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Old 04-30-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
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Re-Upholstering - Any experience?

Alrighty... I just bought a 1988 Prowler Lynx and it is... a bit dated. So in order to do some updating, we decided we're going to try our hand at reupholstering the jackknife sofa and the dinette set amongst a few other odds and ends (painting, curtains, blinds, etc).

I'd just replace it with something else, but it opens up and holds the fresh water tank and is additional storage.

Has anyone here done the reupholstering themselves? I'm not expecting a high end job or anything, just something better than this:


(This one is not mine, but is the exact same model + year as mine)

I found what I think is a killer bargain on upholstery fabric for $17.99 at Joann Fabrics and have a 50% off coupon that expires next week. Any estimates on how much I should get for the couch and dinette?

Any words of wisdom? Thanks guys!
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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How wide is the fabric? 54 inches?
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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How wide is the fabric? 54 inches?
56 inches
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:03 AM   #4
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Welcome, and it sounds like you have a nice project ahead of you. We recently sold a MH to our daughter who painted the entire inside. It was a remarkable transformation from the yellow pattern paisley-looking wallpaper to a single medium tan tone with darker accents.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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Welcome, and it sounds like you have a nice project ahead of you. We recently sold a MH to our daughter who painted the entire inside. It was a remarkable transformation from the yellow pattern paisley-looking wallpaper to a single medium tan tone with darker accents.
Yes, I can't wait to get started on it!
  • Paint cabinets/cupboards white
  • Upholstery will be a grey tweed
  • Curtains and throw pillows in light greens and yellows
  • Peel & stick wood pattern "resilient" tile over old linoleum
  • Silver tin ceiling tiles as backsplash behind stove
  • Chalkboard paint on front panel of fridge
  • Painting counters with special countertop stuff to be slate gray

I also found that you can paint the yellowing sink and toilet with a specific kind of appliance paint, I've seen several people do with success. Ours will get this treatment, which will become white.

I'm kind of a Home Interior DIY nerd. We've been sprucing up our house over the winter and am looking forward to a new "palette" to work with in the camper! I think I won't be as scared to make drastic changes in there since anything will look better than it does already!
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:13 PM   #6
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buttons

There is a special tool to do the buttons. Otherwise it looks like it is mostly wrapped and stapled. Take it apart carefully and use the existing upholstery fabric as your template. Does the tweed fabric have an acrylic backing? The fabrics at Joann's are not always upholstery quality.....just be careful in your choice and make life easier without a pattern on the fabric.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:40 PM   #7
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check upholsterysupplyonline.com..They have automotive fabrics as well as rv fabric. Most are 9.95 to 10.95 per yard (54 inches.) Shipping is a little high but I have ordered quite a bit of material from them for a street rod interior I'm doing. I have no complaints with their product at all.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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There is a special tool to do the buttons. Otherwise it looks like it is mostly wrapped and stapled. Take it apart carefully and use the existing upholstery fabric as your template. Does the tweed fabric have an acrylic backing? The fabrics at Joann's are not always upholstery quality.....just be careful in your choice and make life easier without a pattern on the fabric.
I can hardly sew a button on a shirt. I was just going to leave those off! lol

The fabric I'm ordering says "upholstery" fabric, not sure if there's a backing. It's only available online. I don't anticipate it being anything fancy, but imagine it will suffice.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #9
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I am a retired fabric salesman.before that a journeyman upholster.it may look easy,but i would suggest a professional opinion first.any uph. Shop or many supply stores will make your buttons with your fabric.backed fabric is a must if you expect any life out of it.good luck. Ken
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:06 PM   #10
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I've attempted to do some upholstery in the past. I've even built a fast draw holster out of leather. Some things I can do but for the most part it takes some specialized equipment that is costly. When you are just stretching fabric over a wooden frame that's doable but when you have to make covers with formed covers that's tough. The material is thick which requires a good machine. Getting the seams straight is also very tough.

Don't get me wrong anything can be done but it depends on your skill, attitude, patience and fortitude. Oh yea!!! Money is a big help as well.

TeJay
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Long time ago, I had a customer whose business is upholstery; cars, boat, MH, up-scale restaurant ...etc.

I had a chance to stand back and observe how they do it. I totally amaze the amount of skill and effort put into it.

I understand you are not looking for professional quality; however, it's not as simple as it appeared. I recommend you at least visit one of those shop before you start on your project.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
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I just really was asking advice about how much (yards) fabric I should get and if anyone had done it themselves and if they had any tips.

We paid $500 for the camper. Local upholstery quotes started out at $500 - NOT including the price of the fabric. Unfortunately I just can't justify spending more on upholstery than I paid for the camper itself.

That said, I'm pretty confident in my abilty to do this myself. I'm not going to be able to get a job as an upholsterer by any means or anything! But My parents have owned a furniture store for over 40 years and I've seen it done and done some myself there. I reupholstered all the vinyl in our boat two years ago and spent less than $100 and it looked fantastic.

I appreciate the help and all the advice
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:27 PM   #13
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I have been in that business for 40 years. If you have a machine to do the sewing, you can do the rest. I would start with taking one of each cushion apart as a pattern. Most fabric is 54" wide an the cushions are cut across the fabric. You can buy zippers anywhere, or use the old ones. The body can be left on and cover over it with new, if it's in fair shape. Just use you tape to get the size right. Looks like an easy job except for the sewing.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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To the OP,
I found an online estimate program of sorts. I just googled until I found it, as I recall it had estimates for all sorts of applications, chairs, sofa's, ottamen, etc.
How Much Fabric Should I Buy? Upholstery Yardage Guides | Apartment Therapy
Try that, as always, no charge!
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