DIY Projects

How to Repair A Broken Sofa

You’ve heard that saying, “They just don’t make ’em like they used to” and it’s true for many different things.  In the manufacturing world companies are appealing to consumers that want more for less.  Consumers want a high end look for less money, which equates to substandard quality.  When something breaks do you just go buy new, or do you repair it?  The manufacturing companies are banking on you just buying new, but repairing it is the more economical answer.

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Repairing a broken sofa will cost a lot less than replacing it. This DIY fix is an easy beginner skill level DIY

Take our sofa for example.  It was made by a reputable company and we thought it would be a good purchase and last a long time.  Just five years after purchasing it, the leather had cracked and worn off a spot on one of the cushions.  The framing of one of the arms had broken, leaving a gap between the cushion and the arm that drove me nuts.  I have hidden it with pillows until now.

Repairing a broken sofa will cost a lot less than replacing it. This DIY fix is an easy beginner skill level DIY

You may be thinking that five years is a long time to have a sofa, that some wear and tear is inevitable, and you’re right.  However, this sofa doesn’t get sat on very often.  The hubby and I both have recliners that we sit in daily (that are holding up very well by the way) and the sofa only gets action on the holidays or when we nap on the weekends.

Purchasing a new sofa wasn’t out of the question, but we decided to repair it ourselves instead.  Stick with me and I will share with you how we repaired it for less than $150.

Repair or Replace Sofa Cushions

The first thing we did was check into leather repair kits for the cushion.  After reading this article we decided that it would be a temporary fix at best and would do more damage to the surrounding material.  Instead, we opted for purchasing new cushion covers since the cushions were still in like new condition.

To purchase new cushion covers you can call the store where you bought your sofa and ask them to order them for you or you can contact the manufacturer directly.  The store where you purchased your sofa should have the details of your purchase on file and should be able to accommodate your request.

We bought two new covers for just $149.  Cheaper than a brand new sofa, but not as fun as going shopping for a new one, foiled again by my clever hubby.  He knows me so well.  I talked all about this subject in my post on How to Decorate as a Couple and Come Out Alive.

Now that the first problem was fixed, we moved on to the hands on repair.

How to Repair the Broken Arm on a Sofa

The first thing we did prior to attempting the repair was to find out exactly what was broken.  We had to make sure it was within our ability to fix.  My hubby is pretty handy, but we aren’t furniture makers.

We flipped the sofa over and very carefully pulled off the dust cover from the end with the broken arm.   Dust covers aren’t made with good quality fabric so remove it with care so that you can put it back when you’re done.

It was obvious right away that the framing support for the arm had broken.  I was shocked to see that the majority of the frame was made from OSB.  OSB stands for oriented strand board, an engineered lumber that is similar to particle board.

No wonder it didn’t last, the frame isn’t even made from real wood.  They just don’t make ’em like they used to.  I have already told my hubby if we ever buy another sofa it will be custom made so that we can ensure that is made with quality materials.

This part of the repair didn’t cost a dime because we had extra wood left over from my DIY Board and Batten project that I did last fall.

It was as simple as reverse engineering the support.  I would rate this as a beginner level project.

  • Take out the old board, making sure to pay attention how it was attached.
  • Cut a new board to the same length as the one you take out.
  • Put it back in the way it was.

Repairing a broken sofa will cost a lot less than replacing it. This DIY fix is an easy beginner skill level DIY

My hubby added a couple of extra screws to ensure that is was solid and attached securely.  We stapled the dust cover back on and voila` the repair was complete.  This project was overseen by our project manager, Winston.  That’s him in the upper left hand picture.

Repairing a broken sofa will cost a lot less than replacing it. This DIY fix is an easy beginner skill level DIY

You may figure that when your sofa gets some wear and tear or a portion of a frame support breaks that you might as well just go buy a new one.  Before throwing away money on another sofa, check into a minor repair and see if that will fix the problem.  You could do it yourself or take it to a furniture repair person.

Purchasing new cushion covers is an economical answer to worn or damaged fabric on the cushions depending on the fabric they are made from and wether or not there has been a lot of fading to the rest of the sofa.  There is always the option of reupholstering, but depending on how much you paid for your sofa, it might not be the most economical fix.

Have you ever repaired a piece of furniture yourself?  Do you have a brand of furniture that you think is the best?  I would love for you to share in the comments below.

Talk to you soon,




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