How to buff out scratches in leather furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Leather furniture is subjected to plenty of wear and tear. The kids, pets and even a bump with the vacuum can mar that perfect expanse of material. Leather care, therefore, is an important part of keeping your home looking its best and will add to the life of the furniture. Scratches that tear the leather require repair by a professional. But most scratches that occur are usually just cosmetic surface marks that you can buff out using one of several methods.

Buff in shoe polish that matches your furniture's colour. Use the product applicator and buff in a circular motion. Allow the product to penetrate for an hour and then use the rag to buff off any residual polish.

Squeeze leather cleaner on a soft rag and rub it in to the scratched area to remove grease, grime and fingerprints. Wipe off any excess with a clean rag and apply the protectant. It will add a colouring agent and wax to fill the scratch and cover it up. Let it dry overnight. In the morning, use a blow dryer for 30 seconds on the spot to seal it.

Test for colour fastness in a tiny, unseen area if using furniture polish to buff out the scratch. If it did not fade the test spot, buff the polish into the scratches. Wipe it off thoroughly. Applying olive oil will basically do the same thing, which is moisturise the leather. This plumps it up, and the oil deepens the colour so it better matches the original hue.

Use a leather repair kit if all else fails. Moisten the scratch area and sand it with a damp piece of the 1,000-grit sandpaper that comes in the kit. Apply the repair patch or liquid, depending on what kit you purchase. The final result needs to dry for a day. Use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

Spray leather conditioner over the entire piece of furniture and buff it in with a cloth. Leather furniture that is moist will scar less easily than dry leather. Furniture near windows will dry out very fast and should be conditioned at least once per month.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe polish and applicator
  • Clean, lint-free rag
  • Leather cleaner and protectant
  • Blow dryer
  • Furniture polish
  • Olive oil
  • Leather repair kit
  • Leather conditioner
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About the Author

Bonnie Grant began writing professionally in 1990. She has been published on various websites, specializing in garden-related instructional articles. Grant recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management with a hospitality focus from South Seattle Community College.