How to Repair a Leather Car Seat

What You'll Need
Leather repair kit
Replacement leather swatch
Canvas backing patch
Palette knife
Fine sandpaper
Rubbing alcohol
Clean cloths

Knowing how to undertake a car leather repair to any seat can be very useful to reduce the cost and inconvenience it would take when hiring a professional. Rather than panicking if damage should occur, follow a few simple steps to make the repair yourself.

Step 1 – Repair kit

Undertaking car leather repair is easiest when done with the aid of a leather repair kit, as it will contain everything you need. These are widely available and you should have no problem finding one to suit your car, no matter what type of leather your seats are made from.

Step 2 – Assess Damage

Whether you are dealing with a small tear or a large hole, you must assess the damage to determine whether an additional patch is required. For car leather repair that only comprises a small tear, the filler and backing canvas should be sufficient, but a large hole will require a replacement leather patch.  

Step 3 – Prepare Site of Damage

Begin the car leather repair process by cleaning and preparing the surface of the leather where the damage has occurred. Gently rub at the surface with some fine sandpaper to remove any dirt and the leather coating, following this up by wiping the site with a cloth that has been dampened with alcohol. In the event that the torn edges curl outward, it is prudent to carefully remove these edges with a sharp scissors to ensure a tidy repair.

Step 4 – Secure Backing

No matter what type of damage you are dealing with during the repair process, it will require a backing. Using a pair of tweezers, push the canvas patch into place beneath the tear by holding one corner and working the rest in behind it until you can lay it flat. Where you are repairing a large hole, add a piece of canvas to fill the entire hole. Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of the adhesive from the repair kit around the inside edge of the leather and press it against the canvas until it dries.

Step 5 – Fill or Patch

For a small tear, you can begin to apply thin layers of filler with a palette knife after the adhesive has dried. Continue the process of adding layers until the repair site is at the same level as the surrounding leather. Leave each layer to dry before adding another. Gently rub the area with sandpaper if you inadvertently overfill the hole.

For a large hole, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the reverse edges of the leather patch and secure it in place against the canvas; it should fit snugly in the hole. Use the same process of applying layers of filler around the circumference of the repair.  

Step 6 – Color and Seal

After the filler is completely dry, apply a colorant so that the repair site matches the rest of the seat. When this is dry, you can conclude the car leather repair by applying a coating to the surface to seal and protect the leather.