How to repair a puncture hole in leather

Written by heidi cardenas
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Leather furniture is stylish, comfortable and expensive. Damage to leather furniture affects its appearance and resale value. Damage like puncture holes doesn't have to mean the end of the useful life of the furniture. Depending on the size and location of the damage, puncture holes can be repaired permanently and invisibly without the cost of a reupholstery professional.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Leather repair kit with patches of leather
  • Saddle soap or leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioning cream
  • High-grade contact cement
  • Large needle
  • Magnifying glass
  • Bright light

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    Tiny Puncture Holes

  1. 1

    Carefully clean the damaged area with saddle soap or leather cleaner. Wipe the area dry.

  2. 2

    Use contact cement to fill in holes. Lift the material around the hole with the needle, squeeze in a tiny amount of cement and let the material drop. Carefully press the material down over the cement with a tissue or clean cloth and wipe away any excess. Let the adhesive dry completely.

  3. 3

    Treat the surface over the repairs with leather conditioning cream.

    Larger Puncture Holes

  1. 1

    Carefully clean the damaged area with saddle soap or leather cleaner. Wipe the area dry.

  2. 2

    Use either a leather repair kit with a leather piece the same colour as the damaged leather or a swatch of leather taken from the damaged item (for example, underneath a sofa or an inside seam of a purse or jacket). Cut a piece of the repair leather about 1/8-inch larger than the hole.

  3. 3

    Work the cut-out piece of leather into the hole with a needle or very small instrument like a crochet hook or tweezers, being careful not to push it so far into the subsurface that it can't be reached to cover the hole from inside.

    If working with a damaged item like a purse or a leather jacket, where the hole is not in a covered surface and the back of the hole is accessible, the cut-out piece of leather can be easily placed behind the hole.

  4. 4

    Squeeze a tiny amount of the adhesive from the leather kit or contact cement under the edge of the hole and apply light pressure with a tissue or clean cloth. Let the adhesive dry completely. Apply one or more layers of filler if desired, letting each dry thoroughly before applying another.

  5. 5

    Treat the repaired surface with leather conditioner.

Tips and warnings

  • Treat any leather damages immediately to prevent them from getting worse or bigger with wear.
  • Several applications of filler may be necessary or desired but let each layer dry thoroughly between applications.
  • Very large holes may require complete reupholstery of the damaged item or a large section of it

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