How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Are you tired of the worn out, stained leather on your favorite chair? Reupholstering a leather chair can be intimidating, but with a little patience and knowledge, you can have it look like new in no time.

If your old leather chair is starting to look a little tired, don’t worry – you can give it new life with a simple reupholstery project. All you need is some basic upholstery supplies and a little patience.

How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Reupholstering a leather chair is a great way to give it a new look and feel, and it’s not as difficult as you may think. In this article, we will discuss how to reupholster a leather chair. We will cover everything from removing the old fabric to attaching the new fabric. So, keep reading if you’re ready to give your leather chair a fresh start!

What is Reupholster a Leather Chair?

Reupholstering a leather chair means replacing the old, worn out leather on the chair with new leather. It is often done to give an older piece of furniture a fresh and updated look, but it can also be necessary when the old leather is damaged or stained beyond repair.

What You Will Need

  1. Leather fabric
  2. Upholstery foam
  3. Leather adhesive
  4. Staple gun and staples
  5. Scissors or rotary cutter
  6. Measuring tape
  7. Tack strip (optional)
  8. Leather dye (optional)
  9. Leather conditioner 

With these supplies on hand, you are ready to begin reupholstering your leather chair.

10 Easy Steps on How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Step 1: Remove the Old Leather

Before starting your reupholstery project, remove all cushions and hardware from the chair. Then, use a staple remover or pliers to remove any staples holding the old leather in place. Use caution when removing staples to avoid damaging the chair’s frame.

Remove All Cushions and Hardware From the Chair

Step 2: Cut New Leather

Using your old leather as a template, cut the new leather fabric to fit the chair using scissors or a rotary cutter. It is important to leave about 1-2 inches of excess fabric for stretching and attaching later on. Make sure also to cut out any necessary holes for buttons or tufting.

Step 3: Attach New Leather Fabric

Begin by stretching the fabric over one chair section and using a staple gun to attach it to the frame securely. Continue stretching and stapling the fabric to the rest of the chair, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go. If desired, attach a tack strip along the edges of the chair frame to ensure a secure and smooth attachment of the new leather.

Step 4: Cut Foam

Using your old foam as a template, cut new upholstery foam to fit the seat and back cushions of the chair. Try to make the foam slightly smaller than the cushion to allow for a more comfortable fit. Be careful not to make the foam too small, as it may not provide enough support. Choose foam thickness based on your desired level of cushioning and comfort.

Step 5: Attach Foam

Attach the new foam to the chair using leather adhesive to smooth out any wrinkles or bumps. Allow the adhesive to dry before moving on to the next step. Because leather is a more delicate material, it is important to use an adhesive specifically made for leather.

Attach the New Foam

Step 6: Cut and Attach Cushion Covers

Cut new cushion covers from the same leather fabric used on the chair. Use a zipper or velcro closure to securely attach the covers to the cushions, ensuring no wrinkles or bunching. You can use leather adhesive to secure any loose edges. Reattach any hardware or cushion ties that were removed in step one. Make sure all hardware is securely attached to avoid any accidents or damage.

Step 7: Use Leather Dye and Conditioner

To ensure the longevity of your newly reupholstered leather chair, use a leather dye to touch up any areas that may have been damaged during the reupholstery process. Follow up with a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and prevent cracking over time. Carefully reattach the cushions to the chair, ensuring they are securely in place and do not shift when sitting on them.

Step 8: Take Time to Admire Your Work

Step back and admire the new look of your leather chair! Enjoy the updated style and comfort it brings to your space. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautifully updated leather chair!

Step 9: Keep Maintaining Your Chair

To keep your leather chair in good shape, regularly clean and condition the leather. Avoid placing the chair in direct sunlight or near heating vents to prevent fading and cracking. Make sure to regularly check and tighten any hardware to avoid accidents or damage.

Step 10: Consider Reupholstering Again

Leather can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, but the fabric may eventually need to be reupholstered. Be sure to save any extra fabric or supplies for future reupholstery projects. You now have the skills and knowledge to tackle any leather reupholstery project confidently!

And there you have it- a step by step guide on How to Reupholster Leather Chairs. Reupholstering leather furniture can be a time consuming task, but the end result is worth it for a refreshed and updated look. With proper care and maintenance, your freshly reupholstered chair will last for years to come.

Freshly Reupholstered Chair

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Make sure to choose high quality leather for your new upholstery fabric.
  2. Take extra care when cutting and attaching the new leather fabric to avoid any tears or damage.
  3. Use a leather specific adhesive to ensure secure attachment of the foam and cushion covers.
  4. Touch up any damage with leather dye before conditioning the material.
  5. Save any extra fabric or supplies for future reupholstery projects.

These tips will help make sure your leather chair reupholstery project turns out smoothly and professionally. Happy reupholstering!

5 Precautions You Can Take

  1. Take measurements multiple times to ensure proper fitting of the cushions and cushion covers.
  2. Avoid using any adhesives or dyes not specifically made for leather to prevent damage to the material.
  3. Ensure all hardware is securely attached to avoid accidents or damage.
  4. Place the chair away from direct sunlight or heating vents to prevent fading and cracking.
  5. Regularly clean and condition the leather to maintain its quality and longevity.

Following these precautions will help ensure the success of your leather chair reupholstery project and the long-term durability of the chair.

How Can a Leather Chair Be Reupholstered in Fabric?

First, remove the old upholstery and cushion covers to reupholster a leather chair in fabric. Cut and attach the new fabric to the cushions using a suitable adhesive. Securely attach the new fabric covers to the cushions with closure or adhesive, ensuring no wrinkles or bunching. Reattach any hardware or cushion covers, and enjoy your updated chair!

Additionally, a leather chair can be reupholstered multiple times as long as the material is in good condition and properly maintained. Each reupholstery project may require additional cuts and adhesive, so it is important to use high quality materials and take extra care during the process to ensure the chair’s longevity.

What is the Difference Between Upholstery and Reupholstery?

Upholstery refers to the process of initially covering furniture with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather. Reupholstery is the process of replacing or repairing the existing upholstery on a piece of furniture. Both processes involve cutting and attaching fabric or leather to the cushions and frame of the furniture, but reupholstery may also involve repairing or replacing the padding, springs, and webbing.

Reupholstering can extend the life of furniture and give it a refreshed appearance, while upholstering is typically done when first purchasing or creating a piece of furniture. Both processes require skill and attention to detail to ensure proper fitting and secure attachment of the fabric or leather.

Reupholstering Can Extend the Life of Furniture

Overall, upholstery is typically done before using a piece of furniture, while reupholstery is done to update and refurbish existing furniture. However, some furniture may be able to go through both processes multiple times as long as it is maintained and kept in good condition.


Though it might seem daunting, reupholstering a leather chair is well within the realm of most do-it-yourselfers. You can save a lot of money by completing this project yourself, and you’ll end up with a piece that looks new. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to successfully reupholster your leather chair and give it a fresh, updated look.

Now that you know how to reupholster a leather chair, you can confidently take on this project. With a little time and effort, you can have a brand-new piece of furniture that will last for years to come.

Hopefully, you now feel ready to tackle your own leather chair reupholstery project with confidence. Thanks for reading! We hope you found this article helpful. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping for some new fabric and get started on your next project!

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