5 Basic Steps On How To Reupholster A Leather Chair Easily

Although leather chairs are built to last a long time, they will show some issues as time goes by. Knowing how to reupholster a leather chair can be a helpful skill when this happens. You first have to strip down your leather chair before putting on new fabric and reinforcing some weak parts of your recliner.

Why buy a whole new chair and spend a fortune when you can reupholster your old one! This may be a time-consuming task. However, we promise you that the process is all worth it when you see the result.

how to reupholster a leather chair

You didn’t just make a better leather chair, but you also learned a valuable skill at the same time. Let’s walk through this article on how to revamp your leather chair and how to maintain it!


What To Know Before Buying A Leather Fabric

One step when reupholstering a leather recliner includes the replacement of the fabric. However, how do you know what makes good leather? For starters, you have to familiarize yourself with different types of leather fabrics in the market.

Full-grain leather has very tight grains that make it the most durable one and our most recommended. Another good fabric that you can use is top-grain leather which is the second to full-grain for quality. The material is thinner that makes it easier to work with.

You also have to consider how well the fabric reacts to moisture. When left in a humid environment for a prolonged time, bacteria and mold may grow on your leather that can cause damage and rot. The next thing you have to keep in mind is the cost of the leather itself without compromising the quality.


5 Steps On Reworking A Leather Chair


Step #1. Remove old upholstery

Before starting your reupholster, remove the old leather. Then, carefully put your chair on a carpet or something that won’t move around easily.

Strip down your chair by taking out the old staples with a flathead screwdriver. Next, rip the parts where the fabric was sewn together using a seam ripper.


Step #2. Make a pattern for new leather

When cutting out new fabric, one pro tip is to get the old one and use it as a guide for proper measurement. Then, put the old leather on top of your new one. You can either trace the outlines, cut them out, or cut the fabric while the old one is still pinned on the new material.


Step #3. Label the seat and the frames

It’s important to label everything on your chair using chalk or sharpie. Doing a reupholstery can be overwhelming, and you may forget some things, especially if this is your first time doing it.

Make sure you won’t leave anything out by marking the important parts of the chair, such as the back and front of the seat, and where you’ll put back the staples.


Step #4. Attach the fabric to the chair

Attach the new fabric first at the back of your chair. Tuck the leather tightly into the frame. Take note that it should not be too tight that it won’t be comfortable to sit in or too loose that it’s all wrinkly.

Next, put it over the front of your recliner and push all sides of the material underneath the seat. Then, staple the leather into the chair.


Step #5. Put a dust jacket

A dust jacket for chairs can be a great accessory to hide the not-so-attractive under parts of your reupholstered recliner. It also protects the insides of your chair from dirt and dust. You can do this by attaching it under the seat and staple it along the sides of the chair.


How To Care For A Leather Chair?

Leather is easy to clean, to begin with. However, you can prolong its life and make it look new every day with the right tools and care routine. According to Forbes, cleaning your leather depends on whether your fabric is unprotected or protected.

Be careful when handling fabrics with no history of protective coating as it is more vulnerable to staining and scratches. A simple distilled water with leather cleaner can do the job. However, if you don’t have any, you can vacuum the chair attached with a soft brush for gentle cleaning.

On the other hand, cleaning protected leather can be quite tricky to do. You have to stay away from products that contain acidic ingredients and ammonia, as they can ruin your leather. Instead, clean it with a microfiber cloth and some mild detergent.



Reupholstery can be beneficial in a lot of ways. First, it gives you the chance to personalize your furniture that sets it apart from other ones in the market. Doing it yourself also gives you that feeling of satisfaction that you can’t easily get from other activities.

Learning how to reupholster a leather chair can help you to get these benefits and more! As long as the frameworks are still intact and not overly damaged, you can do it. Just pay close attention to the steps above and be safe while doing it!

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