A Couch to Swoon For!

via Daily Prompt: Paint

A few months ago I found this swan fainting couch for a mere $20.  I loved the fact that it was a fainting sofa and that it was so inexpensive so I jumped at the chance to make it something more.


It had some damage; an angry cat and a wobbly let but, all-in-all, it was sturdy and fixable.


We started by taking the entire piece apart.  We always work carefully and take a lot of pictures so we will know how it goes back together.

My initial hope was to strip the finish and bring out the natural wood and reupholster with a light colored fabric.  However, when we tried to strip the finish it was nearly impenetrable.

We tried several techniques and products but eventually gave up.  The wood under the finished was very usual and would not take stain well so we stopped working in the couch and started some other projects.

Finally, after a few months of research, I decided to go ahead and paint the couch.  I am not a fan of painting furniture but this had to be an exception as the wood was nothing that would take a stain or could even be treated to preserve the natural look.  (I am thinking it is made of Poplar).

I started by cleaning out all of the little nooks and crannies and wiping down to remove any dust and grime.  Next, I primed each piece with Kilz.

Once I added a couple of coats of paint, it was time I took the piece inside so I could add the finishing touches.  Even though it may seem less practical, I like to do the detail work in my house.  My shop tends to be dusty and I hated to risk messing up the white finish.


I decided to go with an antiquing glaze instead of distressing by sanding (not a fan as it tends to damage the wood).

This was my first large project with the glaze and I was very pleased.  Just look at the detail!

Next, it was time to add the seating.  Since the original board under the foam was broken, we chose to cut a new piece of plywood for a nice sturdy seat.

We were able to reuse most of the original foam.  I used the original fabric for a pattern and began the task of rebuilding.


It took some time and much “discussion” over the correct way to add the seating but we finally agreed to disagree and did the best we could.

I have a few more staples to add and the trim but it looks like it will be a beautiful piece.

TA DA!!!!  Finally Finished!  (now to get it sold)



The Fainting Couch

I spotted a fainting couch on one of the many facebook buy/swap pages.  It was listed for $20 so I knew I had to have it.

When I arrived to pick it up, the seller told me a cat had damaged the cloth and part of the foam but that was perfectly fine with me.  I knew I wanted to recover it anyway.

The piece was a not-so-lovely floral print with a heavy lacquer/shellac finish.

My husband and I started the process of removing the fabric, foam, upholstery tacks, and at least a billion stables.  We were careful to leave the fabric as intact as possible so I can use it for a pattern.  This should really save when purchasing my fabric as I will know the precise (or close to it) yardage.

We left the project last night with a partially stripped frame.  The finish has proved to be more than either of us can deal with.

I am now faced with making a decision about what to do next:  paint and distress the frame (remember, I am a purist), what color (dark or light) and what fabric to use (print or solid).  I initially wanted to do a dark stain with light colored fabric but now I am leaning toward painting the frame white and choosing a fabric that will not show grime.  I would LOVE to use a script print.  You just never know about me 😉

Here are a few pictures of yesterday’s progress:

Damage from previous owner’s cat.


Back-roll foam.
Foam pieced together by manufacturer in back.
Wood seat support – this will have to be replaced.