The foam in sofas, chairs and bed mattresses wear out long before cushion coverings, becoming discolored and flattened from constant sitting and sleeping on them. Purchasing a new mattress or sofa, or hiring an upholster to repair them is one way to solve this problem. Replacing the foam yourself, though, is a do-it-yourself project that takes only one or two days. Purchase a large piece of foam at an upholstery store and cut it to the size of your cushion or mattress covers. New foam makes your sofa or bed more comfortable and saves the money you'd spend on a new piece of furniture.
Items you will need
- Dust mask
- Cushion covering
- Measuring tape
- Dark marker
- Electric knife
- Box cutter
- Razor knives
- Saber saws
Remove old foam from couches, chairs or mattresses. Use the old foam as a template for a new pattern if it still has its shape. Do this by taking a piece of cardboard and drawing an outline of old foam. Use a straight-edged razor to cut out the template to use later. Discard old foam if it is too uneven or malformed to make a pattern.
Place new foam on a flat, clean surface off the floor or ground. Working on a raised surface prevents you from scratching the floor or getting uneven cuts. Make a homemade workstation by placing two sawhorses on an even surface and using a piece of plywood as a tabletop.
Measure sofa cushion or mattress covering so that the new foam gets cut to the right size. Use a tape measure or ruler and write down the dimensions, adding 1/2 inch for a snug fit. Place a round covering on top of the foam and draw a line using a dark marker.
Use an electric knife to cut the foam after it has been measured. Scissors, gardening shears and jig saws leave ridges on the foam, giving you an uneven cut. Sharp electric knives give the foam a smooth, even cut. Alternatives to electric knives include box cutters, razor knives and saber saws.
Smooth out any rough cuts. Electric knives provide a smooth cut, but occasionally a few stray pieces of foam get left behind. Use the electric knife or razor to cut them off the foam. Insert new foam in covering, checking that it fits snugly in all corners, and zip closed. Wiggle the cushion to straighten out the foam.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear a dust mask to protect your mouth and nose from flying foam.
- When you shop for foam, tell the manufacturer about your at-home project and the firmness of foam you want.
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