How To Repair Leather Furniture

Need to learn how to repair leather furniture?  Do you have pet scratches, nicks or tears marring the look of your luxurious leather armchairs or sofas? Luckily, most repairs on leather furniture are superficial and render excellent results. Just follow these tips to finding the right leather repair kit for the job and combining it with the appropriate mending technique for the type of damage you need to repair in your leather furniture.

Here’s what you’ll need to repair leather furniture:

  • Leather Repair Kit to match your furniture color
  • Canvas backing patch (often comes with the kit)
  • P-320 grit sandpaper
  • Sharp-tipped scissors
  • Palette knife
  • Clean rags
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Tweezers 

Here’s how to repair leather furniture:

  1. Assess the damage. Determine the type of damage before attempting to repair your leather furniture. Large tears can only be sealed with a matching leather swatch. Check under your furniture to see if the manufacturer happened to attach a spare swatch for future repairs. In the case of scratches or small tears, you can easily repair your leather furniture with the right filler.
  2. Choosing the right furniture repair kit. To flawlessly repair leather furniture, strive to match the repair kit color to your furniture as closely as possible. Do not settle for looking at swatches online. Buy your leather repair kit in person at a leather store, craft store or home improvement store, then compare it to your leather furniture in daylight.
  3. Prepare the repair area. Clean around the tear or scratch using the solvent provided with the leather repair kit. Follow with fine sandpaper to remove any dirt that may have become embedded in the damaged area. Finish with denatured alcohol to remove the waxy residue of the sandpaper and any remaining oils. If the leather is curling around the tear, do not begin to repair the leather furniture before you carefully trim these edges away.
  4. Repair tears in leather furniture. To repair leather furniture seamlessly, a canvas backing patch should be inserted to support large tears. First, cut the patch to fit the size of the tear, then hold it in place with tweezers while slipping it through the repair area in your leather furniture.  Use the palette knife to delicately smear the adhesive included with the leather repair kit between the tear and the backing patch. Once dry, continue with step six below to conceal the repair from sight.
  5. Repair tears that are too small for a backing patch. You can repair leather furniture marred by tiny tears without supporting the tear from behind. Instead use a soft rag to seal the flaps of the tear with the adhesive provided with the leather repair kit. Press the adhesive into the tear to seal it firmly.
  6. Repair scratches and sealed tears in leather furniture. Use the palette knife to gently smear leather filler into the scratch or the tear you have sealed. Allow the filler to dry then apply a second coat. If the damaged area is still not flush with the rest of the leather surface, apply a third coat. Repair your leather furniture patiently, waiting for each coat to dry before deciding on the need for another.
  7. Match the color of the repair to your leather furniture. Conceal the repair using the colorant you matched to your leather furniture. Apply the base coat and wait for it to dry, then apply two more coats to seal the repair and protect the area from future damage. Once again, repair your leather furniture patiently, waiting for each coat to dry before applying another to ensure a smooth, invisible application.
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