Is it pathetic that as soon as I accomplish something slightly DIY-y I want to share it with everyone? Like 'hey! you stranger, walking down 14th street. I made this." I just feel like it isn't real if I don't have someone to come and view it in all its glory. That would be why my tweet on Sunday night read: "I fixed my own sofa. Wood, screwdriver, brackets, staples gun and all. Yes, I fx$%!*g did! #feelingmyself." I had to add the hashtag just in case you couldn't imply such from the rest of my tweet. And now, well now I'm going to tell you how I accomplished such a thing so you too can marvel at all its glory (#stillfeelingmyself), except I'm going to give you a bit of backstory on my sad, sad sofa first.
|^ Totally not my sofa, but I really like it & felt like we needed a visual here.|
I first got my sofa two years ago after having a super itchy fabric couch that was falling apart. I bought it in brown leather because I didn't have the forethought at the time to question "umm, who in 7 hells has a brown leather couch?" However, from the moment it was delivered I loved it because it was a stable sofa and actually looked pretty nice in the space. That is until it didn't because the leather at the base of the sofa began to split like something had nawed on it (did I mention that this was around the same time I was convinced there was a little mouse running around my apartment?). That little split gradually got bigger and eventually turned into a huge dip which then became a gash through which pieces of splintering wood poked through. Calls to the furniture company proved futile as they determined it "was not a default covered under the protection plan." Bullshit. But they refused to fix it. So after living with a broken couch for over a year because they wouldn't fix it, I found a bit of bravery in this cowardly lion heart of mine and decided to tip it over and take a look at the damage. (Remember, my past irrational fear of pretend mouse housemates? Well, I still kind of half-expected to find 4-6 carcasses just chillin' in my uphostery.)
As luck would have it, the damage was much less than I'd expected. Turns out the bowing in my sofa was from the bowed and/or broken beams inside as opposed to a completely wrecked frame or faulty springs. I'm a sucky blogger and took zero pictures of said discovery or its subsequent fixing, so hopefully my power of description is enough to carry this through :\ ...
1) First, I flipped the sofa on its back exposing the bottom and removed the staples holding to leather covering to the wooden frame so I could have a peek inside. Of course, I went about this the hardest way possible pulling them out with pliers only. Quick tip: Push a flat-head screwdriver beneath staples to lift them from the surface before yanking them out with pliers - makes the job much easier on your hands.The cause of the drooping was (1) the broken piece on plywood on the front of my sofa and (2) the bowing of a piece of plywood that ran from the front of my sofa to the back near the drooping section.
2) I love trips to Home Depot so when the whole supply-buying portion of the project came I was ecstatic. I came home with a staple gun and staples (to reattach the leather once I undoubtedly fixed the issue), 2-inch wood screws, and a piece of pine wood cut to 71 x 7.25 x 3/4 by my local hardware store, because Home Depots in Manhattan are lame and don't cut wood. And I did it all my my lonesome, expect not :)
3) Tearing the plywood from the frame was a lot more difficult than expected because the sections that were firmly attached were firmly attached. After strapping on protective goggles and prying it off with a hammer for a solid 10 minutes, the 'bowing section' of the sofa was visible. Using the hammer, I banged the bowing piece into place which I'm sure wasn't the best solution but it worked well enough without having to pull apart the entire frame or buy a whole new sofa.
4) With the wood cut down to size, attaching a new front piece of pine wood should've been simple, except that nothing's that simple when it comes to me and DIYs and my screwdriver died 7 seconds into the project. Using a hand screwdriver (do NOT do this if you have any other option), I put wood screws along the top of the beam, securing it to the piece of plywood on which the cushions were attached, and then 3 wood screws on each side - leading me to step 6.
5) The wood cracked! You read it right. I flipped it over thinking it was all good only to hear it "crrr--aacckk" when sat upon. For real, my heart skipped a beat. Apparently, plywood begins to separate when holes are drilled between the layers. Also, if you don't make sure to screw through to the base and you force warped wood to line up perfectly, something will crack once you add weight to the equation. So I ran off to Home Depot again, which wasn't as fun of a trip this time around, and picked up some wood glue and a few metal brackets because, damn it, I was going to make this work! I let the glue set over night, screwing mending plates to clamp the two piece together while it dried. And the next day, instead of forcing the wood to align, I used L-shaped braces to secure the new wood beam to the plywood sides.
6) Ta-da! It worked. After sitting on it for a few hours, I deemed myself Queen Of All Sagging Sofas and stapled that baby back up, with the closest thing I'll ever have to a gun in my house. And the sofa's been going strong since Sunday ;)
This totally ended up being more of a shenanigans story than a how-to. I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of it all as I bring this to a close. So if this didn't totally teach you how to fix your sofa, hopefully it made you smile. Point is: I (sorta, kinda, not really) made a sofa!