How to give an old sofa a new lease of life with reeded wood detailing and new cushions

DIY reeded sofa painted green

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Old tatty grey sofa

Tools and materials
tatty old grey sofa

  • Measure sofa arms and base (anywhere you wish to cover with half dowels)
  • Cut half dowels using a mitre box.
  • Note: use a straight cut on both ends for the based board area vs one straight end and one angled cut for the arms to allow the dowels to join neatly along the edges.
  • Glue the cut dowels into position using grab adhesive. My favourite is no-more nails.
  • Sand any rough edges paying particular attention to the angled joins on the armrests.
  • I initially left the dowels unpainted for a more Scandi look but eventually got bored (a common theme) & painted various different shades over the following months. Well, who wouldn’t want to match their sofa colour to their shelf accessories right?!

Sofa cushions swapped out
Cushion close up
Pimped sofa with reeded wood and new cushions

You could just end the DIY reeded sofa revamp here, but I went a stage further by taking off the back sofa cushions and squashing the foam filling into some huge, cushion covers from H&M which completely changed the look. I then styled with tasseled throws and funky cushions (also from H&M.

Isn‘t it uncomfortable?

Nope, because you don’t sit or even lean on the dowels. The sofa cushions are still there to provide all the comfort so a DIY reeded sofa is no different to say a rattan sofa that you find in every garden centre around.

How much did it cost?

I honestly can’t remember how many half dowels I used but it will depend on the size of sofa (or armchair) that you are covering. I’m pretty sure the wood and glue came to under £60 though.

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