How to refinish a leather sofa

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather sofas are loved by many because of their luxurious appearance and long-lasting comfort. With proper care and maintenance, leather sofas can last for years without any major renovations. On the other hand, if leather sofas are not properly cared for over time, they can crack and dry out. A brittle, dry sofa can become uncomfortable to sit on and will require some restoration. Refinishing a leather sofa is the best way to bring it back to life.

Wet a piece of medium-grit sandpaper and run it over the entire surface of your leather sofa. Press gently, and pay special attention to areas where dirt and grime has accumulated. Wipe off the surface with a clean, dry cloth after sanding.

Repair any cracks in the sofa with crack filler that matches the colour of the sofa. Follow manufacturer's instructions for filling cracks. Repair stains on the sofa with a leather cleaner. Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the stains until they are lifted from the sofa.

Rinse the bristle brush thoroughly. Follow manufacturer's instructions for dye preparation. In a circular motion, rub in the dye with the soft bristle brush. Use two coats if necessary to restore leather to its original colour. Allow dye to dry for 48 hours before using the sofa.

Use a soft cloth to apply leather polish. Rub polish thoroughly in a circular motion. Continue to rub in polish until the sofa returns to its original lustre.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather polish
  • Leather dye
  • Leather crack filler
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Cloth
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About the Author

Residing in Morgantown, W.Va., Heather Preston began writing professionally in 2010. Her work has been published on Web sites such as eHow and She holds a Bachelor of Science in design and advertising from West Virginia University and is currently attending Fairmont State University as a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program.