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RV Furniture – Buy New or Reupholster?

Let’s break it down.

There will always come a point in any furniture’s lifespan when it starts to look a bit rough and you begin wondering which is the most effective way to deal with it. Do you buy new or is it better to reupholster the furniture you already have?

The conclusion may not be an easy one to come to. There are some very good reasons to reupholster your old furniture ranging from sentimental to practical to financial and we’re here to try to provide some expert insight to help you make that decision.


Now in some instances, a piece of furniture may have some deep sentimental attachment such as it was given to you by a dear loved one or it reminds you of all the experiences and adventures you and your family have had in its presence over the years.


Many people also prefer to recycle their personal items and use them as long as they possibly can. This is perfectly respectable and prevents the furniture and other items that still have life in them from being abandoned to the ever-growing landfills.

Other practical reasons for wanting to freshen up and reupholster old furniture rather than buy new may have to do with the difficulty of finding a replacement that will fit that odd-shaped or size spot in your RV, the possibility of not being able to match your décor perfectly, or the fear that a new piece may not be as comfortable as your old favorite.


Other people feel that reupholstering worn-out furniture is a way to save money because, after all, newer is not always better in their eyes. There is also the mindset that saving money by reupholstering will allow them to buy other items that they need or afford experiences that they couldn’t if they spend all their money on new furniture.

All of these reasons and more are perfectly reasonable conclusions in the debate of new versus reupholstering. However, when considering what to do with your old RV furniture it is best to take all the facts in before acting.

The Real Costs

Now there is no doubt that reupholstering your old furniture can be more cost-effective than buying new but that’s only if there are a few factors in place first. One thing you need to know is that reupholstering wooden frame furniture is different from reupholstering metal frame RV and automotive furniture.

On wooden frame furniture, all of the upholstery is stapled to the wooden frame one piece at a time. On metal frame furniture, complete covers are sewn then pulled over the metal frame and foam, and then hog ringed into place.

Another factor to consider is how handy the person attempting to do the work is with this kind of job. Someone who is adept at upholstering wooden frame furniture but not familiar with metal frame reupholstering could easily find themselves in extensive hard work – physically and financially if they are not well-versed in the complexities of the job at hand.

Of course, another option is to get the piece professionally reupholstered.

Here’s something to think about when considering reupholstering your furniture. If it’s wood-framed and the frame is solid wood and if it’s still structurally sound, it will probably be less expensive to recover and will be worth the expense. If you only paid $800 for the sofa then buy another sofa. If you paid $3500 for the sofa, get it recovered.

If the furniture is metal framed, make sure you have a good automotive upholsterer do the work or it will probably not look like the original when finished. On metal-framed RV furniture, for example, you can have the upholsterer do the complete recovery where they use your old covers as templates to sew your new covers. Once you get the new fabric you then look into replacing the worn-out foam (if needed). 

There are a few steps that go into a reupholstery job, so it all depends on how you want the finished look to incorporate with the rest of the RV.

Good luck!