Find out How To Restore Leather Furniture The Right Way!
Leather furniture such as sofas and chairs are great pieces to have in the home. They’re very warm and comfy, and they improve the look of the home too. But while it can last for a lifetime when properly maintained, leather may accumulate scratches, stains, and dirt, and it may also become dull. And without proper care, it may eventually look ugly.
Fortunately, these problems can be easily solved. If you want to restore leather furniture by yourself, you’re just going to have to invest a bit of patience and time. You can restore leather furniture products so that they will look brand new. It’s like getting new furniture again, except that it won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
Gathering Your Tools
The real first step to leather restoration is to prepare what you’ll need. You can always go online and buy a leather repair and restoration kit, especially if you have several pieces of leather furniture to restore.
You probably own some of the tools you need, such as scissors, tweezers, and a glue stick. But you’ll also need a leather cleaner, a leather insert or canvas cloth, and leather conditioner. Don’t forget the grain pad, filler, and palette knife.
Now for bigger furniture, you may also need a leather color restorer kit. This kit includes the base coat and the top coat, along with a sponge and 1200 grit sandpaper. Check your furniture to see if there’s a convenient tag hidden under the cushion. You can then send this tag off for color matching.
If the tag’s not there, you can buy colors you can mix to come up with a precise match. You’ll also need leather recoloring balm.
Cleaning Your Furniture
You’ll first need to learn how to clean leather furniture thoroughly before you proceed. Vacuum it using the soft brush attachment. Then get a dye-free sponge and a small amount of water-based leather cleaning product. Use them on the area to be cleaned in gentle circular motions.
Keep on rinsing the sponge with clean water as you do this. Then wipe the extra water and fluid with dye-free cloth.
When removing stains, what you first need to do is to determine the type of stain, which then tells you what kind of removal product to get. An all-purpose leather stain remover can remove dye transfer from boots and jeans, but ink requires a special leather ink remover. Just use a dye-free sponge and dab gently on the stain until the sponge absorbs the stain. Afterwards, treat the area with a layer of leather protection.
Dealing with Discoloration
Leather becomes discolored when it’s exposed to bright sunlight over time, or if you used the wrong cleaning product. The answer here is to apply leather recoloring balm with a dye-free cloth, using gentle circular movements. The balm comes in a wide range of colors, so you can add more layers to boost the intensity of the shade.
Gradually you should be able to get a perfect match. You can then buff the leather surface with a clean dye-free cloth, and for best results you should put in a layer of leather protection cream. This will slow down the discoloration and fading in the future.
Handling Scratches, Rips, and Tears
This type of damage happens when you have pets or kids in the house, and even a careless movement with a car key can cause rips and scratches. The good news is, you can restore leather furniture scratches but it requires some effort.
After the area is cleaned, carefully rub the surface around the rip with an abrasive pad with an amount of leather reparatory product. This will eliminate any oils or finish around the area.
Trim the frayed area with a sharp pair of scissors, and remove any small leather edges that are sticking out. Then use your tweezers to slip a piece of canvas behind the tear. You can use other backing material for this, and you may have to slide it around a bit to get it into the right position.
Now use the gluing stick to dab some leather glue around the edges of the rip between the canvas and the torn edge. Then use your tweezers to press it firmly in place until the glue dries. This step seals the area that needs to be repaired.
Now it’s time to fill in the hole. Apply a suitable, even layer of filler across the hole using the palette knife. Let it stand for about twenty minutes until it dries, then repeat the same step until the hole is filled in. It will shrink as it dries, and it will take a few layers of filler. If the filler isn’t even with the hole after it dries, make it level with sandpaper.
Then it’s time to use a dye-free sponge to add the base colorant. Use small circular movements across the hole. Now use the top coat following the label direction. You can then use a grain pad over the repair to set a grainy look. Then finish with a layer of leather protection cream.
Dealing with the Cracks
Cracks can become rips and tears when not addressed right away. These can appear when the leather furniture is set in a hot and dry place, such as in direct sunlight or beside a fireplace.
When there are tiny cracks, you need to clean them first and then fix them with a specialized conditioner. Cracks form when the leather has become brittle and hard, so the conditioner softens the leather when the oils penetrate the surface. You can use your hands for this, and work it in deeply so that it really seeps into the fibers.
Leave it on overnight, and in the morning use a damp dye-free cloth to wipe away the excess conditioner. If the leather is still dry in some places, repeat the process and make sure the conditioner really penetrates the leather.