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How Can I Repair Leather Furniture?

Repairing furniture can be a good way to extend its usefulness.
A leather armchair.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2014
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Learning to repair leather furniture is a great way to keep quality furniture for a long time. Leather has many benefits when compared to cloth, and it is water repellent, long lasting, does not hold dust or smell, and generally looks better the older it is. There are three main types of damage that leather can suffer: cuts, scuffs and holes. The type of repair that is necessary depends on the type of damage and where it occurs, but small problems can usually be fixed at home.

Cuts to leather furniture can happen as the result of an accident or a small hole that spreads. To repair a cut in leather furniture, buy a leather repair kit as soon as possible. If the furniture is in use, the cut will expand, so it's important to stop the damage from getting worse. A repair kit usually includes a chemical compound that is applied to the cut, filling the gap and securing the edges together. If you are going to repair leather furniture with a kit, purchase the best kit that you can find.

Scuff marks on leather furniture occur when pushing something with hard edges along the furniture. To repair a scuff mark, you can follow the same steps are repairing a cut, or you can inject the compound into the mark. Since the leather is not actually cut, all you need to do is blend the color of the leather into the lining.

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A puncture hole in leather furniture requires a leather repair kit with patches of leather. The leather patch is inserted underneath the hole and the repair compound is put on the top. This method gives the compound something to stick to and improves the appearance.

When you repair leather furniture, it is very important to start with a clean surface. Use saddle soap or a leather cleaner to carefully clean the area in need of repair. Do not use harsh chemicals, as they will dry out the material and may even change the color of the furniture.

When you are cleaning leather, don't just clean one spot. By treating the entire area — or piece — the whole thing will look better. Use two different sponges: the soap sponge to apply the soap, and the rinsing sponge to remove the residue.

Once the repair is completed, condition the leather with a conditioning cream to keep it supple and shining. Rub the leather conditioner in with your hands for the most effective conditioning. Create a schedule of cleaning and conditioning every six months after you repair your furniture to keep it looking like new.

Allow a lot of time for the leather repair compound to dry properly before using the furniture. If you use a hair dryer to speed up the process, you risk causing cracks in the leather repair compound.

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Discuss this Article

anon163716
Post 7

Please help! I just bought a brand new leather sectional and it fit together differently than I had envisioned, therefore it is now too big by about 8" on one side. Is there a way for a professional to shorten it? The section that would be cut, would attach to the other portion of the sectional so it wouldn't likely be seen. Anyone heard of this? I hate to have to return it.

anon131575
Post 6

not a comment on previous but need advice. Two year old left a glass bottle on leather sofa. It leaked. Sat there all day and when I picked it up just now it removed a layer of leather? or stained it? There is a large strip now about five shades lighter than the rest of the sofa. is it fixable? how?

anon64896
Post 4

My couch doesn't have removable cushion covers as well and I couldn't find a way to get the leather piece under the hole as the kit I purchased asked.

mjmgeek
Post 3

I've called all of our local furniture stores in search of a leather repair kit, but none of the stores carries one. Does anyone have a good kit/brand to recommend? If so, where could I purchase and how much do they typically cost? Thanks!

jeffreyc
Post 2

The leather compound on its own would work, but might wear away over time, depending on the location of the hole. If the hole is in the seat and the hole small, apply the compound as thinly as possible. Once it has dried, apply a very thin coat of clear nail polish on top of the compound. This should keep it looking as good as new. Resist the temptation to use Superglue, as dirt and lint will stick to the edges.

mjmgeek
Post 1

Our dog's nails are apparently sharp and she poked a tiny hole in our leather couch. I read the suggestion to buy a leather repair kit and place a piece of leather underneath the tear, apply the compound, etc. Our couch, however, doesn't have removable cushions (they are attached/sewn to the couch and there's no opening/zipper where we could insert a piece of leather into the cushion). Although the hole is super small, I don't want it to tear further--wondering if I could use the leather repair compound without putting the piece of leather underneath. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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