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We have a 13 year old aniline (A) leather sofa that is badly faded but in otherwise excellent condition. The leather is still soft and there are no stains or other damage. We'd like to re-stain the leather to a chocolate/coffee bean brown from the current light tan. The original color was more of a "orange rawhide". Two questions - is it normal for furniture leather to fade this badly (the sofa was manufactured by Lane Leather) and is it possible to re-stain this ourselves, or is this a "tear-down" (=new sofa)?

Thanks. I've attached a photo.

It would be cost prohibitive to re-leather the piece, it would be less outlay to simply buy new.   Nor will  you be able to dye it to a dark color.  You can, however, restore the original faded color by sending in a small piece of your original hide to Leather Magic in North Carolina and they will blend you a water-based dye kit you can apply yourself.   It will cost about $ 90, and you will need to apply several coats and dry with a hair dryer in between but it can give a very nice 'like new' appearance.

and Yes, leather can sun-fade.  I'd suggest you take steps to prevent that such as covering you windows in solar film, or putting  a throw over the exposed parts of the piece.

Good luck!

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Duane Collie


I have in-depth knowledge of home furniture, particularly higher quality leather upholstery and American period reproductions. My store specializes in hand-made custom wood furniture and Hancock & Moore upholstery. I do not answer questions on decorating, or paint colors, etc., those will be returned to the question pool.


Owner/operator a retail home furnishings store (The Keeping Room) in Alexandria Virginia since 1978.

National Home Furnishings Association

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B.S Graduate, 1977 Florida State University

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