How to repair discoloration on a leather sofa

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather couches can lose their colours because of stains, scratches, or simply wear and tear. By keeping some basic guidelines in mind, you can prevent the signs of ageing on your leather couch.

Place a pair of rubber gloves on your hands, protecting your skin from the colourant. Without the gloves, your hands may stain.

Shake the bottle of leather colourant according to directions on the bottle. Shaking for a minimum of three minutes is generally recommended. If the colour is not thoroughly mixed, there will be streaks when applied to the couch.

Apply a small spot of colourant to a hidden part of the leather, for example, under one of the cushions. This “spot test” ensures that you have chosen the correct shade of colour. If the colourant does not match, do not go any further—replace the colourant and start over from Step 1.

Apply a thin layer of the colourant over the damaged surface of the couch using a small, damp sponge. Gently press the sponge to the damaged surface, watching closely to identify when it has reached even colour. Look for any cracks or blemishes.

Use a new, clean sponge to remove any excess colourant. Gently dab the colourant away, being careful not to remove too much.

Allow the leather to dry. While the couch should dry relatively quickly on its own, use a blow dryer to speed up the process if you desire.

Spray colourant onto a piece of paper before attempting to spray a second coat onto the leather sofa. The spray can needs to be at the appropriate position—there should not be drips or splatter, simply an even coat of colour.

Position the spot of leather being repaired—use weights to keep it stretched and flat as you work.

Spray the leather with the colourant—applying in a steady stream. Allow the leather to dry thoroughly before removing the weights, or sitting on/using the couch.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather colourant/sponge
  • Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Rubber gloves
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