Ultimate Guide to Leather Furniture Repair


Leather furniture looks amazing and feels very premium compared to other materials that fall under the same price range. However, it doesn’t age well and can develop cracks, tears, rips, or other signs of damage if it isn’t maintained properly or due to aging. When you need to repair the furniture the first thing you do is to search for “furniture repair near me” on the internet. However, with a bit of time and elementary skills, you can do some repairs on your own. Let’s check out how you can repair your leather furniture:

The Details

  1. Identify the damage – Identifying the damage allows you to figure out what kind of repair work needs to be done on the upholstery. It determines all the next steps and the tools you need to use. For instance, while a flexible filter can help you deal with minor scratches and cracked leather, you will need to use specialized leather glue to fix tears, rips, or cuts. Similarly, large damage like large tears and holes requires different solutions like patching the surface. That’s why determining the damage is so important.
  1. Clean the damaged area – Before you attempt any kind of repair, you need to clean the damaged area thoroughly. That means getting rid of all kinds of buildup and residues like dirt, oil, grime, and other things. If the area isn’t clean enough the end result may have poor finishing and won’t look as good. If you don’t want to buy leather cleaning supplies or leather conditioners, you can make do with household cleaning supplies like rubbing alcohol or vinegar. However, they will require a bit more elbow grease for a flawless cleaning session.
  1. Repair – Repairing leather usually consists of three types of damage and their respective solutions:
  • A) Peeling, cracking, or other surface problems – When you have surface damage like cracks, peels, uneven texture, or other such problems due to worn-out leather, you need a flexible soft compound filler to fix the problem. Remove loose pieces from the couch, sofa, or chair, and make sure that the surface is free from any loose particles. Once that’s done, you need to use any flat tool or a putty knife to apply the soft flexible compound filler on the damaged surface. No need to go overboard with the filler. A thin layer goes a long way. Apply the filler slowly to the area.

When you reach the edges, be very gentle with the filler and smooth the filler on the leather while scraping away excess compound evenly from the seams. Allow the filler to cure the surface by exposing that furniture part to the sun or keep it under a sunlamp under low settings. Once the filler dries, repeat the process and apply a second coat. When the second coat is applied, you need to rough the filler surface lightly by touching it all over. The intent here is to create a leather texture. This is the time to show your creativity. Make sure to wear a protective plastic glove. Once the second coat dries out, smoothen the uneven sections and hard edges with a 500-grit sandpaper. Finish it off with a damp wipe to clean any dust or residue.

  • B) Small rips and tears – Small rips and tears on leather furniture can be easily fixed with a sub patch. The sub patch comes in the form of a leather repair kit and is available at any home improvement store. The patch sits under the top layer and gives the filler a bonding surface. Inspect the underside of the tear or rip and make sure that it is clean and dry. The next step is to apply leather glue under the flap edges and scrape a thin layer under the torn section. Before the glue dries, fold the edges and wipe off excess glue. Apply pressure on the leather while the glue dries. You can also use a low heat hairdryer to quicken the drying process.
  • C) Large tears or holes – Fixing large holes also follows the same process for smaller holes. The major differences in this process include the use of large blocks like books or wooden planks to apply pleasure to the large area after applying the glue. Once the glue is dry and has joined the patch with the torn upholstery, you can use cleaning alcohol or vinegar to remove any residue. Cut away strips, strings, and loose fibers to make the area flush.

Once the sub patch is in place, apply a thin coat of flexible compound filler to sections that have visible damage. To create a seamless transition and avoid any signs of repair, you need to feather the edges where the original leather meets the filler mix. After the filler dries and doesn’t feel too soft, you may opt to avoid a second coat.

  1. Coloring – To restore the couch or any other piece of leather furniture to mint condition, you need to color the discoloration on the damaged and repaired areas. If your leather repair kit doesn’t come with a colorant, you need to purchase one separately or order a custom colorant from a leather service company. Apply a small amount of the colorant with a damp sponge on the discolored areas and keep repeating the process for a flawless blend.
  1. Use a leather conditioner – While your furniture may be fully repaired, you need to finish it off with a leather conditioner so that the leather surface doesn’t crack or peel anytime soon. Buy a high-quality leather conditioner foam and apply it on the leather surface to make it soft and flexible. When the leather remains flexible, it is less likely to crack and also feels good to the touch.


Now that you have the ultimate cheat sheet to repair your leather furniture, you can easily repair any leather furniture on your own. If things seem tough or overwhelming, you can always rely on professionals to get the job done. To hire the services of a furniture repair company, search for “furniture repair near me”.

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