Here is my chemical-free new sofa!
This post contains affiliate links to products I used. Upon purchase, I earn a small commission through affiliate links at no extra cost to you.
We used maple because it is a hardwood that is non-aromatic (it does not have a strong terpene smell).
The stain we used was Naturhaus Harmonic. The ingredients are: beeswax, carnauba wax, shellac, and a cosmetic emulsifier. It had a very sweet smell for the first two days.
Other options for stains are AFM Safecoat WaterShield or Ecos.
The glue used was Titebond.
The Foam is a piece of 3″ natural latex. This has a natural rubber smell (which doesn’t fade completely with time) but does not give off VOCs at the level of conventional foam, nor does it contain flame retardants. (I no longer recommend natural latex to sleep on and I am not sure if it is suitable for a sofa – here is my warning).
Metal brackets reinforce the frame so that the side piece can be leaned on. The inspiration picture had low sides that would not be as comfy; I didn’t think I’d be able to curl up on that sofa.
The dimensions are 28 in depth (standard sofa depth), height from seat 16 in (fairly standard), length 5 feet (length was made to fit in my tiny house).
The costs were:
Metal Brackets 200
Labour 40 hours
Foam 804 (from a local shop. Much cheaper on Amazon) Fabric 150
The total was around $3500.
This is expensive, even for a chemical-free sofa!
Another option is to buy a sofa from a company that makes non-toxic upholstered furniture. You can get a better price this way.
I have looked into and compared these companies in this post.
Hello! Thanks so much for this post. My question is: where did you source your wood from and what questions did you ask to determine that is wasn’t treated in a toxic way? I know sometimes companies that sell wood apply a fungicide at certain times of the year which is toxic if used for furniture.
Really would like to just make my own furniture (Read: put the bug in my husband’s ear to make some furniture… He did just get a fancy new saw for these types of things…lol.) The non-toxic furniture brands are all so expensive! I’m not complaining at them. I’m sure it’s harder to maintain materials naturally, and of course they are appealing to a niche group of us that care and are sometimes willing to pay more for really awesome quality. So I don’t begrudge them in that. However, it all is set at a price point that I just can’t afford right now. Haha. Really appreciate your blog and your commitment to providing information on attaining a chemical-free household.
This was many years ago. I think I just asked to see a sample of the wood. It was from a local mill.
William Jessie says
Wild Swan says
We used wool batting, minimally processed, with an organic cotton cover and another removable cover, to make a futon. Very comfy. We are careful to air it out every day or at least put it on a rack indoors. With pillows and a throw, it is very civilized as a couch or spare bed. Yes, we have become cheaper with age.
Looks like consumer pressures on lawmakers and manufactures is working a bit. I was happy to see that ikea, elm and other mainstream stores are now carrying fire retardant free sofas. Granted not toxic free but I think it's a good start. If we could only pr source more the industry to force materials used to be non toxic completely for any living furniture and products sigh….
Patrick Warren says
Great specs and ingenuity!