I am loving our latest furniture project…the French sofa redo!
For years, I have had an ongoing search for an antique French sofa forever, and I finally found one at an estate sale in South Alabama! I dreamed of painting it in Annie Sloan Old White paint and covering the upholstery in vintage grain sacks.
When I saw this sad looking little lady, I could hardly contain my happy dance! She was exactly what I was looking for!
The sofa is from the late 1800’s and other than wearing some really ugly cranberry upholstery, she was in excellent condition!
She was exactly what I had been looking for, so of course, she had to come home with me!
This was going to be one of my first diy upholstery projects, and I really didn’t have any idea of what I was doing. It was a case of “learn as I go”.
The first thing I needed to do was remove the original fabric, which turned out to be a really nasty job. There must have been 10,000 staples, or at least it felt like it!
Fortunately, the “stuffing” appeared to be in good condition so I wouldn’t need to replace that!
After stripping off the old upholstery, I painted and distressed the wood frame with the chalk paint. Then I finished with coat of clear and dark wax, and buffed when dry! The wood frame had such great carved details and the new paint and wax really brought them out.
Next came the not so fun part, but I just kept the vision of the end result in my head! At this point, I was definitely beginning to think that I had tackled a project that was going to be too much, but I kept going.
I upholstered the inside back in antique grain sack, and for the backside, I used drop cloths. I used the pieces of the old upholstery for a pattern to cut the new pieces and used a pneumatic staple gun to staple them onto the frame.
The sofa had a down filled cushion, so I decided to make a slipcover out of a drop cloth so that I could remove and wash it when it gets dirty since we have a little fur baby that loves to sit on our furniture.
Antique European grain sacks with the farmer’s initials monogrammed on them are one of my favorite things, and I had two that I had been saving, so I used both of them on the sofa.
This project was very slow going, because I really didn’t know what I was doing. There was definitely a learning curve. It took me much longer to finish this piece than I originally anticipated, and honestly, I’m not sure I would tackle this large of an upholstery project again, but I’m very happy with the end result. It definitely has the look that I was going for.
After the sofa was completed, I added a few grain sack graphic pillows. I’m still not sure about them so they may get changed at some point.
I finished all of the edges with cream gimp trim which I simply hot glued over the edges.
The sofa has such great curvy legs and details. It’s amazing how different it looks from when we brought it home. I’m not sure that a French sofa was the piece that I should have cut my “upholstery teeth” on, but I do love how it looks!