Owning leather furniture has its pros and cons. Leather-upholstered couch, ottoman, chairs, and recliners can instantly make any living room luxurious and elegant. It is a versatile material that is also comfortable and resilient. However, it can be challenging to maintain especially when you have pets and small children around your home. Leather sofas and chairs are prone to scratches and getting the professionals to come in and repair the cat scratches on leather is rather expensive. It is better though to know how leather couch scratch repair works and be able to do the fixing yourself.
Know the Type of Leather You Have
Before repairing the scratches on the leather couch, you need to identify the type of leather you have. You can check with your manufacturer and find out the care and repair instructions. They sometimes have specific ways to repair their pieces of furniture and they might even send a free leather scratch repair kit. The different types of leather are repaired differently and there are specific products best to use for each type of leather.
Identify the Type of Damage
The procedure of leather furniture scratch repair also matters to the kind of damage the leather sofa or leather glider has. It could range from minor cat or dog scratches where there is only lightly scratching of the coating, to deep scratches where the actual leather has been cut.
In terms of leather couch repair, cat scratches can be minor or deep. A minor damage means only the surface or the wax coating of the leather has been damaged and not the underlying leather itself. These scratches look hideous, but they can be easily fixed.
- Prepare the area. Clean the scratched area by vacuuming your leather couch or leather glider chair to remove any dust, grit or crumbs. Check out the best way to clean leather furniture.
- Perform a patch test. To fix scratches on leather couch, you are going to need oils like olive oil or orange oil and a soft cloth or a chamois cloth. Leather oil, shoe polish, baseball glove conditioner, baby oil, saddle oil, and lanolin oil can also be used. Rub a cotton swab with the oil to an inconspicuous area of the leather upholstery. Wait for an hour and check if the area is stained by the oil. If not, proceed with to the next step.
- Apply the oil on the scratched area and buff away. Using a cotton swab, apply the oil directly to the minor scratches. Gently buff the area in a circular motion with the soft cloth starting from the center. Do this until the scratches disappear. The buffing motion helps push the color from the surrounding area into the scratch.
- If the oil does not work, apply a recoloring product. Sometimes, to remove scratches from leather, you need help from a leather-recoloring balm. The balm disguises and blends the scratches in with the surrounding leather. Look for a balm tinted to match the specific color of your furniture or similar color. Do a patch test and then, apply the recoloring product according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Deep scratches on a leather couch require more than just applying oil and buffing the damaged area. The leather has actually been cut and you can see leather fibers around the fringe of the cut. To fix scratched leather like this, follow the procedure below:
- Clean the area first. Before applying any leather scratch repair products on the leather couch, get the furniture cleaned with a leather furniture cleaner or rubbing alcohol. This will help in getting any grime or dirt off.
- Trim or sand the area of loose fibers. Clip all the loose threads around the edges of the cut with scissors as close to the base as possible. Sand the area if the leather is uneven or scuffed for a smoother surface. Be careful not to cause any further damage to the leather.
- Apply the leather binder. Part of the furniture scratch repair is the application of a leather binder to strengthen the area. Apply a small amount of leather binder to a soft cloth or sponge and gently rub product to the area. Coat the area and let it dry. Reapply 8 to 10 coats to ensure a long-lasting repair. Just make sure to allow enough time for every coat to dry in between applications.
- Sand the area. Use a fine sandpaper with 1200 grit and lightly sand the area. Try to produce an even and smooth surface. Clean up any sandpaper residue before proceeding to the next step.
- Apply the heavy filler. This material will fill the gaps or cracks of the damaged area for an even surface. Use a palette knife or small spatula to apply a thin layer of heavy filler. Let it dry for 25 to 30 minutes. Reapply an additional layer if needed.
- Sand down the area again and clean the area. Take the sandpaper out again and smoothen the area. After sanding, clean the area with a rubbing alcohol or leather cleaning solution to remove any sandpaper residue and proper adhesion of the colorant. Let the cleaning solution dry first before going to the next step. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to clean leather chairs the right way.
- Apply the colorant. Find a color that best matches your furniture to finally fix the scratched leather. Put a small amount of the colorant on a clean sponge and apply a thin coat to the leather. Once the first coat dries, use the airbrush to apply a series of thin layers of colorant. Note that you need to let the application dry before applying the next layer.
- Apply the leather finish. As the final step in your leather chair scratch repair, you need to apply the lacquer or leather finish by either sponge or airbrush. Apply 3 to 4 coats but remember to let the coat dry first before applying the next layer. The finish will help enhance the repaired leather’s flexibility and sturdiness.
Leather Care Tips and Preventive Measures
- Do not use normal cleaning supplies on your leather furniture like solvents, abrasive cleaners, detergent soaps, or ammonia water.
- When cleaning leather furniture, dust with a dry cloth and vacuum the crevices with a soft-bristle attachment at least once a week. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean leather chairs, sofa, glider, and recliner chairs.
- Keep your leather couch and chairs from direct sunlight and heat sources. This will keep the leather from fading, drying out and being prone to cracking and scratching.
- Use leather conditioner every 6 months to keep the leather hydrated and soft.
- Blot spills immediately with a dry cloth or sponge so the liquid will not have time to soak into the leather.
- Train your pets to stay off the leather sofa and chairs.
Whether you need to fix cat scratches on leather furniture or restore cracks, this article hopes to inform and help you in keeping your leather couch, ottoman, and recliner remain as a sound investment in your home. The steps might be tedious and time-consuming, but it is a good way to save a lot of bucks. However, if you are still reluctant on a DIY leather sofa scratch repair, you can always contact the professionals.