Leather On Top FAQs
Common Questions Regarding Desktop Leathers
Desktop Leather FAQs
How to Prepare and Install Leather on Top?
Preparation & Installation Instructions1. Preparation or the removal of the old Desk Top is the most time consuming part of the restoration. Fortunately this desk still has the original top in place.
Both the leather border and the linen top were bonded to the wood with a form of wheat paste or water based adhesive.
Removal of the old surface requires patience and a steady hand. This top is removed with a scraper... making sure the wood is not damaged.
Use a mixture of 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water in a spray bottle to help lift the top up from the wood.
Use the same water/vinegar mixture and spray the surface... while at the same time scrape the wood to remove the fibres etc from the surface.
Before applying the adhesive, fit the new leather in place to make sure the sizing is correct. The leather should be a fraction smaller than the indent.
A black felt marker is applied around the edge of the indent. Also wood filler is used to smooth the surface. One final sandpapering should make the surface ready for application of the paste.
Spray water only on the back of the leather. This will allow the leather to be a little more stretchy or pliable.
Use Wallpaper Paste as the adhesive. Apply 2 coats to the wood only. After the first coat is dry (min 1 hour) apply the next coat and while is is still wet align the leather to the corners and edges. Roll the leather out, pushing it to either side with your hands as you go. Avoid excessive force and be sure to push out all air bubbles. Butt the leather against the edge of the wood. If the leather needs to be trimmed, lift it and insert a piece of cardboard underneath. Then use a straight edge and razor knife to remove the excess.
Wallpaper paste is the best adhesive to use because it provides plenty of working time, doesn't lump and unlike most other adhesives is easy to clean up or remove with warm water.Finally run your hands over the leather feeling for air bubbles. Push them out to the edge. The water in the paste will dissipate overnight (12 hours).
What people are saying about us...
"Wanted to share to pictures of the desk we just completed with the leather we received from you yesterday. This is the one I fouled up the first time. Thanks for your counseling. It’s so simple when following your directions. Feel free to use any of the attached pics you find useful. I will share some tips I have found useful recently; I am now using the border paste (as you suggest) and now using the container with the roller attached. I used to brush it on but the roller allows faster and more uniformed application. I am also using a small artist brush and touching up the edge with an aniline stain which makes a nice finished edge on both the wood and the leather if any light color shows on either. Both cars did very well at the show."
Ed M - Caledon Trim Shop
"Fine work as I worried all week-end although I shouldn’t have as I knew you could talk me through my installation issue. Went down fine and I will try the iron process we discussed before we deliver it. Thanks again for your fine work."
Steve Coup - Coup Restorations
"Beautiful Gold Embossed Leather Top! They did a wonderful job on this and the customer was delighted with the completed project. Thanks DCT for the first class product."
John G - Antiques And All Furniture Restorations
"I’m going to take these pictures and your sample brochure to our local leather upholsterer to let them know what we can do for them or their customers with leather top desks. When I originally got this job I called them to ask if they could care for the installation of the leather top and they said they didn’t do leather desk tops..it was too hard. So maybe I can change that by offering to do it for them."
Boyd L - Furniture Medic
"Winner! Here are some photos of The Rusticator owned by John Allen at The Clayton Show. Your leather, my work. The Rusticator won here, then national, then international! Wooden Boat Specialties was the shop that rebuilt her."
Jeff B - Brooks Canvas
"Leather worked perfectly. Thought you might enjoy seeing the kidney desk we just completed. The leather worked perfectly. Not the color I would have selected with the wood but our customer was very pleased and the leather worked perfectly. Thanks for your good work!"
Steve C - Coup Restorations
"Another successful leather installed. Just wanted to drop you a note, another successful desk leather installed – 10 years apart. The first time I bought leather for from you was in August 2001. Large butterscotch piece, 3'x4' for a walnut partners desk. I use this desk EVERY DAY, and the leather is like new. There’s been no trouble at all with it coming up at the edges either. That was my first time installing desk leather, follow the instructions you gave, and it was simple and obviously has held up great, even with the large size. The new leather just done was a simple job on a small English writing desk that I just had refinished. The black leather really accentuates the the grain. Again, couldn’t be happier."
"Nice Work. Enclosed please find 2 pictures of the finished table. Thank you again for your nice work!"
"On target! Attached are pictures of the desk that was designed and built by Fawn Meadow Wood Crafters Inc. with your leather. You were on target when you told me the leather would be the easiest part of the job. It was perfect and mounting it was easy. Thank you for your guidance."