How to Repair a Leather Sofa


Authored by Donna Johnson in Furniture 
Published on 10-25-2009

Leather sofas are a very popular choice for many living rooms nowadays. Not only do they look great, but leather sofas can be very easy to clean, which increases their appeal greatly – especially for families with small children. But leather sofas do have one major drawback, which is that they are susceptible to tears and rips. With the right tools and a little know-how, though, you can repair a leather sofa yourself.

For a very small rip or tear in a leather sofa, you can purchase a type of glue that will seal the torn edges back together. These glues are typically clear, and are applied with a tiny brush included in the bottle. These are applied much like fingernail polish is applied. This type of repair is only useful for the smallest of rips, however, and will not last very long even on tiny tears. This repair should be considered a temporary fix at best.

For larger rips, tears, or holes in a leather sofa, you should buy a patching kit. Patching kits are very easy to use, and require no experience to get the repair job right. You should start with a completely clean and dry surface all around the rip or tear in your leather sofa. Wiping the surface down with rubbing alcohol can also help to ensure the surface is clean and ready for repair. If the area surrounding the rip is not completely clean and dry before you begin, the patch will not adhere properly to your couch. At best, this makes for a very visible repair job, and at worst, the patch will actually come off your couch.

The patching kit that you purchase may come with with a repair compound. You will need to apply this compound into the damaged area and all around the damaged area, going about half an inch out from the rip. You should try to apply the compound as smoothly as possible. You can achieve this by using a finger dipped in water to further smooth the surface. Once the compound dries completely, you’re ready for the next step.

You may choose to lightly sand the dried compound if it is not completely smooth. But if it is completely smooth, wiping it down with rubbing alcohol will suffice. Your repair kit should also come with a colored paint-like compound to match your sofa’s color. You should apply thin coats of this color until the repaired area is completely opaque and the shade of the color is as close to an exact match for your sofa’s color as possible. Let the color dry completely between each coat. Finish with a clear protective coat if it is included in your kit.

Applying a leather conditioner to the repaired area will help to soften it and ensure it blends even further with the rest of your leather sofa, especially in terms of texture. Repair kits vary, and some may actually come with patches rather than filling compounds. For very large rips, tears, or holes, you may wish to consult a professional for your sofa repair. However, if you have a small to medium sized tear in your sofa, and you follow the directions carefully, you can easily repair your own sofa with a home repair kit. Your sofa will be beautiful again and you will save money in the process.


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