Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Leather Couch Make-Over DIY

Leather Couch Makeover

Don't Throw Away Your Old Leather Couch

This DIY makeover will astound you.

UPDATE Dec. 12, 2015

One year later, my sofa is still looking like new.  I didn't use any sealant, it hasn't rubbed off, and there hasn't been a downside.  This really is the best $10 investment I have ever made!

And It's Easy!

It sounds to good to be true, but it really works.
Once you are finished it is as good as new.
The stain does not rub off at all!

I got a new couch for Christmas.  My sectional had been a good piece of furniture but over the years it had been through the ringer and it was time for it to be retired.  A couch can only take so much abuse.  We picked up a new sofa and brought it home, thinking we would retire our sectional to the unfinished basement until we could find a place to throw it out.  The only problem was, we couldn't fit it down the narrow stairs.  Now we were left with a dilemma.  We didn't have room for two sets of furniture on the main floor so the formal living room furniture had to me moved to the basement to make room for the worn out sectional until I could get it hauled away. 

The next morning I was looking at the sectional and all the trouble it had.

The leather had been worn down so much it was white in places

When the pieces were not attached it really looked bad.
I hate looking at hardware and torn stuffing.

This part has a recliner, but even it was worn and shabby looking.

There were tears all over the place

This piece was really torn.
I had stitched the arm up previously but it still showed the wear.

One day I decided to try something to make this sectional not look like such an eye sore until I could find a truck to haul it away.

I threw down some cardboard on the floor and got the can of stain I have been staining everything around my house.  It was a Kona color which I love.  I only had about a quarter of a can left, but I figured I might as well give it a try.  If it didn't work it was leftover stain anyway so no loss.

I rubbed the stain on one section of the sofa. 

My $8 can of stain had already done so much for me but why not see if I could stretch it a little bit more.

When I came back into the room a few hours later I realized I loved how it looked.  I let it dry completely for 3 days then I tested it out.  I sat on the couch with a white t-shirt on.  Absolutely nothing rubbed off.  Not even a little bit.

This is when I figured out I was on to something big!

Kona Rust-Oleum Wood Stain
On Leather Works Great!
Apply with an old rag you don't mind throwing away.
Don't forget to wear gloves. Cheap flimsy ones are not recommended.
I found out the hard way. They tear too easy.

I couldn't wait to finish up the entire sectional.
It looks very shiny as if it would stick to your skin.
But it feels exactly like any leather furniture.
Nothing rubs off after it is completely dry.

I stitched all the stuffing back into the arm and stained right over it.

I am amazed at how nice it looks.

It did need two coats of stain before it had the desired look.

I stained right over all the hardware and handles so everything matches

I even stained the metal brackets that hold the sectional together when it is in one piece. Now they don't even show up.

Once the leather dries if feels just like it did before.

I can see no downside to staining leather

I did end up needing to buy another can of stain because the leather soaks up the stain more than wood does, but if I had started with a new can from the beginning I could have done the entire sectional and still had some left over.
Not bad for under $10 bucks.

I love the furniture now!
It is no longer on its way to the dump.

What a great way to Up-Cycle!


  1. Did you have to coat it with anything to seal it?

  2. No, I didn't coat it with anything, just the can of wood stain. It really works. One year later and it still looks as good as new!

  3. This is an easy and cheap way to transform your bruised leather sofa. Stiff cracks or chafed areas are particularly absorbent but once the material has dried the staining provides a completely even and natural looking result. This clever trick also provides the leather with an intense shine, comparable to that of a brand new sofa.

    Peter @ Colourlock

  4. Thanks Amy Hackleman, you showed great inventiveness. I've been wondering what kind of stain to use to revive various pieces of leather furniture and my Chuck Taylors. Hoping the Rustoleum will be available here in Tasmania. xo

  5. I was wondering if your sofas felt sticky after you finished staining them. I just did mine about 8 hours ago and they still feel weird , sticky , when I try to check if they dried it felt sticky . I did exactly as you mentioned in the blog . They do look amazing just sticky , how long did it take your sofas to dry ? Thanks

  6. I'd just like to know if this is an oil based or water based stain?