How to repair the colour of a leather sofa

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather on a sofa can fade over time due to age and weather damage, especially when furniture is left outside. There are easy ways to restore the colour on a leather sofa and bring the sofa back to its original condition. It doesn’t cost a lot to recondition and repair a leather sofa, whether it is antique, vintage or only a few years old.

Rub leather cleaner over the sofa. Place a small amount in the centre of a soft, white cloth and rub the cleaner in a circular motion, moving the cloth over the entire sofa. Flip the cloth over to the clean side, once the first layer of surface dirt has been removed. Wipe away any excess cleaner.

Apply leather conditioner with a second clean rag following the same steps. Leather conditioner will bring out the richness of the colour once the sofa is cleaned. Let the conditioner dry on the sofa for two hours, then wipe the conditioner away with a clean rag. Make sure you condition between leather sofa cushions.

Use leather dye to repair the colour by following the instructions in a leather recolouring kit. Use an aniline leather recoloring kit for sofas made from aniline leather. Use a water-based colour coat of leather dye included in the kit. Order the kit online to get an exact colour match.

Use a leather stain remover to repair colour. Large stains and ink will damage and interfere with leather colour. Apply a small amount of stain remover to a clean, dry cloth. Wipe stains away using a gentle circular motion. Do not rub or scrub the surface of the stain. Let the remover soak into the stain to dissolve it for a few minutes, then gently wipe away. Repeat this process if necessary to remove stains. Use leather cleaner after wiping away stains and follow up with leather conditioner.

Use a leather patch kit to repair patchy areas of faded leather on a sofa. Choose a leather patch that matches the original colour of the sofa to blend in. Take the patch and place over the spot.

Use a steam iron set to medium heat and follow the instructions in the kit. Place the iron over the patch so it melts into the leather. Follow the directions for using sandpaper within the kit to even out the patch, then wipe the leather dust away with a clean paintbrush. Recondition when finished.


After a leather sofa is repaired, it should be kept out of direct sunlight to help prevent future fading of the colour.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Soft, white cloth
  • Leather conditioner
  • Clean rag
  • Leather dye
  • Leather recolouring kit
  • Aniline leather recolouring kit
  • Leather stain remover
  • Leather patch kit
  • Steam iron
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean paintbrush
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About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.