How to Repair Boots With Leather Fillers

Updated April 17, 2017

Scratches, scrapes or worn areas usually occur on soft leather boots especially during the winter months. Over time as the leather wears, missing grain also becomes apparent. An expensive trip to the local leather repair store is avoided by using leather filler. Though brands differ, the filler is usually a water-based acrylic paste. A thicker coat of filler generally prevents proper adhesion. The filler compound must be buffed and sanded after application with fine sandpaper prior to adding any leather colour treatment to match leather shading.

Clean your leather boots of all debris, dirt and dust with a clean lint-free cloth. Wrap the cloth around your index finger and slide it across the scratch to dislodge debris. Deep stains must be removed with a leather ink and stain remover or a leather colour prep and cleaner. If you have designer leather boots, ask a sales representative for the brand's recommended leather cleaner product. Read the cleaner brand's mixing ratio. For instance, certain cleaners require 10 drops cleaner to 1 part water.

Place a small amount of leather filler on a shaped, flexible round-edged painting trowel. Keep in mind each filler brand has a different consistency such as paste or a thicker compound. Another alternative is to use a plastic spatula.

Dab a small amount of the filler along the scratch, gouge, scrape, missing grain or worn area on the leather boot. The filler's adhesion is dependent on the thickness of the filler applied. A thin coat application is generally required for proper adhesion.

Spread the filler gently with the flexible tool making sure the filler is lodged into the scratch, missing grain, scrape or worn area.

Press the filler with your finger wearing protective latex gloves if the flexible tool missed any areas. Read your brand's instructions for the recommended drying time.

Buff the area with fine sandpaper, such as an ultra fine 600 grit. This is especially important if you are planning to add a leather colour application over the leather filler.

Mix the colours in the leather colour treatment kit to match your leather boot's shade according to your brand's instructions. The colour shade generally appears slightly lighter than your leather boot upon application. Let the colour mix dry the recommended time. As the colour dries, the shade darkens appearing seamless on your repaired leather boots.

Things You'll Need

  • Lint-free cloth
  • Leather ink and stain remover
  • Leather colour prep and cleaner (optional)
  • Leather filler
  • Round-edged painting trowel
  • Plastic spatula (optional)
  • Protective latex gloves
  • Fine sandpaper (ultra fine 600 grit)
  • Leather colour treatment (optional)
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About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.