Buying Q&A: Used vs. New?


The Nest Q&A

Should we reupholster furniture from craigslist or just buy new?


“To decide whether to buy or reupholster used furniture depends on the quality of the wood with which they were manufactured,” explains Sergio Tinoco, founder of L.A.’s custom design company Designs by Sergio, which has done upholstering work for hotels and celebrity clients including Jennifer Garth and Noah Wyle ( “If it is an antique good quality piece, it’s better and cheaper to reupholster and refinish the piece, rather than buying a new one.” Generally, it’s also worth reupholstering if you’ve found a unique piece that you won’t find at your local Crate & Barrel. Whether the item is old or mass market new, consider the costs you may face: “Reupholstering a couch would cost about $800 to $1,600, and a chair around $150 to $300,” explains Tinoco, though that doesn’t include the price of fabric. “It does not matter if is a small chair or a big one, because it’s all about work. For example, an antique or carved chair that would be reupholstered would cost more because the upholsterer has to be more careful to not damage the wood frame while he is doing his job.”

-- Amy Spencer

See More: Buying Furniture , Buying Guides