It’s got that high-quality that many mixers have — character — but your antique table leather top has seen much better days. Whether it’s endured liquid spills, warm items or the painful effects of the sun, a leather backdrop is durable but won’t continue forever. Fortunately, it’s relatively straightforward to replace. Your main tools are patience, persistence and a helper to assist you as you secure the new top in place.
Sand the top of the desk to get rid of any remnants of this leather. You might prefer to use a chemical stripper and scraper rather, but you’ll likely have to sand the top anyhow. And sanding will give you greater control over the result without risking harm to your antique desk. Begin sanding using a fine-grit sandpaper, then move up to a medium-grit for bigger or rougher imperfections. Run your hand over the top of the desk several times; inspect the very top closely at eye level. Any bumps or mounds will show through the leather. Remove the dust with a rag, then wipe the surface using a microfiber cloth.
Spread a thin and even layer of wallpaper paste over the top of the table using a putty knife. Smooth out the paste, just as though you were spreading frosting on a cake.
Ask your assistant to assist you place the leather insert on the desk. Begin at the middle of the insert and press it out to the corners together with your hands. Do not worry about a little overhang; you can trim any extra leather later.
Smooth out the leather using a paint roller, beginning at the middle and moving into the corners. This is normally the priciest portion of the undertaking, so be patient as you cover the top of the desk repeatedly to remove any bubbles, bumps and lines that might be left in the trail of this roller.
Let the glue dry, which could require 24 to 48 hours. After one hour or even two, if you see the edges of the leather popping up since the paste begins to try, fasten the leather in place with pieces of masking tape. Remove the tape later, pulling on a diagonal and near the border of the desk for a clean discharge.
Wipe any excess glue using paper towels. Trim the extra leather — and protect the table edge around it — by wedging a piece of cardboard between the leather insert and the desk. Place a straightedge along the wood edge and cut the excess leather using a utility knife.