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Can You Replace Leather on a Couch?

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The leather on your furniture is going to get older. In some respects, that’s a good thing. Leather can improve with age. Its color can deepen and it will look more sophisticated.

Eventually, the leather that looks darker and richer will start to crack and peel. This is just part of the process. That will leave you with a choice of either to replace the upholstery or get a new couch.

This guide will provide you an idea of whether replacing that aging, cracked leather is a good idea, or whether it’s smarter to repair individual cracks until it’s just time to replace it. We hope you find it useful.

Can You Replace Leather on a Couch?

If you have a couch with cracked, peeling leather and don’t have the money to buy a new one, don’t stress out. There are a couple of ways to replace that leather and it might even be less expensive than buying a new couch.

The first way is to find a professional who you can pay. This might be pricey, but you will get some assurance that the job will get done right.

This might be an especially attractive option if the couch in question is an antique or a family heirloom. In those two instances, it is probably worthwhile to seek out professional help rather than do it yourself.

One other benefit of doing this is that a professional might be able to tell exactly what kind of leather was used for your furniture and get a better match.

The other is that you can try to replace the leather yourself. If you have the skills and a lot of time and patience you can probably pull it off. You’ll also need some tools.

If you go this route, you might still be able to find out what kind of leather to use if you know your couch’s manufacturer. They usually keep records of what kind of leather was used where. This should help you get a better match.

How Much Does it Cost to Reupholster a Leather Sofa?

Before you embark on getting a leather replaced, it’s a good idea to know at what point you no longer want to pay for it. So, it’s a smart idea to get an idea of how much it might cost. You can save yourself time if you figure out that it won’t be worthwhile to spend the money.

The exact amount it will cost to reupholster your leather sofa will depend on its size and what kind of leather was used. There are

Purchasing the leather can cost anywhere from $30-$60 a yard. The grade of leather will determine its basic cost, with higher-quality materials at a higher cost. You can get a simple running estimate for how much materials will cost by multiplying that by how much leather you’ll need for the job.

This is a basic, running estimate for how much it’ll cost if you do the job yourself. If you need to hire a professional, you’ll have labor costs. You can inquire about their hourly rate.

On top of those costs, if you need repairs to the couch frame or have other special needs, those will also cost money.

So, again, it’s smart going in to know what your point of no return is, that dollar amount at which it’s no longer worth the price.

Can You Change a Leather Sofa to Fabric?

Think of a sofa like it’s a person. It has its frame, which is like a body’s skeleton. There is the padding, which is the body’s internal organs. There is the cover, which is the body’s skin.

It doesn’t really matter what the cover is made of, as long as it holds the padding relatively firm and provides a cover. While you can’t swap out the skin of your body, you can do that with a sofa’s cover.

In fact, converting a leather sofa to a fabric one is a good, affordable way to get rid of cracked, peeling leather. It’s also a good way to make a leather sofa fit into a room color scheme where it looks out of place, like a room of bright, cool colors where a sofa’s dark warmth doesn’t fit.

If you have the right tools, you can even do the work yourself. That’ll save you even more money. There are also how-to guides on the Internet if you have confidence in your skills.

Is It Better to Replace or Repair the Leather of a Peeling Couch?

Addressing a peeling leather couch starts as soon as you get it home. The primary cause of peeling leather is allowing it to dry out, so you’ll want to keep the leather moist and supple by regularly softening it.

Eventually, however, it will start to peel and crack. That’s just what happens to leather as it gets older. Whether to repair or replace it will depend on how good a job you’ve done in maintaining the leather.

If you’ve done a good job maintaining it, probably the patch of peeling leather will be pretty small and be around where it is creased from use. In those cases, you probably want to just repair the leather and not give up on all the work you’ve done.

But if the patch is large, maybe the couch gets a lot of direct, sunlight, it might require too much time to repair it. Also, you aren’t likely to repair 100 percent of the damage, and a large patch means a bigger chance of a running problem.


The question of whether to repair or replace the leather of a piece of furniture is a big one. You probably paid a lot for it in the first place and because leather takes on a different appearance over time, it could alter the look of the room it’s in.

There are times when you’ll probably just want to repair cracks and peelings until it comes time to just replace the entire thing, or when you’ll just want to get the furniture reupholstered. We’d advise that you think it through carefully because it’ll cost money either way.

We hope you found value in this guide. If you did, start a conversation in the comments below. Or share it on your social media feeds. You might have a friend who has the same question and you might help that person out.

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