I noticed the other day that the inner seat portion of our full-size leather couch was sagging down–too much throwing ourselves down on the couch I guess. I had already repaired our love seat so I knew what was happening and knew I could fix it. Finally I’m documenting the process so you can fix your couch too. Follow along to learn how to repair a broken couch frame. If nothing else, this article will give you the confidence to go ahead in tear into your couch and take a shot at repairing it instead of replacing it.
- Any upholstered wood-frame couch, love seat, or chair.
- Staple Gun
- Flat-Head Screw Driver
- Cordless Drill
- Drill Bit Set
- Fine-Threaded Drywall Screws: 2 Inch, 1-1/4 Inch
- Quick Grips
How to Repair a Broken Couch Frame
Step 1: Turn your couch over.
For this repair I simply laid our couch on its back. The main goal is to give yourself access to the material that covers the bottom of the couch, so you can pull the necessary staples to give yourself access to the frame inside.
Step 2: Remove the legs from the areas you will be working.
Because I will be working on the top two corners as seen in the picture above, I unscrewed the two front legs.
Step 3: Pry out the staples from the edge of the bottom covering material.
I used a thin flat screwdriver to get under the staples (pardon the slightly blurry picture but you get the point).
Be careful not to jab into the leather (or whatever material your couch is covered with). If I was very careful I could completely pull the staple out but often I was only able to lift one side of the staple out. In that case, simply pull the staple out with a pliers:
Once you get enough staples out you can lay back the material and get a look inside. Below I show how the couch was shifting inside–the middle portion of the couch was essentially held in place by one bolt on each side along with some staples, not enough:
I would be generous about pulling staples so you can have easy access to the insides of the couch. I ended up removing more, to give more access, multiple times and you can always go back and remove more later and you can easily remove them all if you had a serious repair to do.
Step 4: Do what you need to do to re-align the couch frame.
I used a quick grip to diagonally pull from the outside board to the bolt on the inside to re-align the two parts, as seen in the two pictures below:
Step 5: Drill pilot holes for your screws.
We are working with particle board here so you really should drill pilot holes for your screws. This is especially important for screws that are near the edge, because you could blow out the edge of the board because particle board is fragile. I used a 3/32″ drill bit to drill the pilot holes. Important note: Make sure the frame is correctly lined up BEFORE you drill the holes.
It was very difficult to see the holes in the particle board in the pictures so I started all the screws so you could see where I placed the rest of them below:
I chose 1 1/4″ drywall screws for connecting two parallel sheets together and 2″ drywall screws for screwing through a sheet into the edge of another board as diagramed above.
Step 6: Drive your screws.
I used my beloved 20-year-old Makita 9.6 V cordless drill to drive the screws.
The seams lined up and the gaps tightened up nicely for me:
Step 7: Repeat as necessary.
I would be liberal with your screws 🙂 You don’t want to have to do this again so now is the time to fix your couch now and forever. If your couch is damaged worst than mine you place 2×2’s along the seams and screw them in place to add strength. My couch was in good enough shape that what I did above was sufficient. I fixed both sides of my couch.
Step 8: Reattach the upholstery onto the bottom of the couch.
Fold the edge of the material over, like it was originally:
Then start in the corner and tack into place.
Now you can see the difference of aligning the internal frame of the couch:
Step 9: Reinstall the couch’s feet.
Screw the feet back on.
Now you have given more life to your comfy couch!
Successful with this repair? Do you have a tip to add? Please leave a comment!
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