How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Reupholstering a leather chair is a great way to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. Whether you have a worn-out armchair or a dated dining chair, reupholstering can transform it into a stylish and comfortable seating option. Plus, it allows you to unleash your creativity by choosing the perfect fabric to suit your taste and décor. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to reupholster a leather chair. From choosing the right materials to removing the old upholstery and attaching the new fabric, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

8 Simple Steps for How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Here are eight simple steps to help you reupholster a leather chair:

Step 1: Assessing Your Chair

Before you dive into the re-upholstering process, closely examine your chair to assess its condition and determine if it is suitable for reupholstering. Inspect the frame for any structural damage and ensure it is sturdy enough to support the new upholstery. Consider the shape and style of the chair as well, as some designs may be more challenging to upholster than others.

Step 2: Gathering the Materials

To reupholster your leather chair, you’ll need a few essential materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Leather or fabric of your choice
  2. Upholstery tools (staple remover, pliers, hammer)
  3. Scissors and/or rotary cutter
  4. Upholstery foam (if necessary)
  5. Batting or padding
  6. Upholstery thread and needles
  7. Staple gun and staples
  8. Adhesive glue (if needed)
  9. Trim or decorative elements (optional)

Make sure to choose high-quality materials that are suitable for upholstery to ensure a professional-looking result.

Choose High-quality Materials

Step 3: Removing the Old Upholstery

Begin the re-upholstering process by removing the old upholstery from your chair. Carefully remove any staples or tacks using a staple remover, pliers, or a flathead screwdriver. Take your time to avoid damaging the fabric, as you’ll use it as a template for cutting the new fabric.

Step 4: Preparing the Chair for Reupholstering

Once the old upholstery is removed, inspect the chair for any loose or damaged springs, webbing, or padding. Repair or replace any damaged components to ensure a comfortable seat. Clean the frame of the chair and make any necessary repairs, such as tightening screws or gluing loose joints.

Step 5: Cutting and Preparing the New Fabric

Now it’s time to prepare the new fabric for your chair. Lay the old fabric pieces on top of the new fabric and use them as a guide for cutting the new pieces. Leave a few inches of extra fabric on all sides to ensure a proper fit. If your chair requires additional padding or foam, cut and shape it according to the chair’s contours.

Step 6: Attaching the New Fabric

Start by attaching the new fabric to the backrest of the chair. Pull the fabric taut and secure it in place using a staple gun. Work your way around the chair, pulling the fabric tightly and stapling it along the edges. Be sure to fold and tuck the fabric neatly around corners and curves for a professional finish.

Step 7: Adding Finishing Touches

Once the new fabric is securely attached, you can add any finishing touches to enhance the appearance of your chair. This may include adding decorative trim, buttons, or nailhead trim for a polished look. Take your time with these details to achieve the desired aesthetic.

New Fabric is Securely Attached

Step 8: Cleaning and Maintenance

After completing the re-upholstering process, give your chair a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt or debris. Depending on the type of fabric or leather used, follow the appropriate cleaning instructions to ensure the longevity of your newly upholstered chair. Regular maintenance, such as vacuuming and spot cleaning, will help keep your chair looking its best for years to come.

You Can Check It Out to Reupholster a Chair Seat With Rounded Corners.

FAQs About How to Reupholster a Leather Chair

Is It Expensive to Reupholster a Leather Chair?

Reupholstering a leather chair can be quite expensive. The cost typically ranges from $350 to $400 per hide. On average, the cost can be around $800 to $2,000. The price depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the chair, as well as the type of material used. Leather upholstery tends to be more expensive compared to other options, but it is also durable and long-lasting. It is recommended to hire a professional for the job rather than attempting a DIY project.

Can I Put Fabric Over Leather Chair?

Yes, you can put fabric over a leather chair. However, it is important to note that working with leather can be more difficult compared to other fabrics because it is thicker and harder to manipulate. If the old fabric is in good shape, is nice and tight, and provides a smooth surface to the new fabric, you may be able to upholster right over it. Keep in mind that leather upholstery is more expensive but also durable. It is recommended to hire a professional for the job, as they have the necessary expertise and tools to ensure a successful and long-lasting result.

Can Leather Dining Chairs Be Reupholstered?

Yes, leather dining chairs can be reupholstered. Reupholstering a leather dining chair involves removing the existing upholstery and replacing it with new leather fabric. However, it is important to note that reupholstering a leather chair can be more challenging than working with other fabrics due to the thickness and difficulty in manipulating leather. It is recommended to hire a professional for the job to ensure a successful and long-lasting result. Reupholstering a leather chair can be quite expensive, with costs ranging from $350 to $400 per hide and an average cost of $800 to $2,000.


Reupholstering a leather chair is a rewarding DIY project that can transform your furniture and give it a new lease on life. By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can confidently tackle the reupholstering process and create a beautiful and customized chair. Remember to take your time, choose high-quality materials, and add your personal touch to make your chair truly unique. Enjoy the process and enjoy your newly upholstered chair for years to come! Now that you have the knowledge and guidance to reupholster a leather chair, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Get creative, have fun, and give your old chair a fresh new look!

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