How to Care for Leather Furniture

We both love using leather in our homes because it adds so much warmth and texture to a space. As two gals who gravitate towards neutrals all the time, leather is the perfect way to bring some color to a room. Sitting and reading a book in a leather chair

But for some reason, people are often afraid of using leather in their homes! They’re worried that it will see scratches or get worn quickly. However, leather is incredibly durable and it’s actually a great fit for families with children and pets. Because each piece of leather is different, it’s already perfectly imperfect and any additional scratch or ding will just add to the lived-in look and we both LOVE that!Leather bench at the foot of a bed

We thought it was time to touch base about how all of our leather furniture is holding up months and years after purchasing it. Then, let’s chat about how to care for leather furniture and the things we do on a regular basis to keep our pieces looking good.

How to care for a leather couchFirst, let’s chat about Bridget’s leather sofa. When she first revealed it on the blog, many of you requested a follow-up post on how it was holding up months later. We’re now about 6 months in and it’s looking as good as ever…

Bridget’s Leather Sofa

reviewing sven leather sofa from article honestlyWe decided on the Sven Sofa from Article over 6 months ago but like many of you, shared concerns about how this staple piece in our family room would hold up to daily wear and tear.

an honest review of leather furniture from articleThe family room is where we sit/lay and relax most often and its probably the room we spend the most time in as a family. A leather couch? A new baby? Are we crazy?

It may be surprising for some of you, but I have never had one regret since buying this couch and love it more today than the day it arrived (if that’s even possible). And yes, that’s even after the baby spit-up, the almost daily bottle spills (or drips), Ben scratching at it with his little nails, me laying on it with fresh lotion on my legs, and even my nephew climbing all over it with his shoes on. This bad boy has had its fair share of wear and tear, yet continues to surprise me at how forgiving it is.

sven sofa review 6 months laterDoes it look exactly like it did the day it arrived? No… BUT I actually love that about the Sven. The Sven is perfect for an active household because it ages gracefully (can I say that about a sofa?!).  The cushions are a bit more slouchy and there are a few tiny scratches here and there, but I actually love that because it feels more vintage and “lived in”.

Ironically, my gray couch also has slouchy cushions that bother me, but this slouch is different because it’s leather. It works. The worn leather makes it look more charming and cozy and makes the room feel lived in, yet on-trend.

reviewing the sven sofaWhen this couch does see accidental bottle spills, lotion smears, or some other unexpected “issues”, I typically take care of it with a clean, damp cloth (and not a lot of stress). I also vacuum it when necessary.

The only thing that worries me about this couch is that it lives right in front of a window. To combat this constant sunlight, I use a leather conditioner once in a while… (more details below!).

An Honest review of the Sven SofaOverall, I’m SO, SO happy with my Sven Sofa from Article. Now I see why this particular piece is so popular and honestly, I would make this purchase in a hot second if I had to do it all over again. And I definitely can’t say that about everything in my house so far.

Casey’s Leather Chair & BenchA leather chair in a family room

I had to look at this old blog post and this one to see how long I’ve had our leather chair and leather bench. It’s been over a year for both, and I’m happy to say they’re both still looking good!Family room setup with leather chair

We get a lot of natural light in our condo and I was initially worried about these pieces fading from the sun. Luckily, the color is still that gorgeous cognac and I’m not worried about keeping my blinds open all day long.How to care for a leather bench

While I don’t use the bench all that often (just to put my shoes on in the morning and to hold our pillows at night), I do use the chair all the time!

It’s my favorite spot to sit and put my feet up. When Finn and I are just lounging around and talking, he’ll snag a spot on our couch and I cozy up in the chair. I’m really happy we added a chair there to make the layout more conversational.

How to Care for Leather FurnitureHow to care for leather furniture

So clearly we’re both still loving our leather pieces months and years later. But let’s chat about how to care for leather furniture. Leather does require a little bit of maintenance, and we’re both doing our best to keep our leather furniture looking its best.

Wipe Down with a Cloth – Weeklywipe down leather with a clean cloth weekly

We both dust weekly and when we do, we’ll take a microfiber cloth and wipe down our leather pieces. This prevents dust from accumulating and keeps the surface looking shiny! If there are any noticeable stains, you can wet your damp cloth and wipe them that way (don’t use a chemical cleaner!).

Vacuum Away Crumbs – MonthlyVacuum crumbs from your leather furniture and chairs

About once a month, you can vacuum your leather furniture. I use my new Dyson vacuum for this and it’s a breeze! The cushions come off of the chair and the Sven sofa, so you can really get things clean.

Use a Leather Conditioner – MonthlyOtterwax leather oil to take care of leather

You don’t want your leather to get dry or crack, so leather conditioner is a must. Article recommends using the brand Otter Wax for their pieces so that’s what we each use. Put a small amount of the leather oil onto a clean clothShake the bottle well and put some on a clean microfiber cloth. Then test it out in a small area on your leather (before you do the entire piece!). Wipe on otter wax leather oil

When I first tried it out, I was super nervous because it did make the leather a bit darker. However, this is totally normal and it will dry a-okay! Apply otter wax leather oil to care for leather furnitureHere’s the difference in coloring right when I applied it. Just apply a light coat all over your piece of leather furniture, let it dry, and then buff with another clean cloth. The result will be shiny and well-moisturized leather!How to care for leather furniture

Keep your Leather Lookin’ GoodKeep your leather furniture looking good with these tips


Once you figure out how to care for it, leather just might be your new favorite furniture to use in your home! We are both loving our leather pieces and are excited to see how they weather and age for years to come.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.