Furniture is more than just utility items lying around your home. Rather, furniture reflects your personality, choice, standard of lifestyle and much more. Shabby furniture always makes your home look ill-maintained and projects you as careless and insolvent.

So why allow people to talk ill about your home when all your furniture needs is a good coat of polish to look sparklingly beautiful?

You can easily polish the wooden furniture of your home yourself as there are several ways of doing so without too much of fuss or mess. Select from different polish options such as varnish, lacquer, penetration resin, shellac, oil, wax, etc and polish techniques such as French polishing according to your convenience.

Selecting a Finish for your Furniture

Both durability and looks play an important part while selecting a finish for wooden furniture. Also, you must know more about chemical properties of particular finish you want to work with so that there are no adverse reactions or permanent damage to your precious furniture.

In order to avoid mishaps and disappointments, always read the ingredients and know more about the application process before buying the container. Also, follow manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions if you want to achieve the desired looks for your home furniture.


Varnish is one of the most preferred finishes loved by carpenters and seasoned finishers all across the world because of its superior finish, clarity and durability. Varnish is a surface finish and extremely resistant to abrasions, water, alcohol, heat and most other types of detrimental impacts.

It imparts a warm hue to the wood grain and is available in different options such as satin, matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss. Natural varnish is made from natural resins and is diluted with turpentine while synthetic varnish is made from synthetic resins and requires special thinners prior to use.


Of all the finishes used for wooden furniture, lacquer dries the fastest. It is a thin finish and requires several coats in order to bring out the true shade of the furniture. Lacquer is available in satin, matte and high-gloss, clear and shaded options.

However, it is best to avoid lacquer if you are an amateur. This is because lacquer dries very quickly giving you little opportunity to rectify mistakes. Also, lacquer is not suitable for rosewood and mahogany as the essential oils in these woods react adversely with the finish.

Penetration Resins

Such types of finishes penetrate into the wood and harden the material so as to impart a strong, natural and rustic elegance to your furniture. Penetration resins highlight the grain in the wood; creating a dark and classy hue.

Penetration resins are available in different shades and are easy to apply and repair. Do remember to use this finish for open-grained woods as dense; close-grained wood will not soak the finish properly and bring out its true effect.


Shellac is probably the easiest to apply of all wooden finishes and much preferred by homeowners for regular polishing of home furniture. Shellac is used during French polishing and produces a soft, mellow look that highlights the natural grain of your furniture.

It is especially suitable for furniture built of mahogany, walnut or veneer woods. Shellac dries quickly and subsequent coatings can be applied after four/five hours; giving you ample time to correct mistakes.

Leather upholstery looks good and is turning out to be a favourite for a lot of people. While it is easy to manage during summers and winters, rainy season a bit tricky. As the environment becomes moist or damp, there is a good chance that the leather might give way to moulds and fungus.

You will have to take special care of preventing the growth of these and also ensuring they don’t leave a mark on the upholstery. Here are a few simple tips to clean your upholstery and prevent spots, fungus and moulds from developing. You can do this yourself without hiring a professional.

Clean the outer layer first

If you have already spotted fungus, you can immediately vacuum clean it. Even if you haven’t spotted anything significant, you should start with the initial cleaning first. The leather fabric might also have spores – so it’s advisable to clean the furniture outside your house, preventing spores from spreading. Check for light spots and clean them with appropriate solution, before they become visible to others.

Apply a layer of wax

You can also apply a layer of wax to your leather upholstery. There are special waxes available for this purpose. You can use them to protect your furniture fabric and let them stay clean for a long time. As wax cannot merge with moisture or rain water, it can keep your upholstery clean and dry. Also, there is less chance of spoiling or making it dirty – as wax prevents direct contact with the fabric.

Heat your room for a few minutes

If your room is pretty moist, you can heat it for a minute, so that water droplets evaporate. Once you do this, let the hot air go out and cool air come in. You can also use air-conditioner to cool the air. AC can absorb hot air, remove moisture and circulate cool air in the room. As cool air contains less moisture, it can help protect your upholstery during rainy season. This in-turn prevents the formation of fungus and spots.

Control moisture; keep the room dry

Always keep your upholstered furniture in a clean and dry place. If you can allow proper circulation of air in the room, you can keep the moisture levels low. If the levels are still high, you can use aerosol sprays – as they are good in absorbing moisture. Also, make sure the roof is leak proof and nothing falls on the furniture. If you experience a peculiar smell, check the corners and folds to check if they are ok.

Clean regularly

In the case of leather upholstery, or any upholstery in general, nothing works better than regular cleaning. Clean the corners, folds and arms of the furniture regularly. You can either use alcohol or vinegar solution to remove spots, and prevent spores and fungus from growing. If the folds are dirty, they act as a base for them to grow. Use vacuum cleaning at least once or twice a week to pull off any growing spore.

A lot of planning, budgeting and effort are involved in changing the existing hotel upholstery, or getting it done for the first time. Whatever be the state, as a lot of things are at stake, it’s better to take a targeted approach in replacing/ buying upholstery, to ensure the results are good.

For the hotel industry, client servicing and client experience are of utmost importance, especially if the client is paying additional amount for a premium fancy room. Fancy rooms are different, are themed and not commonly found in every hotel. For designing and choosing upholstery for such a room, here are a few ideas which can help.

Based on theme of the room

A lot of fancy hotel rooms these days have specific themes. Premium rooms in a fancy hotel are expected to be big, giving the designer more space to play with the designs. So, upholstery for such rooms can be designed and chosen based on the theme. If the theme is ‘environmental or green’, you cannot have gaudy colours, shiny fabrics and a lot of tacks and buttons. Choose something that’s simple and light coloured.

Based on the type of customers expected

Premium rooms in a fancy hotel can have extreme set of audiences – from honeymooners to children. Hotel upholstery should then be based on the type of people expected. If you’re designing the room for children, have soft upholstery, having designs and colours which can appeal to the children. The ones targeting families can have upholstery with sombrecolours and smooth fabrics.

Based on pricing of the room

Some fabrics are cheaper while others are expensive. Customers in general can make out the difference just by the look of the material. If you’re designing a premium fancy room, you should ensure the fabrics look sophisticated and high-quality. So, more the price of the room better should be the level of quality and sophistication of upholstery.

Based on the room colour

Another thing you should be careful of is the colour of the walls, bed and other items in the fancy room. Though premium fancy rooms tend to be colourful, the colour of the upholstery should complement other items. Always choose the covering, fabric, springs, and buttons based on the room colour. Some hotels do have upholstery which matches exactly with the overall colour of the room – this can again depend on the theme.

Based on the hotel’s budget per room

Though premium rooms at fancy rooms have to look better than the others – a lot depends on the budget of the hotel too. Premium fancy rooms differ from every hotel. The hotel should fix a particular budget for the designs, and make purchase decisions accordingly. They should not go over-board to please the customer but incur losses in the end. Hotel upholstery spending should depend on how much a hotel can afford.

Based on the season

Upholstery can also be designed based on season. If it’s affordable, the hotels can change the colour and fabric every season. If the budget is less, they can go with fabrics and colours which are neutral and look good in every season. For this, they should ensure steps to take care of the upholstery, so it can stay fresh for a really long time.

It is hard to imagine a comfortable living room without sofas. An assimilation of sofas, chairs and love seats makes entertaining and gathering of friends and family a happy experience. An out-dated sitting arrangement may not co ordinate with the entire look of the room. A simple sofa reupholstery can give the room a refreshed look.
Sofa upholstery can get spoiled quickly for various reasons. Some of the most determining factors are as follows:

A Major Dilemma

You might simultaneously own a white sofa and two dogs. A considerable portion of your precious saving might have gone in buying the coveted piece of furniture. Your pets are an integral part of your lonely existence. It is not possible for you to take care of the well being of both, although your feelings are genuine for both of them.

The dirty paws of your canine friends genuinely love the soft leather of your sofa and thus ceases to exist as a healthy whole. A hard day’s work might make you extremely lazy and washing the slipcover may not be your first priority. Your sofa simply can not survive the odds.

Your kids too can become part of the assault and finally the triumvirate is complete. You do not know whom to choose. A sofa reupholstery can save the situation.

Accidental Harm

Household spills result in stains. An accidental move can lead to ripping and tearing of the upholstery. Leather sofas can not bear the brunt of a scuff, scratch or puncture. Children and pets can cause deliberate harm to the furniture.


Stains are the greatest enemy of your sofas. Nothing can look uglier than a collection of unwanted stains. The main frame might remain intact. But you will no longer want that piece of discordant note near you.

Beverages like coffee or tea are the most common spoilers. A glass of red wine can add to your evening fiesta, but your sofa will simply refuse to put up with the stains. Tomato ketchup can spice up your food. But even a tiny splash of ketchup on the upholstery can make you squirm with disgust.

Greasy foodstuffs and fizzy drinks in the hands of careless young and old can not be considered a safe option. Shoe polish and chocolate confectionery are as different as chalk is from cheese. But a patch of any one of them on the sofa can have similar results.

Both the edible and the inedible options are show spoilers in equal measure. Corrosive substances and bleaches are present in most households. An unguarded sprinkling can cause irreparable damage.

Natural Wear and Tear

Wear and tear is part of every existence. Your sofa is no exception. With the passage of time it loses its natural resilence.Poor quality of the product can also be responsible for this. Misuse and exposure to harsh sunlight can merely hasten the process. Rust and fire are indeed dangerous.

A sofa reupholstery can give a second lease of life. The results can be amazing.

Waiting areas are spaces which have to look stylish and also feel comfortable to the guests who are waiting for you. These areas when equipped with the right commercial upholstery furniture, give an image of your taste and quality to the guests who visit your office. So while you’re shopping for the right upholstery consider the below listed factors.

Durability of the upholstery

Office waiting areas are places which are used on a regular basis and have to bear heavy load often. Hence the upholstery fabric chosen has to be rigid and durable in the long run. As many people use the waiting room to sit, the fabric if woven and bound by tight thread or leather helps in maintaining the thickness or the density of the upholstery.

Suit the fabric style to the furniture

Commercial upholstery is available in a variety of styles which range from conservative to modern. So while choosing the fabric, always match with the type of furniture it will be covering. As it is an office setting the fabric style should be a bit modern and formal to suit the theme of the office. Also fabrics with bold prints look good in a larger room while fabrics with small patterns look appropriate for smaller rooms.

Colour of the upholstery

Colours add attractiveness to the office waiting area and help in setting the right ambience. Using sober colours which are pleasant and match with the colour of the room add to the look and feel of the office area. Do not always go in for very trendy colours as they may not be in vogue always. Choose a colour which is common favourite of many and will remain popular for a long period of time. The colour of the commercial upholstery should be warm and inviting to the guest.

Cleanable material

A small spill of coffee on your silk upholstery can make it look spotted and stained, which reduces the look and sheen of the fabric. Though measures can be taken to avoid such accidents, proper cleaning is necessary to keep the upholstery clean and tidy.

Therefore, the upholstery should be cleanable with a vacuum cleaner or using water based cleaner whenever needed. If possible a mild cleaning agent should be bought along with the upholstery and it should be pre-tested on the fabric to gain the required results.

Upholstery with good resistance

Office spaces are usually brightly lit or are built in a way to let natural light flow into the space. So there is quite a possibility that the commercial upholstery will have to bear the harsh sunlight, humid climate, moisture etc at various times of the year. This may lead to the fabric getting faded and thus may spoil the texture of the fabric especially if it is built of silk or any other soft material. Thus, upholstery with a good resistance power should be chosen to fit in the office waiting area.

For further information, please visit our custom upholstered furniture and on-site cleaning and protection services pages.

Right from shabby chic to French opulence; the vintage look will never go out of fashion. Modern designs are so hard edged and visually demanding that sometimes you will feel yourself longing for some old world charm. Well if you are interested to create a vintage look for your home you can start right from antique reupholstery. Revamping your upholstery according to these themes will help you create a great look for your home.

Capitalize on the colonial style

The colonial style is highly popular and is also quite easy to recreate in your rooms. One way you can do this is to choose furniture upholstery that is light rose pink, peach, off white or cream. Opt for intricate designs like carnations, flowers, tulips and grape vines. Birds and animal printed fabrics are also good representations.

Remember that the colonial style is bright and cheery. The basic colour scheme relies on salmon pink, gold, teal blue, pale green, black and white. Make sure that the base is light and there are shades of over printing. You can choose a fabric with a central theme or with several scattered motifs. The fabric you choose will depend upon the size and shape of your furniture.

Incorporate French wines

What can be more vintage and beautifully decadent than French wines? Scour the online retail shops for samples of fabrics bearing motifs of French wines, decanters, oak cases, buckets, decorative tasters and wine labels. These motifs provide a welcome change from the usual medley of flowers, paisleys and prints. This design is perfect for your living room especially if you have an inbuilt bar.

There are various ways you can do this look but top furniture designers advise homeowners to use a neutral palette. Choose brown, tan, beige and grey shades to create a classy vintage style. The French wine look works best on tonal colours. Make sure that the print is precise and doesn’t have blurred edges.

Peacocks and the oriental look

The oriental vintage look is quite hot right now and if you are interested in this trend you can easily incorporate this design into your upholstery. There are several shades which you can opt for furniture upholstery in terms of the vintage peacock style but dull gold, lemon and burnt orange is the current favourite with international designers.

There is rich interweaving of textures and colours which creates a royal look. The colour and the design sensibilities will obviously depend upon your aesthetic sensibilities. Just make sure that you don’t use too many bright shades as the entire effect will be a little overwhelming.

Victorian designs

Victorian designed upholstery has a timeless appeal. Opt for antique reupholstery in maroon, red and scarlet. Heavy lace trimmings will give an authentic feel to your Victorian style furniture. Victorian designs are a little formal with shades of dusty pink, rose, olive and deeply structured rows or columns. Look for overprinting and an express focus on detailing.

There is nothing that can mar the beauty of your tastefully decorated home like worn down upholstery. Even if your home is full of expensive showpieces tired and worn out looking furniture will make your rooms look ugly and shabby. You might even take the drastic step of deciding to change your furniture. However hold on a minute! It’s much cheaper to upgrade your upholstery than to change your furniture.

The edges are frayed

The damage always seeps in through the edges of the furniture first. The threads begin to unravel and you can see rough bits of cloth sticking out. Instead of ignoring the whole process and waiting till the central fabric gets affected, opt for reupholstery now. You are going to lose out on your reputation as a proud and aesthetically developed homeowner if you let your guests see the ragged edges of your upholstery. Keep your upholstery in top condition and earn compliments.

There are stubborn stains

Remember the time your neighbours kid spilled chocolate sauce over your white upholstered couch? Well chances are that your couch still bears the scars. Some stains like oil, grease, paint, chocolate and anything sticky just done go away even after repeated rounds of washing and vacuuming.

In this situation, you really don’t have any choice apart from reupholstering your furniture. Hiding those stains with cushions is not a long term solution. Sooner or later bacterial spores can develop on those sections further worsening the damage. Contact a furniture reupholstery agency today and give your furniture a new breath of life.

Get the holes repaired

Holes happen when the furniture upholstery has seen a lot of wear and tear. Holes can and will expand with time so you have to take quick steps to repair them. Experts recommend cutting a small patch of a similar looking material and stitching it on the hole. However if you don’t want people to notice it it’s really safer to go and opt for full furniture re-upholstery.

Keep your antiques safe

If you have beautiful wooden or metallic antique furniture then you must keep changing your upholstery every five years in order to preserve it. The moment dust mites set in they can damage your furniture along with the upholstery.

Dust mites are typically invisible to the naked eye but if you thump your furniture hard you will see tiny particles flying out. In case you plan to sell your antique furniture one day you should always maintain it by opting for reupholstery.

Get hold of a professional upholsterer who has lots of experience in dealing with antique furniture. Changing your upholstery will keep your antiques safe and protected against the harsh elements.

Create a new look

If you have noticed yourself growing increasingly dissatisfied with the colour, finishing or pattern of your old upholstery then perhaps it’s time to think of re-vamping your furniture fittings. New upholstery can easily give your room a lift and make it look gorgeous. You can consult a furniture upholstery expert about selecting a new upholstery fabric for your home.

Your home upholstery can make a great deal of difference to the way your home looks. Upholstery includes the padding, webbing, springs and the fabric covering of chairs, armchairs, sofas and couches. Earlier the only common options for upholstery included vinyl, leather, foam and cotton padding. However, now newer varieties have come in including jute, silk and velvet. When your upholstery gets old you will have to get it changed with the help of a professional upholsterer. However sometimes you can change your upholstery to simply revamp the look of your home.

Make Use Old Fabrics

Think about the bright maxi dress which you don’t fit in anymore. Or maybe you have an electric blue scarf you don’t use anymore. If the fabric is still in good condition you can use the material in your furniture upholstery project. Good quality upholstery doesn’t exactly come cheap so you can save a good amount of money this way.

Scour your wardrobe, attic and loft for fabric which you might not be using in other ways. Curtain rolls, bedspreads, shawls and silk material are excellent for providing a twist to your upholstery. Surprise your guests with marvellous custom upholstery the next time they walk into your home.

Play with ribbons and lace

Ribbons and lace can spruce up any place. If you are tired of seeing the same old look in your furniture upholstery and seriously want to incorporate some change without burning a hole in your pocket then visit your nearest trimmings shop. Simply select a shade which provides a pleasant contrast to your upholstery shade and buy yards of ribbons.

Stitch those ribbons on the edges of the upholstery to give an instant lift to the entire room. This has a double advantage. First it will spice up the look of your room and make it more playful. Secondly it will hide all those frayed edges without you having to change the whole upholstery set. If you want a more Victorian look spruce up your pastel shaded upholstery with heavy lace.

Do some handicraft

Sequins, fabric paints and glitter can change the look of your upholstery without you having to change it completely. Draw floral motifs/ paisley themes on your upholstery and follow it up bright fabric paints and glitter decoration. However you should only try doing this if you have a definite theme in mind and are confident about your artistic abilities. When in doubt discuss your idea with a good interior decorator and create the desired effect.

Invest in Cushions

If you have the resources investing in differently coloured cushions to denote the changing seasons is a great idea. Cushions and rugs can change the entire look of a room and they are nowhere as difficult to incorporate as upholstery. In the summers’ lemon yellow, rust, coral and aquamarine shades will bring in the vibrancy of the climate into your room. In the winters; rich burgundy, wine, sapphire and jewel shades will warm up your interiors.

Choosing Colours and Fabric for your Living Room Furniture

Your living room furniture is the first thing people are going to notice when they walk into your house. Obviously you will have to spend a lot of time and thought in thinking up the colours of the fabrics, upholstery and the wall designs of your living room. The scheme you decide on will basically depend upon your aesthetic sensibilities, local trends and the kind of image you want to project for your home.

Enhance the focal points of the living room

Each room will have a dramatic focal point in it. This point may be a gorgeous painting or a beautiful ikebana arrangement or your magnificent fireplace. Your trick will be to highlight this point and build your living room decor around it. The wall colour and the upholstery should complement this focal point and not detract from it.

For example, if your focal point is a big painting then highlight it with cleverly positioned lights. Now place several strategically positioned flower vases and ikebana arrangements which complement the colour scheme of the painting. Your upholstery and rugs (in this case) should be neutral and will provide a perfect setting for the different bright colours in the room.

Experiment with jewel tones

Jewel tones like jade green/ emerald, sapphire, ruby, coral and mother of pearl can be used in exotic ways to increase the appeal of your living room. Coral is the hot colour of this season and so is hot pink but make sure that you use them in juxtaposition with neutral tones so that the overall effect is not overwhelming.

If you are a little daring and really in love with the oriental look, you could even purchase upholstery in toned down jewel themes like jade and amethyst. However, in this case your wall colours will have to be a little on the neutral side. The trick is to remember that bright colours on the upholstery should be balanced by neutral shades on the wall and vice versa.

A touch of nature

With pollution levels and stress levels at an all time high, people are now opting for new ways to soothe out their jangled nerves. One way you can bring back pace and calm into your life is by taking a cue from Mother Nature.

Think about soothing green leaves, the tranquil blue waters and the welcoming ground beneath your feet. Choose upholstery in earthy shades like brown, rust or ever charcoal and then put a lot of potted plants in your living room. Paint one wall aquamarine blue and build your private sanctuary.

The art of choosing fabric

When you are choosing upholstery fabric for your living room never compromise on quality. There will be thousands of fabrics you can choose from including organic jute to exotic velvet.

Base your fabric choice on your budget, the frequency of use, the kind of material used in your curtains and your overall upholstery scheme. Remember that choosing furniture upholstering is an art which can make or mar the look of your living room.

Featured Articles
Hello Colin,All furniture now take pride of place in two different reception areas.The workmanship is excellent and people really like the fabric, too!Thank you for your craftsmanship.Nice doing business with you.Kind Regards
Hi Colin,Thank you for the lovely banquette seat, everyone loves it !Toni Flynn, interior designer for Help Industries Brisbane.
Marilyn Culpitt
Thank you so much for my couch.  I am really thrilled with it. Sorry I didn't have my other one done by you and not that other mob.  That may be another job for the future.
We had our 3 and 2.5 seater Australian made sofas recovered by Colin and his team as well as a silky oak piano stool renovated and reupholstered. We couldn't be happier with the result. Separate to the obvious quality of workmanship, what really stood out was the service. Colin was also responsive in terms of communication and was patient - with the majority of our correspondence over email and several months ...
Rod Walker
On behalf of ISPT I’d like to thank Colin and the team at ABR Home Industries (Brisbane Upholstery) for the professional job completed restoring our furniture, dating to early in The Regent’s lifecycle. All works were completed and delivered to site within condensed timeframes. The team was instrumental in resourcing and selecting a fabric reflective of the original treatment. The final restoration and new upholstery presents amazingly and we are ...
Had three items restored. One was an old sofa with wood and metal frame. The mattress and upholstery had long since gone missing. ABR restored this to new condition with new matching mattress and upholstery. Next was an old meat safe which has been in the family for well over 100 years and was really showing its age. It has been restored to original condition back to the original timber ...
Betty Farrell, Enogerra, Brisbane
I recently had all of my Bell Brothers dining suite,very large wall unit, leadlight china cabinet, antique cedar nest of tables, and coffee table fully rstored,repolished and upholstered. I looked around the shops and realized that what I had was far superior to what I could buy now so I figured if I could get it restored well then I was way ahead for having nice well made furniture.A friend of ...
June Martin
I had a custom built leather genoa suite with chaise end built for me recently to my specific design, leather, comfort, size and look, I even had a secret compartment built into it to hid my valuables!   I'm extremely happy with the finished product and service and although I had cheaper quotes, it,s the finished product that will stay with me for the next 20 years or so. I knew I ...
N Rivers
I had my 1970,s lounge suite reupholstered a few months ago by them and am extremely happy with the comfort and look and that the service was excellent!  I have also had a genoa arm chair, antique footstool and 2 recliner arm chairs reupholstered and all were finished with a high quality look!The price and the help I got choosing the fabric was first class and I have no hesitation ...
Sue B Cullum
Best upholstery place in town. Best services with a great quality result and with a reasonable price!  I will definitely use them again!