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Decorating & Furniture/Dying a leather chair


Hi JoAnne,
I live in a small town on the Oregon coast. Someone gave me a white leather recliner which has some stains. I would rather it was black anyway...Do you know if it would be possible to dye it black? If so how? Thanks

Dying your leather is certainly possible.  There are a number of leather dye products out there to use and also I have heard people having success with the fabric dyes like Rit. The first thing you must determine is if your leather has some type of glaze on it that will prevent the dye from permeating the leather. Flip the chair upside down to see if you can cut away some leather on the underside to practice on.  

I saw a number of sites with leather dye available.  Try for one. Clean the leather first with a leather deglazer to remove oils.  Now dampen the leather so it is all evenly moist before you apply the dye.  When applying the dye, put it on long sweeping strokes trying to stay even.  Kind of like applying self tanner on your legs.  You could use a foam brush to apply it.  You may need to apply multiple coats to get the color or depth of color you want.  Drying time between coats will be 1-2 hours.  

After you are done you will want to buff the chair to remove residue and then spray with a leather protectant.  Do keep in mind that leather may have a stiffer feel with the new dye until it gets broken into the surface.  

Don't forget to practice on your scrap pieces first.  Happy Decorating, JoAnne Lenart-Weary "The Queen of Decorating"  

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JoAnne Lenart-Weary


I can answer anything that is decorating related. Wall and window treatments, color, furniture, placement, where to begin with a decorating plan, etc.


Almost 30 years as an interior decorator and 4 years of teaching professional workshops to other interior decorators/designers and interior redesigners. Board member for IRIS www.weredesign, founder of ODDAA (One Day Decorating Alumni Association) Weekly guest for ABC affiliate in Erie, Pa. Have also been on HGTV


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