Asked on Jun 23, 2019

How to repair a coffee table?



I hv a coffee/dining table with drop leafs which has a kind of leather top, i don't know what it's called but its cracking up everywhere and looking bad, photos include, pl advice. thanks

q how to repair a coffee table
q how to repair a coffee table
7 answers
  • Robyn Garner
    on Jun 23, 2019

    What a great, interesting table! See if you can pry out the leather and then replace it with new. You may need to use something like a stripper to get the glue off, which would make you strip the entire table and restain it. I think it would be worth it for this guy! I've never seen a coffee table with drop leaves before.

    Here are some instructions on removing the leather. You could try using DIF wallpaper remover concentrate with HOT water first before moving on to chemicals to see if that works. It would save you from stripping the table.

  • Janet
    on Jun 23, 2019

    Depending on how deep the "gouge" marks are and the dark staining.... you might have to replace the leather.

    I had a similar side table with the same issues you have. I took it to a professional as it was an antique. He said the leather would have to be replaced. Can we say expensive??

    So long story short, I decided to try to fix it myself... what did I have to lose??

    I sanded until the gouges or divits were gone. I scrubbed it really well with OxiClean detergent. Then I used peroxide on the deep stains.

    For the most part, it worked. So I used a watered down bleach solution on just the dark stains. I used a cotton swab to put the bleach in the exact area. As soon as the stain fades, rinse, rinse and rinse it off immediately. I used a shop vac to get as much moisture out as I could... quickly.

    It was still slightly discolored and some of the leather was now lighter so I did a quick bleach wipe to even the color. After I stained it, you could not see the any flaws.

    I have since sold the table, so I have no photos.

    You can buy a stencil and replace the gold leaf paint.

    *Side note, if this failed, I was going to find leather and try to replace it myself*

    Keep in mind, I did this as a last resort not knowing what I was doing, but it worked.

  • Mona Blake
    on Jun 23, 2019

    Leather is skin and requires lotion just like your does. Have you used lotion on it? Try it!

  • Dee
    on Jun 23, 2019

    What I would do is find a way to take the leather off and replace it because it looks very damaged.

    Vintage desks typically have a leather top or inlay.

    Protect any wood by taping off the wood with painter's tape, along the leather's edge.

    Remove tacks or brads (if any) holding the leather to the desktop.

    Peel a corner of the leather with a putty knife. If it comes away easily and the adhesive is dry and crumbly, it is a water-based adhesive or rubber cement. You should be able to remove the entire top in one piece, slowly and carefully. If the glue is fairly resistant, use lacquer thinner.

    Many fabric stores sell leather, or you can replace the center piece with wood, glass, tiles etc.

  • William
    on Jun 23, 2019

    You could just peel the leather off. Tape off the wood edges and sand the glue off. Replace with fake leather. Cheaper than real leather. Use contact cement to glue new on. Coat the table and the back with contact cement. Wait till the glue is tacky to the touch. Carefully apply the pleather to the top and use a board to glue it down. Once both pieces come in contact they can't be separated. So align them as close as possible. You can cut the pleather slightly larger than the area and use a credit card or something thin and plastic to get it in the groove. Then use a razor blade to trim it. If you can get real leather cheap apply it the same way.

  • Baljeet
    on Jun 24, 2019

    Thank You so much William. I'll surely try this method out. God bless

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