How to Reupholster a Leather Recliner?

Reupholstering a leather recliner is a great way to give your favorite furniture piece an updated look. Not only does it make the chair more visually appealing, but it also increases its longevity by protecting the frame and underlying cushioning from wear and tear. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily reupholster a leather recliner in just a few hours. In this guide, we’ll walk you through each step of the process so that you can bring your beloved chair back to life with ease!

What To Know Before Buying A Leather Fabric

Before beginning the reupholster process, it’s important to understand what kind of leather fabric you should buy and where to get it. There are different types of leather, such as full-grain and top-grain, as well as faux leathers that come in various colors and patterns.

What To Know Before Buying A Leather Fabric

When choosing a fabric for your project, make sure to consider the look and feel you’re after, budget constraints, and how much wear and tear the material will be subject to.

It’s also important to determine whether or not the recliner is fire retardant if you plan on using vinyl or velvet upholstery materials.

Finally, ensure that the fabric you select is thick enough for your needs; thinner materials may stretch over time due to sitting or can be easily torn from sharp edges.

Once you’ve chosen the fabric, it’s time to begin the reupholstering process! The following guide provides detailed instructions on how to successfully reupholster a leather recliner. Good luck! [1]

5 Steps On Reworking A Leather Chair

Remodeling a chair can be a very fun and easy process. You just need to follow the instructions, one of which we pointed out below.

Remove Old Upholstery

To begin reupholstering a leather recliner, remove all of the old upholstery from your chair. Start by removing the screws that hold the fabric in place and carefully pry off any staples or nails. The upholstery will come off in large pieces, so it’s best to work slowly and be cautious not to tear the material as you pull it away from the chair frame.

Make A Pattern For New Leather

Once the old leather is removed, you will need to make a pattern for the new leather. Trace out the shape of the recliner onto paper and mark where the seams should go. Cut out the pattern and use it as a template when cutting out the new leather pieces.

Make A Pattern For New Leather

Make sure your measurements are accurate as this will determine how well your reupholstering project turns out in the end.

Label The Seat And The Frames

Before reupholstering the leather recliner, it’s important to label each of the pieces you’ll be working with. This will help ensure that all parts are easily identifiable and in the right place when you put them back together.

You can use masking tape and a marker to write a code on each piece such as “A1” for the armrest of the left side, “B2” for the back cushion, etc.

Once everything is labeled, take photos of each piece so that it is easier to remember how to assemble them later. [2]

Attach The Fabric To The Chair

Once the leather is removed and the fabric is cut, it’s time to attach the new fabric. It’s a good idea to start with the sides of the chair first. This will make sure that everything lines up nicely when attaching the back panel later.

Begin by pinning one side of your fabric to the frame at each end. Pull the fabric tautly before securing through all layers so that it lies smoothly against the recliner’s frame.

Make sure there aren’t any folds or bubbles in this area as you go along – these can affect how comfortable and stylish your finished product looks.

Next, attach one side of your top panel to the front of your recliner’s frame using pins or staples (depending on your recliner’s construction). Again, make sure the fabric is taut and smooth before securing.

Finally, attach the other side of your top panel to the back of your recliner’s frame in the same way you did for the front. This will be a little trickier as it may require some stretching of your fabric in order to get it to fit just right.

Put A Dust Jacket

A dust jacket, or plastic cover, can help to protect your recliner while you’re working on it. This will keep the leather from getting dirt and dust on it, as well as any spills or messes that may occur during the reupholstery process. Make sure to get a plastic cover that is large enough to fit your recliner comfortably.

If you decide to put a dust jacket on your recliner, be sure to remove it before starting work so that you don’t trap any tools or materials underneath. [3]

Professional Upholstery

The decision whether to go professional or do-it-yourself depends on the difficulty of the task.

Professional Upholstery

Reupholstering a leather recliner may be quite complex, depending on the construction and complexity of the chair. If you are experienced with upholstery projects and have access to the necessary tools and supplies, you can attempt to reupholster your chair yourself.

On the other hand, if you lack any experience or feel overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on such a project, a professional upholstery is strongly recommended.


The next step in reupholstering a leather recliner is choosing the fabric for your project. You should decide upon the type of fabric, color, pattern and texture to best suit your style and room decor. Consider if you want a solid color or patterned fabric, such as floral or stripes.

To ensure durability and longevity, it’s best to choose a heavy-duty upholstery grade of fabric with at least 10 ounces per square yard.

If possible, test how comfortable the material is before buying it. [4]


Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to begin reupholstering your chair.

Before starting, make sure that you know how to take apart your furniture and which pieces of fabric will be used for what.

Start by taking off the existing upholstery, making sure not to rip or damage it as you do so. Next, measure the leather and cut it into pieces according to size and shape.

Once the leather is cut and ready to go, apply adhesive (or whatever type of glue recommended in the instructions) onto one side of each piece. Carefully adhere each piece onto its corresponding part of the recliner frame – from top to bottom – firmly pressing the leather down onto the frame.

Now, it’s time to use staples (or whichever type of fastener specified in the instructions) to secure each piece of upholstery to the frame. Start at one end and work your way along, keeping in mind that you want all seams to look neat and tidy.

Once all of the upholstery is secured onto the frame, you can move on to sewing any decorative details or special trims that may be needed. Use strong thread and take care when stitching these pieces together, as they will bear much of the weight once your recliner is finished.

Finally, replace all screws, bolts, etc., and make sure everything is securely tightened before enjoying your beautiful new leather recliner.

How To Care For A Leather Chair?

How To Care For A Leather Chair

Taking good care of your leather recliner will make it last for years. These tips will help keep your leather chair in great shape:

  • Dust the surface of the leather twice a month using a soft, dry cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals as these can damage the surface of the leather.
  • Before cleaning, test an inconspicuous area on the leather with a cleaner to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the material before you use it on the entire piece.
  • Place a sheet of plastic over areas that receive lots of wear and tear such as armrests and headrests to protect them from dirt and oils that are transferred by hands and clothing.
  • Use a leather conditioner on the chair every six months to keep it soft and supple.

Avoid placing your leather chair in direct sunlight as this can cause fading and discoloration over time. If you must place it near windows, use curtains or blinds to block out the light when not in use.

To prevent deep staining, clean up spills immediately with a paper towel or soft cloth dampened with warm water. Then follow up with a mild soap solution if necessary to remove stubborn stains.

Take extra care when using the recliner mechanism to avoid excess wear on the leather by preventing its sharp edges from coming into contact with the material surface of the chair.

Have your leather chair professionally cleaned and conditioned at least once a year to maintain its original appearance. [5]


Can a leather recliner be reupholstered in fabric?

Yes, a leather recliner can be reupholstered in fabric. It is important to choose a durable and stain-resistant fabric that will stand up to frequent use. Additionally, it is important to make sure the material you are using has enough give for the reclining mechanism to move without damaging the fabric or causing stress on the frame.

Can you reupholster a recliner yourself?

Yes, you can reupholster a recliner yourself. The process for doing so is not complicated but does require some time and patience. To get started, you will need to remove the existing fabric from the chair. This involves taking off all of the staples securing the old fabric to the frame of the recliner. Once all of the staples have been removed, you will be left with the frame and foam of the chair.

Next, measure the areas that need to be covered. Once measurements have been taken, purchase fabric to fit each area. Make sure to buy enough fabric so there is extra material in case of any mistakes or mishaps during reupholstering.

Next, cut the fabric to the appropriate sizes and begin stapling it in place. You will want to make sure that you are stapling evenly across the entire surface so that your reupholstered recliner looks even and professional when finished.

After all of the fabric is attached, you can attach any additional components such as a headrest or arm rests. Once the chair is fully reupholstered, you can enjoy it in your home!

How much does it cost to reupholster a leather recliner chair?

The cost of reupholstering a leather recliner chair can vary depending on the size, materials used, and complexity of the job. On average, however, it costs between $200 to $400 for basic fabric upholstery work. For more complex jobs (i.e., if you are using higher-end fabrics or leathers), you can expect to pay up to $1000 depending on the job.

It’s important to keep in mind that these prices are just estimates and may vary significantly depending on the individual job.

Additionally, some reupholstering jobs require special tools or techniques which can add to the cost of the job.

Can you reupholster over existing leather?

In some cases, you may be able to reupholster over existing leather on your recliner. It depends on the condition of the leather and how much padding is underneath it. If the leather is in good shape and there is enough padding, then you can use a fabric designed specifically for upholstering over leather. You’ll need to cut the fabric a little larger than the leather and adhere it with an upholstery adhesive.

How much fabric is needed to reupholster a recliner

It’s important to start in one corner and work around the recliner, stretching the fabric as you go. You can use a staple gun to secure the fabric along the edges of the recliner, but make sure not to pull too tightly. Once you’re finished, trim any excess fabric and voila – you’ve got a new leather recliner!

If the existing leather is in poor condition or there isn’t enough cushioning beneath it, then it’s best to completely remove the old leather before reupholstering.

This process can be tricky as you’ll need to carefully remove all the staples and the existing leather without damaging the frame. It’s a good idea to use players with a flat head screwdriver attached so you can reach into tight spaces. Once the leather is removed, make sure to clean any residue or dust off of the frame before reupholstering. This will help ensure that your new fabric adheres properly.

What is the best fabric to recover a recliner?

When choosing a fabric to recover your recliner, it is important to choose one that is durable and will stand up to regular use. Leather or faux leather are often the best choices for reupholstering a recliner as they are strong and easy to clean.

If you prefer something more traditional, you could consider fabrics such as cotton, linen, or velvet. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and microfiber are also a great option for reupholstering due to their durability and ease of cleaning.

If you have pets or children, consider choosing a fabric that is resistant to staining and wear-and-tear.

Can you refurbish a leather recliner?

Yes, you can refurbish a leather recliner. The process is relatively straightforward and can be completed in several steps:

  • Remove the old upholstery by removing any staples or nails securing it to the chair frame.
  • Clean the chair’s frame with a damp cloth and let it dry completely before doing anything further.
  • Measure the dimensions of the chair and determine how much new upholstery fabric you will need to purchase to cover it.
  • Select a high-quality leather or faux leather material for your refurbishment project and cut the pieces accordingly.
  • Secure the fabric in place with staples or nails and make sure it is secure before moving on.

Finally, replace any padding as needed to make the recliner comfortable again.

How much fabric is needed to reupholster a recliner?

When it comes to reupholstering a recliner, the amount of fabric required depends on the size of the chair, as well as the type and style of the upholstery. In general, you will need between one and two yards of fabric for a standard recliner.

If your recliner has extra features such as armrests and tufting, you may need up to three yards of fabric.

Keep in mind that when selecting fabric for your project, it is best to choose a heavier weight fabric that will be able to stand up to frequent use.

How much does it cost to cover a recliner chair?

The cost for covering a recliner chair varies greatly depending on the type of fabric used and the amount of labor required. Generally, it will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000. If you have the skills to do the work yourself, you can save money by shopping around for supplies and doing all of the work yourself.

However, if you are not confident in your ability to work with leather or fabric, it is best to hire a professional upholsterer to ensure the job is done correctly.

Can a beginner reupholster a chair?

Yes, a beginner can take on the challenge of reupholstering a chair. However, this is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. Reupholstering requires time and patience as well as attention to detail to ensure that the final product looks professional. Before beginning the project, it is important to understand the tools needed and the basic steps involved in reupholstering a chair.

What is the life expectancy of a leather recliner?

A quality leather recliner is designed to provide many years of comfortable use. The life expectancy of a leather recliner depends on the type and condition of the leather, how often it’s used, and the care that is given to it. On average, you can expect your leather recliner to last between 10-20 years with proper care. Also, regular maintenance such as cleaning and conditioning the leather will help extend its life.

What is the life expectancy of a leather recliner

How long should a leather recliner last?

Leather recliners are known for their longevity and durability, but even the best-made ones don’t last forever. With proper care and maintenance, a good quality leather recliner should last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. To keep your leather recliner looking its best, it’s important to clean it regularly and condition it every few months.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid placing your recliner in direct sunlight as this can cause the leather to fade and crack over time.

If you reupholster your recliner regularly, it can help extend its life significantly.

Reupholstering is an easy process that allows you to change the look of your chair while also replacing any worn or damaged cushions and padding.

Is it cheaper to buy a new chair or reupholster?

When contemplating whether to buy a new chair or reupholster your leather recliner, it’s important to consider the costs of both options. Upholstering can cost anywhere from $175-$1,000 depending on the type of fabric used and the complexity of the job. Buying a new chair can range from $100-$1,500 depending on quality and style.

If you want to save money and keep your beloved recliner chair, reupholstering may be the way to go.

But if it’s time for a change of style or if your leather recliner is in too poor condition to repair, buying a new chair might be the best option.

Useful Video: How to Reupholster Recliner Sofa?


Congratulations! You have successfully completed the process of how to reupholster a leather recliner. By following these steps, you are now armed with the knowledge and skills required to complete this task yourself. Reupholstering is a great way to give your furniture a fresh start.

Whether it’s an old recliner or something else, you’ll be ready to tackle the job!

If your furniture is still in good condition but just needs a bit of sprucing up, consider using leather conditioner. This can help restore the cushions and make them look as good as new. Additionally, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this project yourself, there are professionals that specialize in furniture upholstery.