Leather sofas are expensive, and no one wants to throw one away just because of a scratch. Small marks can be fixed yourself using glue. Purchase a leather repair kit in case of more serious damage. It will include a material to repair deep cuts and a flexible filler to restore cracks and flaking areas.
Method 1 of 2: Fixing Minor Defects
Step 1. Clean the site with isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth
Gently rub the 70% isopropyl alcohol over the small marks and flaps on the surface. It will clean the dirt and oils, preparing the leather to receive the glue. Do not let excess alcohol stay on the surface as it can damage glossy finishes.
- For nubuck and suede, prefer white wine vinegar.
- You can also use a leather-specific cleaner, but many of them hydrate the material, leaving a residue, or fail to remove grease stains.
Step 2. Apply glue to the inside of the tear
Nubuck, suede, reconstituted leather and synthetic leathers such as vinyl need a specific leather glue. On other types of genuine leather, results may be better with super glue. Apply a small amount of product to the inside of the tear using a large needle or toothpick and scraping to form a thin layer.
Step 3. Reattach the tear
Press it back into place while the glue is still wet. Line up so the material below it is not visible and quickly wipe off excess glue with a paper towel before it dries.
Step 4. Lightly sand the areas where you have superglued
If you have used this product on genuine leather, sand it by hand with a 320 grit wet or dry polishing sheet before the glue sets. This process will produce a fine dust that will mix with the glue to create a fill. Sand in the direction of the crack until the surface is smooth to the touch.
- To repair aniline leather and other fine and delicate materials, prefer a sheet of 500 grit sandpaper.
- Skip this step if using leather glue.
Step 5. Dye the leather
If the repaired area turns a different color from the rest of the sofa, apply leather paint to it using a damp sponge and allow it to dry.
- Read the ink packaging to see if it is suitable for your type of leather. If you are unsure, test the product first in a location that is not visible.
- If you feel you need more work on the repair, sand the surface lightly and repeat, starting with a fresh coat of glue.
Step 6. Apply a finish to the leather
If the paint looks too dull or opaque, coat it with a clear finish and allow it to dry. It will shine and protect the paint.
Step 7. Let the glue dry
Wait at least an hour before moving the material surface. Thus, the leather glue will have enough time to settle and stick to the fabric.
Let the glue dry on its own for the best result. Heat can damage the leather, so using a dryer to speed up the process is risky
Method 2 of 2: Repairing Deep Tears and Cuts
Step 1. Cut out a piece of patch that goes underneath
Larger tears, which expose the material underneath the leather, require such a patch for your repair to have a strong bottom. A leather repair kit is a convenient way to purchase this material, as it will also have other tools needed for repair. If you don't have this kit, you can use any strong, flexible fabric or other piece of leather or vinyl. Cut the patch so that it is slightly larger than the hole or tear, and round the corners for easy insertion.
Step 2. Place the patch under the hole
Use scissors to insert the patch into the space and smooth the creases and folds. The material needs to completely cover the hole and be tightly stretched between the substrate and the leather.
Step 3. Glue the patch to the leather
Using a large needle or toothpick, apply soft fabric or leather glue to the underside of the leather. Apply the glue in a thin layer to all parts of the material that will come into contact with the patch. Press the leather over the patch, pulling the tear back to its original shape, wipe off excess glue with a paper towel.
Step 4. Put a weight on the rip as it dries
Place a block of wood or a heavy book over the entire area to apply firm, even pressure. Allow the glue to dry for at least 20 minutes or for the time stipulated by the package.
Check the label to see if it suggests using a hair dryer to speed up the process. If he suggests, keep the temperature of the device low and avoid holding it directly against the leather. Excessive heat can dry out or damage the material
Step 5. Clean the area
Before applying leather filler to repair the hole, you will need a clean surface. Dampen a clean cloth with a leather cleaner or 70% isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the damaged area.
Alcohol is often more effective than leather cleaner at removing excess glue or oily stains
Step 6. Trim loose fibers around the tear
This makes it easier for the filler to stick tightly to the edges. Carefully cut loose fibers around the torn location.
Step 7. Pass the leather filler
If there is still a small gap between the two edges, use a spatula to spread a small amount of leather filler on the spot. Use the flat side of the spatula to smooth out the filler and scrape off excess. Make the filled area flat and flush with the rest of the surface. Use a paper towel to remove excess filler and smooth the edges where they touch the undamaged surface of the leather.
Filler comes in leather repair kits
Step 8. Wait for the product to dry
Read his packaging to find out how long it takes to dry. When the repaired area is dry, you can press it lightly without it moving or feeling wet.
You may need to apply a second coat of filler if the surface still looks uneven after it dries
Step 9. Color the repaired part
You can prepare your own color by following the repair kit instructions or send a sample of the leather to a dye shop to get the perfect color. When you have this coloration, sprinkle some of the paint over the repair using a damp sponge. Once most of the area is covered, wait for it to dry. Repeat as needed, gradually spreading outwards so that it looks natural.
If you're not sure you got the right color, test the mixture on a hidden part of the leather first. If the tone looks wrong, clean quickly
Step 10. Apply a finish
Some leathers are glossier than others. If the paint looks too opaque, run a drop of clear finish over it and let it dry. It will help protect color and increase shine.