Help me reupholster leather desk chair
January 27, 2014 2:45 AM   Subscribe

I have a leather computer desk chair that I got 2 years ago that I really like and they don't sell it anymore, it is very ergonomic. I have tried out other chairs and not found one as good. The leather has torn in several places and I need to reupholster it. I don't want to take it somewhere to be reupholstered becasue a) I don't have the money and B) I would have nothing to sit on while it is in the shop. The thing is I don't know anything about reupholstering , let alone what looks somewhat complicated due to all the panels, in it. I have made a video showing in detail the chair, and the problems with it. I will be very grateful to anyone who can help with with this. This is the video.
posted by john123357 to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
If you bought that chair at office max two years ago, I would take a shot at taking it back. There is no way a "leather" chair should fall apart like that through normal use. I have leather furniture that is 20 years old, has been abused by dogs, cats, and kids and other than being a bit faded, has no rips or tears.

I have a friend who re-upholsters furniture, it takes a lot of skill, knowledge and some specialized tools. Trust me, your end result without those won't look much better than what you have now. And, if this is about comfort and ergonomics and not appearance, duct tape is your friend.
posted by HuronBob at 4:26 AM on January 27, 2014

I would just throw a car seat cover over it. You are not going to be able to reupholster that yourself.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:46 AM on January 27, 2014

I've re-upholstered some furniture (couches, chairs, that kind of thing) but only cloth: leather is something else. If you can't get it professionally done, I'd go with tape and a car seat cover, or --- if you're handy --- a home leather repair kit.
posted by easily confused at 5:35 AM on January 27, 2014

1. That's not leather. It's a very cheap imitation. That's why it's coming apart like that after just 2 years.
2. Just buying leather to reupholster it will probably cost more than you paid for the chair.
3. If you are using "leather" just as a catchphrase for imitation leather, that's fine. In my family we call it "pleather" and I've seen a lot of it over the years. But I would still recommend against making this a DIY job. A chair like that really needs a pro. Sorry.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:28 AM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I didn't watch the whole video (I'm at work) but if you're a bit handy, you could do a decent job covering that with fabric.

There are several bloggers who have done so. Google around a bit, or look on Pinterest.

This is a simple staple gun recovering. No real sewing involved.

This is a more involved removeable, washable slip cover. She painted the plastic/metal parts too.

Whichever method you go with, I'd get some black tape and mend it first. You could also add a few layers of batting to smooth things out. Then I'd shop for some duck cotton, denim, or canvas. Don't be afraid to talk to the staff at a fabric store, they usually know what they're talking about.
posted by fontophilic at 7:10 AM on January 27, 2014

Response by poster: I can cover up the part of the back with a t shirt over it. The bigggest priority for me is repairing the part I sit on. I was thinking of using super glue to repair the tear towards the front and cutting a piece of leather and using contact cement to glue it over the panel under my butt that is very thin and has multiple tears. Would this work?
posted by john123357 at 9:16 PM on January 27, 2014

I mean, maybe it would work, at least temporarily. I'd worry that the whole thing is so thin and prone to ripping that reinforcing one or two spots would just lead to other parts popping loose as a result. You need to use a flexible glue at a minimum, one that will act more like fabric, to avoid ripping other parts. Something like this that also won't eat away at the vinyl like some glues could.

But, it'll probably look somewhat shabby. It might be worth it as a first shot at the problem, and then do a full re-covering as a back up plan.
posted by fontophilic at 5:29 AM on January 29, 2014

Response by poster: Would that glue work if it is real leather?
posted by john123357 at 7:10 PM on February 5, 2014

Gaffa tape.

That is all.
posted by flabdablet at 10:40 PM on February 26, 2014

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