Decide on a Piece of Furniture
The amount of skill, time and effort required to follow furniture reupholstery instructions will depend on the furniture you will be working with and its current condition. For example, furniture reupholstery instructions for an ottoman will not be the same as those for a sofa. You may be able to complete an ottoman project within just a few hours, whereas working on a sofa could take several days.
Check Out the Condition
Again, the condition of a piece of furniture before upholstery will determine the difficulty of the project. It helps to start with a piece with a sturdy frame. Sit on it, especially chairs and other items that have springs as part of the original construction. If it feels lumpy because of damaged springs, you could be looking at a much more complex reupholstery job. Make sure the legs are all even, not wobbly. If there are broken legs or arms, they need to be repaired before beginning reupholstery.
Before getting started on your project, have all the necessary materials in place. Just about every project will require upholstery fabric, scissors, tape measure, staple gun and pins. Measure the furniture piece to ensure enough fabric is on hand. You may also need additional items such as upholstery foam, wadding and upholstery tacks. You will probably need more materials for a wing-back chair, for example, than you would to reupholster a dining room chair.
Follow Instructions Closely
Follow the furniture reupholstery instructions for your piece closely to get the best results; especially if you are attempting reupholstery for the first time. Instructions such as leaving an extra 2 inches of fabric on all sides when cutting out the fabric pieces and making sure to pull the fabric tightly over the areas being covered before securing it into place with the staple gun are important. Perform each step in the correct order. For example, if you plan to paint or refinish your furniture, do so before beginning the reupholstery.