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leather inlay coffee table Answered

i have a wood coffee table with a leather inlay in the top.  how do i clean it and/or polish it without damaging the leather?



8 years ago

Sometimes we have a tendency to overthink things. Really, there is no trick to caring for leather inlaid furniture. Care for the leather as you would any similar piece of leather and care for the wood as any fine piece of wooden furniture.

If the leather is dirty or stained, clean it with a high quality saddle soap per the manufacturer's instructions.  Then use a good quality shoe polish, I prefer a clear, creme formula, but regular old Kiwi polish will do just fine. Apply the polish with a soft bristle brush or a clean rag and then buff. Repeat several times if needed.   Clean and polish the wood with lemon oil, taking care not to get the oil on the leather.

I have two very old pieces that have been cared for this way and they still look beautiful.

All these solutions sound good, but my question is the sealer over the leather. It looks like they put some kind of sealed finish over the entire piece. So I can't actually get to the leather.

I have 50+ year old furniture that is what looks like cherry and has leather inlay in the middle of the coffee table, the two end tables are book case tables and they have leather in the middle of the top and bottom. But the leather has been "sealed" in with some sort of clear shellac, (unknown) I'm hoping the wood is not veneer and will try cleaning the wood how you recommended. The sealer is now crazed. Is there any way to get rid of the crazing and clean the entire table. The furniture was my mom's and she said it was expensive. It had wheels on the coffee table at one time but they are missing. Thanks for any help. Peggy

If you just want to clean the wood, lay some newspaper over the leather and secure it around the edges with low-tack painter's masking tape, then polish carefully. Spray the wood cleaner/polish onto the rag, not the table.
To clean the leather, use a leather upholstery cleaner, taking care not to get it onto the wood. Finish with a good quality leather treatment, i.e. Neat's foot oil, to moisturize the leather.

Saddle soap is usually good for leather goods.