Disguise a Sad, Saggy Sofa!

If you don't have the budget to replace a sad, saggy sofa, you can try these tips to disguise and get more use out of your sofa.



Life takes its toll on upholstered furniture, particularly a sofa or sectional, but there are ways to cover up your old sofa to get a few more years out of it - without too much expense.

It's amazing what you can do to makeover a sofa but not everyone wants to go through the process of reupholstering. If you have previously reupholstered an old sofa, you know that this can be a labour of love and not everyone has the skills to take on a project of this scale.


For those of you who don't want to reupholster an old sofa and are simply looking for ideas to give your sad sofa a temporary makeover, read on. We have collected some of our favourite makeover tips to help solve your sofa woes...

Children, pets and day-to-day living can make a sofa sad and saggy. A good clean will add a little more life but there are a few tips you can try without having to go to the expense of reupholstering or replacing an old sofa, especially if you just want to get a few more years out of it.

Professional Cleaning

You may have done an annual clean of your sofa but you would be pleasantly surprised at what a professional cleaning can do. If your sofa has never been professionally cleaned, set up an appointment and let these guys work their magic. A dirty, grubby sofa can look almost as good as new once it has been given a professional cleaning treatment.


A good clean on its own will give you a few more years of service and if you combine it with a few of the tips on this page, could even last longer than that. 

Replace the Padding

When cushions start to lose their 'oomph' they become sad and saggy, which doesn't add to the overall appeal. Adding new padding to back and seat cushions is an easy project and all you need is some batting that you can buy at almost any fabric store.

If your cushions have zips, all you need to do is open the zip and start padding. Layer the batting so that it looks good on the outside and add just enough batting to plump up the cushions.

Add a Slipcover

When you need your sofa to last a few years more but simply can't look at it, you don't have to spend a fortune to cover up a sofa. A sofa that is in good shape, or one that just needs some extra padding (see above) is easy to disguise with a basic slipcover, and you don't need super-fancy sewing skills to make your own basic slipcover.

GOOD TO KNOW: If you are making your own slipcover, wash the fabric beforehand to ensure any shrinkage occurs before you fit the fabric to the size of your sofa.


Unfortunately, we are limited by the scope of sofa slipcovers on offer to us locally, but making a custom slipcover yourself will ensure it fits, cost you a lot less, plus you can choose your own fabric for the slipcover.

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A slipcover can hide a multitude of stains, pen marks, coffee stains and faded colours. A really inexpensive solution is to buy a canvas drop cloth or some canvas, linen or cotton fabric at your local fabric store.

If you are handy with a sewing machine, you will find plenty of instructions on the Internet for making your own basic slipcover to give an ugly or sad sofa a makeover. Then all you need is some durable fabric and a weekend to spare.


Cover Up

For those that really don't want to go to the effort of the work involved in making up a full-on slipcover to disguise a sofa, there's always the easy route... simply draping fabric over the sofa. This solution is okay if you don't have pets or children, but if you do, you need to have some type of fastening to hold the cover in place, or you will be forever adjusting the cover!


It is so easy to disguise an old sofa by draping fabric on top. This type of dressing is great if your home is decorated in a casual style such as shabby chic, cottage or country and you can buy fabric that ties in with your personal decor.

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In a family home where children and pets are always jumping on and off the sofa, or where spills and food stains are the order of the day, you will want a cover to hide your sofa that won't keep falling off or need adjusting. The easy way to solve this dilemma simply add some ties to the fabric to hold the cover in place. With ties, it is also easy to remove the cover when you need to pop into the wash for a good clean. Do buy a washable fabric that is durable enough to withstand repeated washing.

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Modern Update

Adding new hardware is an easy solution for giving an old sofa a modern update. You can replace old legs simply by screwing them out (or removing fasteners) and then add new legs to give your sofa an instantly refreshed look.


Paint a Sofa

Painting a sofa might seem like an odd suggestion, but so many have tried and tested the method and it seems to work out okay. If you are desperate you could give it a try for yourself. However, do bear in mind that my personal experience has shown that painted fabric can be a little stiff and it will take a while before the fabric softens with use.

If you have a sofa in a colour you hate, or perhaps a pattern that hasn't grown on you, you might want to consider one of the above options, and if all else fails... paint it!

If you are interested in painting your old sofa, try out this method and substitute latex paint with acrylic paint.

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Check out the video below for great fabric painting tips and substitute with Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte paint in your choice of colour.




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