A Guide To Repairing Minor Tears In Leather Upholstery

Leather furniture is pretty tough, but accidents can happen.  Major damage or restoration projects are best tackled by a professional upholstery repairer, but you might be able to fix minor tears in leather yourself with the right kit and a little patience.  Here's how to do it.

What you'll need

  • leather repair and touch-up kit (available from good DIY or furniture stores)
  • very sharp scissors or a scalpel blade
  • tweezers

All the items referred to in the guide below are provided with the kit.  Be sure to choose a repair kit that corresponds as closely as possible to the colour of your furniture.

How to do it

  1. The first step in the process is to tidy up the damaged area.  To do this, simply use a very sharp pair of scissors or a scalpel to trim away the damaged edges of the tear, leaving them smooth and even.  
  2. Now take the canvas cloth that you'll find inside the leather repair kit and place it behind the tear; use the tweezers for this fiddly task.  
  3. When the cloth is in position, glue it to the leather, using the spatula and glue provided with the kit. To do this, just place a small dab of glue underneath the leather, and then press it down onto the cloth.  Make sure that the edges of the tear are completely stuck down.  
  4. Once the glue is completely dry, apply several thin layers of leather filler to the tear.  This fills in the gap so that the surface is level.  When the surface is level, use the tool included in the kit to emboss a grain pattern to the final layer, helping the repair to blend in completely.  
  5. Allow the filler to dry completely before applying the leather colour.  All you need to do here is place a small amount of colour on the sponge provided and dab it onto the repair, blending it in with the surrounding leather.  You may need several layers of colourant to get a good match, allowing each to dry between applications.  
  6. Your final task is to apply the leather finish to the completed repair.  To do this, simply place some of the product on the sponge and dab it over the repair.  Once again, you'll need to use several thin layers, allowing each to dry thoroughly between applications.

In conclusion

You can repair minor tears in leather upholstery by following the guidelines above.  For major damage or complete restoration, seek the advice and assistance of a professional upholstery restorer.