7 Steps to Restoring Old Leather Furniture | Repair For Leather Furniture
Repair For Leather Couch is the best upholstery material for classy furniture and it can last generations with the right care. The problem is that even leather can fade over time. It usually happens because of drying. Your favorite chair just needs a little maintenance to make it feel new again! The best part is, it’s quick and inexpensive.
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Last update on 2021-08-10 at 22:13 PST - Details
Everything You’ll Need
Start by getting all the tools you’ll need to restore the leather. First, you should pick up a leather cleaning solution. A gentle Castile soap works great and it helps to moisturize the leather. The next thing you’ll need is a conditioner. It will restore the original color back into aged leathers that have dried out.
This step is essential for matching the colors correctly. If you’re going to restore your furniture back to its best days, you’ll need a high-quality leather furniture dye as well. Equally as important, is a heat gun to remove small scratches from the surface.
Although a decent hairdryer will also work. If there is significant damage to your furniture, leather filler will cover well-worn spots and scratches. However, gouges will require leather patches and may need to be trimmed material by hand.
Cleaning the Leather
You can use a soft cloth to apply a cleaning solution to the leather. Use the solution sparingly and be careful not to over-soak the upholstery. The cloth should only be damp enough to pick up the dirt stuck to the surface.
Make sure to thoroughly clean any cracks that might be present since dust tends to settle into damaged spots. You can expect some blemishes to disappear immediately, while others may be a bit more challenging.
Conditioning the Leather
Apply an oil-based conditioner to the cleaned leather. You can use a new cloth or you can rub it into the leather with your hands. Use a small amount at a time until the surface quits absorbing it. Allow the leather to rest for several hours.
You should see a visible darkening of color with older furniture. That’s perfectly normal and it’s a sign that the leather is ready to be repaired. If your furniture is heavily scratched, then you may need to repeat the conditioning process multiple times for an even appearance.
Determining Leather Types
There are three main types of leather that most furniture is crafted from. Let’s go over the differences, and you’ll know exactly how to restore your piece properly.
Aniline leathers are prone to staining and they are easily stained by oils. You can tell leather is aniline because it will not have a protective layer. It may also show signs of UV damage when left in direct sunlight. This is the easiest type of leather to restore.
Nubuck leathers are very similar to aniline leathers. They do not have a topcoat, and they are susceptible to sun damage. The difference is that nubuck leather is sanded down to have a more natural texture. This causes it to be far more sensitive to the elements than other types. It is also the hardest leather to patch.
Leather that has a protective top-coating is extremely resilient to fading and it rarely stains. Scratches are far more noticeable, as a side-effect. Splits are also more likely to occur when the leather becomes too dry. Top-coated furniture needs to be conditioned regularly to avoid these issues.
Matching the Color
The color will be easier to match after the conditioning process. There are lots of color selection charts online that you can use as a reference. If you are still unsure about choosing the right color, then you should reach out to a leather furniture dye provider for helpful resources.
Filling In Cracked Leather
A large portion of cracks can be completely repaired by using adhesive leather filler. Holes may require a sub-patch underneath and burned spots will need to be trimmed away. Repairing cracks does not prevent further cracking on its own.
You’ll need to maintain the leather with conditioning creams to stop the cracks from appearing again in the same areas. If your furniture is upholstered with nubuck leathers, then you’ll need a nubuck cloth to give it that rough texture to match the existing leather.
Making Scratches Disappear
Some scratches might still be visible after conditioning the leather. You can fix the remaining scratches on aniline leather by heating the surface as you apply conditioner. It will cause the colors to blend smoothly, and it will reduce the appearance of scuffs. Use your heat gun on the lowest settings or use a small hairdryer.
The Dyeing Process
You’ve got all of the imperfections out of the leather by now and it’s time to start the dyeing process. Each type of leather works differently with dyes. Here’s what you need to do for each kind:
Dyeing Top-Coated Leather
Top-coated leathers have to be dyed multiple times using light coatings. This keeps the finished result looking consistent over the entire piece of furniture. It may take up to four coats to fully dye the leather evenly. You should apply a new protective coating over the leather once you reach the desired color.
Dyeing Aniline and Nubuck Leathers
Aniline leather is extremely absorbent. The dyes you add to it will mix with the existing colors very well. If you want a much newer looking leather, then you should consider applying a dark dye. Usually, only one coat is needed to fully dye this type of leather.
Pour the dye onto a small cloth and use the cloth to apply the dye to your leather. You’ll need to use a specialized nubuck cloth to apply the dye on nubuck leathers. Wait a few hours before deciding to add a second coat. Using too much dye at once can cause the leather to take a much longer time to dry.