How to Repair Leather Furniture

What You'll Need
Palette knife
Leather repair kit comprising colorant to match furniture
Canvas backing patch
Fine sandpaper
Sharp scissors
Clean cloths
Rubbing alcohol

Discovering that damage has been suffered to your expensive leather furniture repair can be highly frustrating, and even more so if you assume that it cannot be repaired. However, by following a few simple steps, you will find that it is a job that you can undertake with a little patience and minimal cost.

Step 1 – Correct Repair Kit

When undertaking leather furniture repair, it is important to get the right kit to match your furniture. Although there are many different types of leather, the leather of most sofas will have a coating to protect it and lengthen its life. Ensure that your kit contains the tools to enable you to remove this.

Step 2 – Assess Damage

Determine whether the leather furniture repair damage is extensive enough to warrant the need for a replacement leather swatch; larger holes will require one, whereas tears and minor damage can be rectified with the use of filler alone. Where a replacement patch of leather is required, check below the piece of furniture to determine whether the manufacturer attached a spare piece of the same leather that the furniture item is made from.  

Step 3 – Prepare the Surface  

Ready the surface to accept repair by cleaning it and removing the coating around the repair site. If the leather furniture repair kit doesn’t contain a solvent for this task, use some fine sandpaper to gently rub the surface and rid of dirt and the coating. After this, rub the site with rubbing alcohol. If the edges of the damaged leather have curled outwards, these need to be cut away in order to ensure that the repair is neat.

Step 4 – Insert Backing

Position the canvas backing beneath the damaged leather using the tweezers, holding one side in place while pushing the rest into place until it lays flat. Cut it to size if it is too large for the area. Using a palette knife, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the underside edge of the leather and press it against the canvas patch until it is dry.   

Step 5 – Fill or Patch

Minor leather furniture repair can be rectified with the use of the filler contained in the repair kit. Apply a thin layer with the palette knife and wait for it to dry before adding further layers. Continue to apply layers until the hole is at the same level of the rest of the leather.

In the event that a patch is required, use a small amount of adhesive to its outer edge before sticking it to the canvas. Ensure that it fits as snugly as possible. Fill the edges with the filler, being careful not to overfill.

Step 6 – Finalize

Finish off the leather furniture repair by dabbing on the colorant. This initial layer will act as a base coat before the color is blended by spraying it on. Once the color is dry, you can apply the coating that will seal and protect the repaired leather.