Leather Repair: Advanced Tips And Guides For Leather Repair And Restoration in 2019

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Have a walk around your home or garage, you will probably find a number of holes or torn up leather works. It’s maybe the car seat, or the easy chair or the sofa on your bedroom.

Considering the importance of the repair works, you should call a professional for a cost of 150 bucks or more. But if you are a smart DIY guy, that might not be a preferable option to go. 

Having said that, you are in need of a proper leather repair guide and some pro tips that work. And that's what we've come up with today.

Go through the whole article we’ve crafted for you, and find some next level guideline on how to do leather repair works like a pro.

Let’s get going-

Why leather repair Is So Important?

The leather is a very delicate material, and that's why they cost so much. It can be used for a number of household and commercial purposes.

But sometimes cracks and discoloration occur even in expensive fabrics of leather. It ruins the overall quality and outlook of the sofa, car seat or chair at your home.

Besides, a simple hole on a leather cloth can eventually drive you to throw the whole item away. Which costs you 10x or more than what you needed to repair the initial hole.

However, there is a way out and you can do your repair easily. Throughout the whole article, we’ll tell you how-

What Do You Need to Go?

As it's a repairing process, and you're doing it yourself, there should be some tools in need. Here is a basic list of tools. However, most of them can be found in a leather repair kit. Let's have a look-

  1. A pair of sharp scissors/scalpet.
  2. A canvas cloth.
  3. A tweezer.
  4. Spatula.
  5. Leather glue.
  6. Heavy filler.
  7. palette knife/grain pad.

Tips to Do Leather Maintenance: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Assess The Damage First

Before you do anything else, the first and foremost duty is to estimate the amount of work that's needed to be done. Usually, the damages can be of three types-

  • Maybe the hole is not larger than a tennis ball. The most probable reason for it is faded up leather, which had been used for years.
  • Otherwise, the damage can be straight and linear. Because of a scratch of sharp objects, or bites of pet animals, that had taken place.
  • The third one can be discrete damages. That usually causes for heat, acidic liquids or insects like rats.

Done with assessing the damage? Great! Let’s move forward-

Step 2: Prepare/Trip The Damage Area

At this point of the repair job, you need to trip out the edges of torn out leather. You can take a pair of scissors or a scalpet and align that with the torn area. Now, trip out the worn out edges of the leather damage. Your final goal is to achieve a sharp edge of it that is easy to stitch.

Step 3: Insert Sub Patch Under the Damaged Leather Area

Now here is the step where the hard part begins. Start with selecting a patch that can be placed under the leather. Usually, canvas cloth is the best possible option here. You can find it in any leather repair kit.

Now, get a tweezer and pick up the canvas cloth that you have selected to apply on the spot. Insert the cloth behind the tear using the tweezer. Be careful that no edge of the spot is uncovered.

Step 4: Secure Your Sub Patch

Now it's time to strengthen up the sub-patch that you've just applied on the leather spot. To do that, you can use a spatula to place the leather glue beneath the leather spot damage.

Now, be careful when you have to apply the glue. Because that is needed to be placed right in between the leather and leather and the cloth sub-patch.

As the glue is done applied, press the leather down on the cloth. That will help you to have a strong joint in between them.

Step 5: Apply A Heavy Filler to the Tear

At this stage of the operation, you need to have a heavy filler. This will help you to fill up the torn up surface and bring back the torn up part on the same level.

The hardest part of this step is to make the repaired part look like the rest of the leather. Do deal with it; there are some methods that experts try now and then. Here is the best one for you-

Apply the filler into several layers and do emboss on the final layer of filler. This will strengthen the filler up. On top of that, this will make it look like the original one.

Step 6: Dry the Layers and Build up Heavy Filler

Now, it's time to make the filler layers stronger. Start with one thin layer and dry it out. Do the drying process for a couple of minutes. And repeat the process for the next layer.

Repeat the process until the leather layer is at least ¾'s full.

After you're done with the last layer of them all, tear and smooth it up with the help of a palette knife. If you don't have a palette knife, you can use a grain pad alternatively.

Importantly, get done with recreating the grain before applying new color on it.

Step 7: Apply Colorant

Colors are the last part before finishing the process up. As the layer building process is done, take a colorant and apply a tiny amount of it on a sponge.

Take the sponge rinsed with a colorant and apply it on the leather. Blend it up with the rest of leather. You need to apply this process for several layers and let each of them dry up. At one point, you will see the colorant to conceal the repair. Till that moment, keep applying colorant and drying it up.

Step 8: Apply the Finish

Now, we are at the last part of the whole process. Check for whether there are any gaps in the whole work and check the stiffness of the job. And let the colorant dry.

If you're done the checking, apply the leather finish. If the area of the job is small, you can do that with a sponge. Again, the way of applying the finish is the same as the way of applying the colorant.

How many of the layers are perfect? Well, there is no definite number. Usually, 8-10 layers of coats are good to go for usual damages.

Safety Tips and Guide

  • If you've been a person with stitching skills, that's a plus. At least a moderate level of skill would be welcome.
  • While applying the glue, don't forget to wear hand gloves.
  • While pressing it up, you have to do uniform pressurizing. Otherwise, there can be leaks after a few days.
  • Do not apply a new layer of the colorant or the finish until the previous layer is completely dried off.
  • Do the whole process while it’s moderate temperature and humidity.


So far, we've been through the process of repairing old/scratched out leather spots and it's stepped. One important thing to note is while doing the process; make sure that you've gone through a number of practice sessions. Otherwise, all other repairing tips will be the same as what any other processes demand.

James Keifer

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