it’s all finished, I’m so glad that I kept working on it to get it to this point!
Chester loves it too…I’m sure he would jump right up there if I would let him.
I’m not sure that photos do the size of this sofa justice! It’s a very very long sofa!
When adding the backing… I just cut pieces of one inch foam for each section and used spray adhesive to get it to stay. I then cut each piece of fabric for each section and attached it with tack nails to the backing of the inside of the sofa frame. Using one of these tack hammers is key when working with these small nails!
Is a sofa project something that you would take on? I’m so glad that I took the leap…first sofa project, in the books!