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How to repair a sun damaged leather sofa

Updated February 21, 2017

Leather usually shows sun damage as a faded area where the rays of sun have been hitting it on a regular basis. Faded spots are often unsightly and can make you want to toss the whole leather sofa. It's not necessary to do so, however, if you want to redye the leather to repair the sun damaged areas. To keep this from happening again, always use a good quality leather conditioner on your leather furniture to keep it soft, supple and safe from the sun's harmful rays.

Combine a small amount of washing up liquid with warm water and wash the leather sofa with a damp sponge, being careful not to get it overly wet. Ensure that all dirt and grease is removed from the sofa, as it may cause the dye to fail.

Apply a coat of leather prep solution to the sun damaged area of your sofa using a soft cloth. Scrub the damaged area vigorously so the surface pores of the leather can open up to receive the dye. Dry the area thoroughly with paper towels or an absorbent cloth before continuing.

Sand the sun damaged area of the leather with fine grit sandpaper, very lightly. Do not over sand or sand across the stitches of the sofa. Lightly abrade the surface of the leather so the dye will have a surface to grip. Wipe away any dust with a damp sponge and allow the leather to dry for 15 to 20 minutes.

Apply several coats of leather colour to the sun damaged area of the sofa with an applicator sponge or a sprayer. Use light, even strokes to avoid leaving brush marks or bubbles. Allow the leather to dry for 15 to 20 minutes in between coats. To speed the drying process, you can use a hair dryer set on low heat. Avoid touching the area unnecessarily for 48 hours after the colour is applied to keep from damaging the new finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Soapy water
  • Sponge
  • Leather prep solution
  • Soft cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Leather colour
  • Hair dryer
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About the Author

Marsanne Petty has been a writer and photographer for over ten years, and is currently pursuing the combination in tandem. She attended Madison Community College, receiving a degree in Administration. She has published several articles for magazines, including Jack Magazine, and the local newspaper, the Jasper News. Her latest creation, a pictoral history of Hamilton County, Florida, was published in early 2009 through Arcadia Publishing.