How to repair scratches on leather furniture

Written by kendra dahlstrom
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How to repair scratches on leather furniture
Repairing leather furniture scratches is something you can usually do yourself. (white leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from

Leather furniture may be beautiful, but it is easily scratched. Pens, sharp shoes, cats, dogs and even fingernails can scratch the beautiful finish of leather. There are, however, ways to repairing leather furniture should scratches mar them. You don't have to sit back and glare at those unsightly marks if you don't want. You can easily repair funiture scratches by yourself at home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 cotton cloths
  • Olive oil
  • Iron
  • Shoe polish
  • Cotton swab applicator

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  1. 1

    Dab some olive oil onto a cotton cloth and rub it into the scratched leather furniture. Rub it in a light circular motion. The olive oil gives the leather more flexibility and helps to bond the leather back together. The lightest of scratches can be repaired by simply completing this step. If the scratches are still visible, move on to the next step for repairing leather furniture.

  2. 2

    Take another cotton cloth and get it damp. Slightly deeper scratches can be fixed by next wetting a cloth and placing that cloth over the scratched area. The cloth should not be dripping wet, but it should be damp enough to leave wet residue when it is removed.

  3. 3

    Heat up an iron and press it on the damp cloth over the leather scratches. The heat from the iron brings the natural leather oils to the surface and repairs the scratch. If simple olive oil didn't work, the natural leather oils may have better luck.

  4. 4

    Match shoe polish to the colour of your couch as a clever way of repairing leather furniture. There are some scratches that are simply too deep to repair with oil, but not deep enough to call a professional. This is when you need to disguise the area.

  5. 5

    Apply the shoe polish with a cotton swab applicator. Next, rub it clean and buff it with another cotton cloth. Not only will this help bond the scratch, it will also disguise it quite well.

Tips and warnings

  • Call the manufacturer of your furniture. They may have some repair ideas specific to your type of leather. Some even sell their own leather repair kits to repair furniture.
  • Deep leather scratches should be fixed by a professional. If a scratch is too deep, it could quickly turn into a tear that is a lot more serious.

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