How to Restore Dry, Fading Leather Furniture

Written by nancy wagner
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How to Restore Dry, Fading Leather Furniture
Dry, faded leather furniture usually looks better after restoration. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Leather furniture that experiences fading and drying may look old, used and unattractive. But with the proper technique, your furniture could look almost new again. With just a bit of work to remove dirt and grime, along with applying leather conditioner, your furniture can look inviting and attractive. If the conditioner does not bring back the original colour of your pieces, using pigments or dyes that match your original leather finish can help bring your furniture's beauty out again.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soft brush
  • Liquid soap
  • Bucket
  • Soft cloth rags
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather dye

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  1. 1

    Use the vacuum cleaner and a soft vacuum brush to remove dust and dirt from the furniture.

  2. 2

    Add a few drops of mild liquid soap to a bucket of distilled water. Mix the solution until suds form, then soak one of the soft rags in the soap mixture. After wringing out the excess water from the rag, wipe the surface of the furniture.

  3. 3

    Wipe the piece with another rag dipped in just some distilled water, and wring the rag out before using it to wipe away the soap residue.

  4. 4

    Use a dry, soft cloth to dry the furniture completely.

  5. 5

    Buff lustre back into the furniture using another dry, soft rag.

  6. 6

    Apply leather conditioner to the furniture with a soft, clean cloth. Use a light, even coat, rubbing the conditioner into one small area at a time.

  7. 7

    Apply a leather dye that's been precision-matched to your furniture's hue and finish if the conditioner alone does not bring your furniture's lustre and colour back. To get the properly coloured dye, send a tiny sample from an unfaded section of your furniture or a factory swatch of your leather to a leather-restoration company that makes leather dyes, such as DIY Leather Solutions and Leather Magic. The company matches the colour, then provides a liquid solution that perfectly matches the colour you need. Follow the company's instructions on applying the dye to your furniture.

Tips and warnings

  • Some furniture stores provide leather cleaning and conditioning supplies when you buy your furniture. Use these products first since they likely work best with your furniture.
  • To get a leather colouring kit, you can also remove a seat, back or arm cushion cover and send that to the leather colouring company.
  • Don't keep your leather furniture in sunny areas of the house to avoid cracking, fading or drying.

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