Petite Settee | My Upholstery Dilemma


October 21, 2015 by Terry

Here is my dilemma…

This settee is a sweet little antique that my husband brought home for me this past summer while working away. (Bless his little heart!)


I love the settee but I don’t love the upholstery on it. I feel that it is too dark and doesn’t complement the ornate woodwork on it. I think the wood details are lost in the print and dark color of the fabric. My dilemma is that the upholstery while dusty, is not in horrible shape. It is not stained or snagged by cats etc at all …

It has beautiful wood details that I would leave alone and not paint.  Some things are best left original and this is one of those things.  It also has ornate legs and porcelain castors that don’t have a single chip!

DSCN4630DSCN4716This settee is so petite, I thought I would show it to you beside a regular sized dining room chair so you could get an idea just how petite it is.

DSCN4727(Sorry for the poor photography, I was in a bit of a rush to keep the daylight )


So what would you do?  Keep it like this or give it a more simple, less busy fabric?  I’m leaning towards a change but I’m not 100% sure…



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31 thoughts on “Petite Settee | My Upholstery Dilemma

  1. What a beautiful piece of furniture. I would paint the upholstery in a light color. Lately I have had a hard time leaving wood alone but I understand why you would on this piece.


    • Terry says:

      What a great idea! I have always wanted to try painting fabric on a larger scale. This would be a good way to experiment as if it doesn’t turn out, I would be removing the fabric anyways! Thank you! I hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. aschulth says:

    Hello, What a beautiful piece. Sometimes the hardest part of reupholstering is deciding which fabric to choose and to paint or not to paint. I think you should leave the wood as is and reupholster the fabric in a neutral color to really let the ornate wood detail standout. Good luck!


    • Terry says:

      I agree with you! I have such difficulty deciding what to do with it as I would rather only have to do it once! Decisions, decisions! :0) So grateful to have all these awesome suggestions!


  3. Becky says:

    It’s a beautiful piece with very pretty details. If the fabric is not to your taste, I would change it and make it your own. What a nice surprise from your husband too. I hope you’ll post pictures of you changes you decide to do on it.


  4. wlstrj says:

    You’re so good at picking the right upholstery for pieces I think you should change it out. That fabric doesn’t go with too many styles these days.


  5. wlstrj says:

    It is such a great piece, but the fabric competes with the detail of the wood. You do such a nice job with upholstery, I’m sure you can work your magic with this one too!


    • Terry says:

      Thank you for the kind compliment! The busy fabric drowns out the great details of the wood for sure! I think it’s a must to change it.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I hope you have a great day!


  6. Make says:

    I just painted upholstery for the first time in chalk paint and it is BRILLIANT!!! wish I had known about it before, and if you do hate it you can always go for new upholstery afterwards… !


  7. Mary Vitullo says:

    I agree with some of the other comments. I would first attempt to paint the upholstery in a soft blue or creamy/sandy color, maybe even add some faded grain stripes or industrial numbers. I don’t always say this, but I would leave the wood as it is. It’s so gorgeous. See how you like it, and maybe down the road, you can always re-upholster it.


    • Terry says:

      Hello Mary! I think you’re right on the money with this suggestion! I have such an itch to try painting fabric that this sounds like the best option before ripping anything apart! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment, I appreciate your opinion!


      • Quandie says:

        I love Mary’s idea of industrial numbers! I’m assuming stenciled with paint. The juxtaposition between the graceful lines of the wood frame with an industrial-y painted upholstery job would be fab!


      • Terry says:

        I agree! I am so excited to clear my “slate” so I can just enjoy experimenting with it! Thank you for commenting!


  8. E says:

    The fabric fits the style and era of the piece – I would keep it.


    • Terry says:

      I wondered if it did or not… I haven’t seen this style or size of settee before so I don’t know what to even call it. I know it isn’t the original fabric though just from looking closer at it. I do appreciate your opinion and thank you for taking the time to comment!
      Hope you have a great week!


  9. Shelly says:

    Love this piece! I have had this same issue! I had two beautiful chairs that had maroon velvet on them that was in excellent condition. I could not make myself rip the fabric off even though it did not match what I had. I ended up selling them. I wish I would’ve just changed the fabric to make them mine! I say change the fabric! :)


    • Terry says:

      Thank you Shelly! I too have contemplated selling it but I know I would have sellers remorse. There is a need for some sort of change to the fabric though or it will bother me every time I look at it! I appreciate your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to comment!
      Have a great day!


  10. Terry! Be careful painting since it will soak through AND it will be a bit crunchy after although I hear there are products that won’t do that I am skeptical. However! You are always genius with your decisions so…I do see it in a cream and blue mattress ticking though 😬


    • Terry says:

      I have heard that adding a fabric medium to the paint and sanding it between thin coats helps with that? Hmmmmm… good point! This will be a fun experiment. I have heard both good and bad reviews about painting fabric but I guess I will just have to try it to find out:0) Oh, I love the idea of mattress ticking!!!!


  11. WoW! What a cool piece!
    ALL pieces don’t need to be painted- some look better refinished.
    I love the idea of painting the fabric -first-! You DON’t have anything to lose!
    Can’t wait to see how it looks next….


    • Terry says:

      Thank you! I’m getting excited about trying painting now :0) Thank you for popping by today!
      Hope you are feeling better with your finger:0)


  12. repurposingjunkie says:

    I love this settee!! I like that you’re keeping the wood in the original finish. I’m excited about seeing the result on the upholstered part!


  13. maryintheboondocks says:

    I have seen people paint uphostery with chalk paint. You might give that a go if you’re not up to reupholstering it. The woodwork on this piece is so beautiful, I’m so glad you are leaving it alone, and I generally don’t mind if people pain their wood.


  14. […] have to say, Keri from Repurposing Junkie has gone and inspired me to finally paint my little settee!  She painted the fabric on this bench and the results are fabulous!  Now I’m sold on […]


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