How to Repair a Tear In An Office Chair

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Updated February 13, 2023

Although genuine leather has been known to last upwards of 20 years with a regular care schedule, the occasional blow can cause it to tear. These days, the best way to repair a torn office chair is with a leather repair/touch-up kit, which comes with various shades to match your leather’s color. It includes a set of instructions, alcohol cleaner, base color, mixing cup, sponge, patches, and other odds and ends to have your favorite office chair looking like new again.


  • Fixing a torn officer chair should take no more than 30 minutes using a leather repair kit.
  • Repairing a torn office chair involves a wipe-down, sanding (if needed), inserting a sub-patch, and filling out the area with filler and colorant.
  • When treated regularly, leather can last 20 years or more.

Repairing a Torn Office Chair

It is first important that you know the material of your office chair. While you are at it, you may be curious about what the best material for a gaming chair is. This can be important in the future as the process of how to repair a mesh back office chair will be different from a leather chair. No matter the material, if the tear is on the backrest, you will need to know how to take the back off the chair. Here are steps you can take to repair a torn/scuffed office chair. However, if the chair is beyond repair, you can check out our AmazonBasics upholstered, low-back, adjustable, swivel office desk chair review for a new one.

STEP 1 Wipe Down

The first step is to wipe the affected area with an alcohol cleaner. Pour a small amount of alcohol cleaner and wipe the leather’s surface to get rid of any stray debris.

STEP 2 Sand Any Scuffs

If your leather is more scuffed than torn, 1200-grit sandpaper to smoothen it out. Apply a good amount of pressure, wiping the surface occasionally with your finger to check how smooth it is. Apply quick left and right motion, rather than a circular motion.

STEP 3 Trim the Area

Be sure to use a pair of scissors to trim all of the excess flaking and worn edges off of the tear.

STEP 4 Insert and Secure Sub-Patch

Using a pair of tweezers, insert the sub patch behind the tear and apply glue to the leather’s underside. Be sure the glue is stuck between the leather and the cloth by pressing the leather down onto the cloth for up to two minutes. This allows for a nice stick.

STEP 5 Add Filler

Add filler to the tear. The filler works to lever the affected area back with the leather. Apply one layer, let it dry, and add another layer before smoothening it all off with a putty knife. You can also replace your office chair cushions if you want to complete that new shiny look.

STEP 6 Apply Colorant and Finish

Apply color using a sponge (as many coats as needed) before applying a leather finish. Be sure the colorant is fully dried before applying the finish. It can take up to 10 coats of finish for it to appear identically to the rest of the leather.


How do you fix a ripped chair?

Fixing a ripped chair involves a delicate process of wiping down /trimming the affected area, inserting and securing a sub-patch, and applying filler, colorant, and finish to level out the scuff and tear with the rest of the leather. This process should take no more than 30 minutes.

Can office chairs be reupholstered?

Yes, office chairs can definitely be upholstered. Many people may choose to upholster to replace the worn-out or broken fabric with a new touch.

Why is my leather chair peeling?

There are many reasons why your leather chair could be peeling. Some reasons include excess exposure to sunlight, which can dry it out and cause it to crack and peel over time. Be sure to use leather conditioning products regularly for a thorough clean and to restore shine.

STAT: While many faux types of leather are attractive because they are easy to clean with harsh chemicals, the laminated surface often cracks after only a few years of use. Genuine leather, on the other hand, has been known to last for 10 to 20 years or longer (source)

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