Knock it off

So here it is, my knock off Eames chair. I must say, it turned out nice and this is one of the better reproductions that was made.  
 I got a few quotes to re upholster the chair, but the cost to do it in vinyl hovered around $400, and in vinyl $700+.  Because it's fake, I figured why spend the money so I took a chance and decided to dye it. The chair was already leather, and the light color took the dye quite well.
It took me a couple of hours to take it apart, dye it, and get it back together and the result is a close match, in leather, and a nice vintage "lived in look".

For those that are thinking about doing the same thing to any leather chair, some concerns I had were:

- It would look blotchy.
- The dye will rub off.
- It would cause a huge mess.
- The leather would become hard, and uncomfortable.

In fact:

- If you use a well soaked rag with dye on it, it goes on perfectly even.
- The dye penetrates well, and even without the sealer doesnt appear to come off.
- The mess was well litigated by wearing gloves, and doing it in the garage.  I also had the entire chair apart so as not to get dye on the wood shell.  The small amount that I did get on my skin washed off with soap and water.
- The dye seems to condition the leather so it is now softer.  It also makes the few cracks in the leather look somewhat natural.

Lastly, is cost.  The chair itself was $75.  I spent $6 on these supplies.  I used paper towels to apply the dye and used the dauber to do the edges.  After letting it dry, which takes about an hour, I applied the finish.


Midcenturymadam said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have a leather chair that is a mess and I sit and look at it every night and wonder how to fix it. I had the very same concerns. I'm going to go find that product and give it a try. Did I miss a previous post on this chair...the "before"? Your knock-off is a knock-out! Well done!

Dolly Cool Clare said...

I can't believe you got this beautiful chair for such a good price, and revamped it for just a few dollars! Wow, Great job! *chair envy*

Kitty said...

very interesting, thank you!!

Amber Von Felts said...

Great DIY post. I love it when people share their renovation tricks. So many of us are in the same position with restoring our old treasures. Its nice to know it can be done! Your results are stunning.

modern monkey said...

Great find and fix!

Unknown said...

You mentioned it was a fake. It looks like authentic Herman Miller to me.