Repairing and Refurbishing Leather Furniture

I know the trend in blogland is slip-covered, fabric furniture, but, leather kind of rules the roost at my house.

It’s hard to deny the practicality of leather furniture with children and pets.  In addition, my husband totally and completely loves leather.  It will always be a staple at our house.

We bought high-quality furniture leather but after 11 years of solid use, it was wearing out.  So, last year when it came time to buy something new we had to decide what was going to stay and what was going to go.
 I was very tired of wall-to-wall leather and was begging for some fabric furniture!

I bought three new, fabric chairs and I absolutely love them!

But, we didn’t buy a new leather couch.  If you look closely, you’ll notice our couch only looks new.

Here’s what it used to look like:

Here it is now:

This “after” picture was taken today…almost an entire year after getting the couch refurbished.  It still looks great!

You’ll notice in the “before” picture that the pillows were sagging, the leather was dry and worn and the couch had a few stains on the seat cushions.  Oh, and there was also a tear on one of the arms.

There was a dark spot where my husband tried to do some of his own repairs — it didn’t look so good!

But, it was an expensive couch and the cost to replace it was going to eat up a large part of my furniture budget.  Was there any way we could save it?

I had seen ads boasting the ability to repair leather furniture, but when I made a few calls to some of these vendors, they weren’t sure they could repair the tear.

Then, I called a local and reputable leather furniture store and asked them if they knew if the couch could be fixed up.  They gave me the name of a guy who does all their repair work.

When he came to our house, he reminded my husband of this guy:


Remember this scene from “Toy Story” when Woody gets all fixed up?

The furniture guy came to our house with his suitcases and bags and he cleaned, sprayed, fluffed and sewed until our couch looked like brand new!

Even the tear was gone!  There is just a little “scar” now where the tear was.  You have to know it was there to notice it.

We are so happy with how our couch turned out!

You’re probably wondering how much it cost to have our couch all fixed up.  First, I should tell you that the couch cost around $2100 dollars brand new when we bought it 11 years ago.  When we looked at brand new leather couches we would easily pay $2500-3500 for similar quality.

So, that said, we paid a little less than $800 to get it completely refurbished.  However, we did have the option to pay less if we decided not to do everything that could be done.  We opted to go for the full renovation because we decided that we would keep it for at least another 5 years.  He told us that with our level of wear-and-tear and the grade of our leather that we could expect to get at least another five to 10 years of life out of it.

Here’s what he did:

  • Thoroughly cleaned the leather
  • Repaired the tear
  • Added new filling to the back cushions
  • Added new cushions and filler to the seat cushions
  • Refinished the leather and added new color to give it a brand new appearance
We are very happy with the results and the price that we paid for the repairs.  It definitely bought us a few more years with our leather couch!
**If you are looking for a leather professional to repair your couch, I would recommend going through a high-end leather furniture store to find out who they recommend.  High end stores can recommend someone who can repair different types of leather.
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24 Responses to Repairing and Refurbishing Leather Furniture

  1. Stacey says:

    That is very good to know! It does look great now…I’ll definitely have to remember this. We have leather chairs in more than one room. 🙂

  2. Hmm.. That is valuable info . Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Gee

  3. Hi Julie, Since your post about Wisteria, I’m guessing you live close to the DFW area. I, too, have several pieces of leather furniture that could use refurbishment from someone who does quality work. I would love to get the name of the person you used if possible. Your furniture looks great! Diana

  4. Jenny Piirto says:

    You’ve got too many great ideas and now I have to follow you! I LOVE your living room, with this trend in light/white furniture, leather can really make a room appear heavy. You done a fabulous job of balancing it out with color and fabric furnishings. I want to come sit on that couch and watch a movie. Found you via hometalk, and I’m in love! cutest little social network buttons over there on the left too.

  5. fahim ali says:

    You share nice information how to protect your leather mattress.
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  6. April Hoff says:

    Looks great, Julie! Just enough, but not too much! 🙂 Very cute!

  7. Looks great! Don’t you just love knowing that you saved so much money and you got another life out of your couch?! $800 was totally worth it! My mom had a set of leather chairs that looked really pitiful and she refurbished them with paint that was made for leather and now they look like brand new chairs

  8. The couch looks wonderful, love the way the fabric furniture looks with the leather, too much leather in a room, just looks like no one cared and just bought all leather cause it was a set, you know the look…this looks great

  9. The couch looks wonderful, love the way the fabric furniture looks with the leather, too much leather in a room, just looks like no one cared and just bought all leather cause it was a set, you know the look…this looks great

  10. That couch does look like new. We have a leather couch and I love it. It has seen better days though, its 12 years old and getting dry like yours was. We just might go the refurbish route now that I’ve seen some positive results. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I feel your pain about the leather. My hubby loves it too. I just tell myself that it is very “Pottery Barn” and go on. 😉 Seriously….yours looks great. I also have consoled myself with a pretty fabric chair! 🙂

  12. Classifides says:

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  13. It looks fabulous, amazing restoration. Your new chairs are gorgeous too. Hugs, Marty

  14. Aimee Buss says:

    We have leather furniture at our house too…so glad to know there is a way to fix it up!!

    Aimee @TheVintageEstate

  15. we3ernes says:

    I was wondering if you would mind sharing where you got your couch in the first place. We are looking a replacing our rather worn fabric couch with a new leather one, but we’ve seen so many folks who have invested a ton of money in a “quality” couch only to be disappointed within the year.

    • We bought it at a store that is no longer in business (The Leather Center in Dallas/Ft. Worth). However, I believe the former owner now owns The Luxury of Leather also found here in DFW. They are the people who recommended the leather guy that came to our home and fixed up the couch. If you’re not in this area, I would research leather furniture makers to find out who has the best reputation. Good luck!

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  18. malik aayan says:

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  19. Pamela Dikeman says:

    I’m curious as to why you didn’t list the leather refurbishers name and contact information.. these people often have contacts for qualified people in other areas through professional networks etc. Just calling him the guy is no help to those of us in the market for just such a person!

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hi Pamela,
      I’m happy to provide that info for you. I didn’t list his name and contact information because this wasn’t intended to be an advertisement for him, but more of an informational piece that this is even possible. Before I did my research, I wasn’t aware that my couch could be completely refinished. I found my leather refinisher through a local leather furniture store.
      Here’s his info: Armando, 214-212-4419 He is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
      Hope that helps!

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