3 Easy Ways to Fix Peeling Office Chair

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: March 9, 2022

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How to Fix Peeling Office Chair

Spending another $400 or more to grab a fantastic office chair is a bummer. Often, the fabric tends to peel even when the padding and frame are still in excellent condition.

Luckily, fixing your peeling chair isn’t challenging. Some fixes may take quite some time, yet others are ready in a couple of minutes.

Check out how to fix peeling office chair in quick and budget methods.

Your leather chair is peeling because of frequent usage, low-quality construction, or harsh cleaners. Fortunately, you fix peeling faux leather by painting and sealing damaged sections. Also, you repair a peeling vinyl chair by applying a slipcover.

Why is My Leather Chair Peeling?

Your leather chair is peeling because the polish or sealer on the surface cracks more often than the leather itself. Even so, under normal conditions and proper care, excellent leather doesn’t peel easily.

Genuine leather comes from animal skin and, as such, requires regular maintenance and moisturization to avoid cracking and peeling.

Incorrect leather cleaning products, like solvents or chemicals, can cause leather peeling. Also, baby wipes can damage leather since their chemicals disintegrate and rub off the topcoat. So, while good for babies, they aren’t safe for leather.

Poor leather, particularly bonded leather, is more prone to cracking and peeling. Bonded leather, a cheaper option than premium leather, is typically applied in upholstery. It features recycled leather scraps adhered to a PU (polyurethane) overlay.

Because bonded leather isn’t as elastic as genuine leather, its synthetic PU layer quickly tears away off the leather pieces.

Nonetheless, fake leather peels away more easily than real leather. Why? Because it isn’t genuine leather and features synthetics like PVC and PU, it lacks durability and can split and flake within a few months.

How to Fix Peeling Office Chair

There are two quick fixes to peeling office chairs based on the simplicity and budget required. These fixes work whether you have vinyl or leather chairs.

Step 1: By Painting

  • Grab some leather/vinyl paint coinciding with your chair’s color. Get the paint sizes based on the area needing repair. But, eight ounces is ample to cover your entire seat.
  • If you can’t get the paint you need, you can grab two colors and mix to achieve closer consistency. If your chair is, say, dark brown, place brown painting and keep adding small amounts of black till you attain the color you need.
  • If you are mixing colors, be sure to make more than needed. This way, you won’t have to mix again should you run out of paint and hope that the color remains the same.
  • When working with plastic leather, you’ll notice that the fabric backing underneath the leather tends to absorb the paint quickly as you work.
  • Paint over the affected areas and leave for about half an hour for the first coat to set. You can use your heating tool or a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. Be careful, though not to damage the leather. 
  • Next, apply the second coat. Be more heavy-handed as you want the peeled areas to be level with the non-peeled ones.
  • Allow the second coat to dry. It may, however, take lightly more time since it’s thicker than the first coat.
  • Continue adding thicker coats, especially in areas with inadequate coverage, until you level out the repair area with the non-peeled sections. You may need to apply around five layers.
  • More likely, you’ll still have plenty of leftover paint. So cover your entire chair to get even coloring throughout.

Step 2: Sealing

Lastly, seal your leather paint. There are semi-gloss, matte, and glossy finishes, so choose depending on how shiny you want your chair.

  • Layer the sealer over the painted areas.
  • You can apply several coats if you have enough sealant to improve the coating’s effectiveness.
  • If you overapply the sealant, it may drip. Go over those marks with your brush.

Step 3: Slip Covering

As with the paint fix, slip covering works with all kinds of peeling chairs.

Zippered and elasticized desk chair covers are available in a variety of colors. These covers fit certain office chairs, so check your chair’s design before getting one.

While they won’t offer the cleaning simplicity of painted chairs, you can hand-clean most seat covers. You may also use a cleaning machine if you have one.

Workplace chair coverings are a low-cost way to protect desk chairs from damage. Since they come in many colors, these covers change the aesthetic of your workspace. Desk chair covers also come in monotone styles. Besides the peeling, they also hide other blemishes.

You’ll get them in seat-only versions while some cover the backrest too.

Further reading:

How To Fix A Tear In A Leather Recliner
How to Repair Vinyl Office Chair Armrest


Can You Repair Peeling Leather?

You can repair peeling leather by repainting. To do this, pick a leather paint matching your color and layer over affected regions till satisfactory. Then, seal up the leather for a long-lasting finish.

Slip covering is a second alternative, and you can get it done in a short while. Choose designs and colors that suit your chair and space.

How Do You Fix Worn Arms on a Leather Chair?

You fix worn arms on a leather chair using leather fillers or patching up the damaged areas. Moreover, you may paint the affected area with a matching hue or drape a cover over the arms.

How Do You Adhere Leather to Leather?

You adhere leather to leather using leather glue. Covering damaged seat and backrest sections is tricky, considering the shapes and size. However, you can repair small areas like office chair armrests through patching.


Indeed, the ways on how to fix peeling office chair are simple to try out. Not to mention, you can fix your chair for less than $25. While painting may seem tedious at first, you don’t have to strain as you do with covers during cleaning.

To maintain the upholstery moisturized, use a suitable cleanser and conditioner often. Keep an eye on the surrounding humidity, as too low increases drying, leading to cracks.