How to Restore Your Old Leather Item with a Repair Kit?
How to Restore Your Old Leather Item with a Repair Kit?
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You definitely have your favorite sheepskin belts, bags, suitcases or shoes that are already worn out or scratched. Due to the tears or cracks, noticeable wear in plain sight, the stuff looks terrible, and you can’t use it anymore. However, the shoes are so comfortable, the jackets and bags are already homelike. It’s not worth to toss these old-shoe items in the garbage, as it’s obviously possible to repair leather easily, in a DIY manner, and quite seamlessly.

Damaged leather

When it goes about the furniture like sofas, armchairs, car seats and ottomans, the situation may be even more crucial. These luxury, antique and high-end items abrade when you prefer taking your habitual seat, your cat or dog scratches the upholstery or car lining. If you live in a rented apartment, it can become a nightmare, costing you a fortune!

However, nowadays, when perfect kits for leather repairs exists, the problem is obviously retrievable. Quite naturally, it’s not easy to camouflage a hole, burn or scuff on the unique, cherished surface, making the luxury material’s texture and color look completely natural and identical. But, let’s try, following the detailed algorithms, using the best-suited, top-quality, task-oriented materials and tools.

What is a Renovation Kit for Sheepskin?

When your durable couch, jacket or car seat is worn-out, first of all, it becomes discolored, dull and shabby. If you are not fond of the popular shabby-chic style in the interior, it’s necessary to refurbish the surface’s shade, shine, and integrity. Therefore, the basic components of leather repair kits are the special colorants, compounds or dies that are easy-to-apply, but dissimilar by chemical composition and consistency.

Colored brown leather

Commonly, not less than 7 different basic colors are included in the package. They are to be mixed properly, to match the damaged natural material surface. When the deterioration is not significant, the sheepskin is only worn-out, but seamless, without any holes and rips, it may be sufficient to renew the bright and smooth cherished item look and operation.

Fortivo Professional DIY: The Best Air Dry Kit for VinylWhenever you are a leathercraft professional or use a lot of the high-end natural stuff, a versatile renovation kit, like the one from Fortivo, is to be always at hand. The set includes 7 non-toxic colorants, fast-drying, water-based.

Meanwhile, a kit for leather repairs can be found online (for example, on Amazon) or in your local department or auto parts store. Whenever it’s standard or deluxe, the set commonly contains also:

  • a conditioner (scratch remover);
  • the special-purpose adhesive;
  • several patches of the goatskin-like material, suitable by color and size;
  • the filler;
  • the sealant;
  • liquid leather;
  • sand or wax paper.

Restore leather

Actually, when the area is badly damaged, the renovation process is a bit complicated. However, it’s possible to repair leather, when the holes are not larger than 1.18 inch in diameter, scratches up to 4 inch long and rips lot larger than 2 inch easily.

Supplementary Tools and Materials

The advanced, complete kits, intended to rawhide material renovation, commonly include some additional supplies, such as:

  • alcohol pads or cleaners;
  • gloss and matt sheepskin finish;
  • gloves;
  • a paintbrush;
  • a plastic palette knife;
  • several stirrers to mix the colorants.

Renovate leather

You would certainly need the scissors, a small mixing cup, a wet rag or microfiber (soft) cloth. A hair dryer may be required to make the filler and adhesives dry faster. Additionally, every DIY or professional set is unique, containing the detailed instructions. They are to be read thoroughly and followed.

Method 1. Renovating the Tears with the Colorants and Filler

When a tear on an armchair, car seat or a room interior element is not large, camouflage it, applying a number of materials.

  1. Clean the whole leather surface with soap and wet cloth.
  2. Trim the tear edges with the scissors.
  3. Glue the backing cloth, using the special adhesive; let it dry.
  4. Add the filler layer by layer, leaving each of them dry, until it overlaps the surface.
  5. Process it by the sandpaper.
  6. Wipe down the material using a clean, soft cloth.
  7. Apply the matching die. Mix it, if necessary and build up a couple of layers.
  8. Let the colorant dry.
  9. Use the sealant (included in the package) to make the renovated stuff strong and durable.

This way, you repair the leather damages that are not too deep and sizeable, but still noticeable already.

Method 2. Gluing a Patch of the Matching Material

Searching for an application for leather repairs kit, focus on the exact match. The best option is a piece of the very same material you ordered for the furniture upholstery or tailoring of the clothing.

If a piece of the very same leather is not available, find the one with the similar texture and dye it with the included colorant.

Restore leather using patch

  1. Cut a piece of leather.
  2. Apply some wax paper on the hole, below the goatskin insert to avoid the glue hardening.
  3. Add some drops of glue to the botch’s backside, on the edges, wait until it dries.

The piece of leather is to be a bit larger than the hole or tear, covering all imperfections and damages. The piece of wax paper should be slightly larger than the applied patch. Press it gently to avoid the unnecessary peeling off.

Any weighting objects are not required in this case. Just let the glue cure as it is. Don’t use the furniture or the car seat until it gets completely dry.

Method 3 Using Liquid Skin

Minor, not deep damages or not extensive areas can be repaired, using the liquid skin. It is to match the surface by color, as well. The substance is applied to the very clean, dry material. Therefore, use a damp rag and some alcohol to remove all dirt and residue and wait a bit.

Dilute the polymer substrate with clean, cold water, in proportion 30/70; apply it to the damaged area (layer by layer), then to the whole surface of the jacket or furniture being renewed. Now, apply the enclosed to the package conditioner by a microfiber cloth after the leather gets dry.

Air and Heat Dry Kits

Every sheepskin/vinyl repair kit is singular and peculiar. The tools and materials are combined depending on the renovation method, the tear dimensions and the item to be refurbished. Meanwhile, all sets of this kind can be divided into 2 large groups.

Heat dry assembly is based on the true printer ink. It’s the material that is used for T-shirt images transferring. In this case, the colorant and the compound are mixed together, in the same container, as the only, essential component. This material is pretty good for vinyl, but high temperature commonly deteriorates the rawhide articles and furniture.

Water-based (air dry) compounds are much better for the application. They are based on PVA glue (polyvinyl acetate), being flexible and protective. Some additives are replenished to the adhesive, making it compatible with the sheepskin.

Thus, it’s possible to repair leather, if the damages are not too significant, but spoil the item, the vehicle seat or the couch look. Several perfect and top-quality kits for leather repairs are available on the market. Just select the one that suits your material renovation needs the best and follow the directions.

Video Tutorial: Leather Restoration


Steve Coltharp
Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“. The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Let your hobby grow into something more and make this world brighter! Hope, in this blog you will find answers to all of your questions.

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  1. Your article is really well written and worth reading. But Can you give me one answer? I tried to get pen marks out of my sofa with hair spray, but it took out some of the cooler out what can I do?

    1. Hello, Jhon! You have to use a leather repair kit and conditioner.

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