Do-It-Yourself Leather Sofa Repair

Leather sofas provide a durable, sleek and modern choice for your furniture needs. Unfortunately, everyday use can take its toll on your leather sofa and leave unsightly rips, tears and scratches on the upholstery. Professional leather stores can fix your sofa. However, this is typically an expensive option that many people cannot afford. There are a few do-it-yourself leather repair options available that will fix the rips or scratches without a hefty repair bill.

Add 1 to 2 drops of distilled water to the scratches. You must lightly dampen the scratches with the distilled water. However, if you add too much water, you can cause water spots and water stains on your leather sofa.

Rub the distilled water into the scratches with a soft, leather cloth called a chamois. Rub in a circular motion until the scratches are no longer visible. Continue to Step 3 if the scratches are still present on the sofa.

Apply 1 to 2 drops of olive oil on a clean, lint-free cloth. Gently rub the scratches in a circular motion with the cloth. Continue adding olive oil to the cloth and rubbing the leather until the scratches are gone.

Remove loose threads from the damaged area by carefully cutting them with a pair of scissors. Clean the damaged area with a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Open the leather repair kit, and lay out the items in front of you. Familiarise yourself with the instructions.

Slice the backing fabric with a pair of scissors. Make the cut a bit larger than the damaged leather. Push the cut backing fabric in the tear or rip.

Stir the repair compound with the spatula for several seconds until well mixed. Spread a smooth and even layer of the compound over the damaged area. Let the repair compound dry for one hour. After the hour has passed, the compound will have a tacky feel to it.

Choose the grain paper from the kit that most closely resembles the grain on your sofa, and place on the tacky repair compound. Use your fingertips, and gently apply pressure to smooth the grain paper into the compound.

Place a heavy book on the grain paper, and let dry overnight. After the allotted time, carefully pull the paper off the dried repair compound.


After you have repaired the leather sofa, clean and buff the upholstery as you normally would.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • Chamois
  • Olive oil
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Scissors
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • DIY leather repair kit
  • Heavy book
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.