How to Repair Worn Leather

By Adam Raphael ; Updated April 12, 2017

Leather is natural and durable fabric made from animal skin and rawhide, especially the hide of cattle. It has been used for various purposes throughout the history of mankind. Its remarkable characteristics make leather a very widespread and popular material, used in almost all spheres of human life. It is an extremely durable, flexible, versatile and often beautiful material. If you notice that your leather has started to look worn and old, you may want to repair it and make it look new and shiny again.

Clean the leather surface with a damp cloth or a soft sponge. Make sure not to use a scrub sponge or an abrasive pad so you don’t damage the leather even further. Remove all dust and dirt, as well as loose leather particles.

Treat the surface of the leather with scuff treatment, scrubbing the surface gently using a toothbrush or a soft brush. Make sure to treat the entire damaged area and then let it settle for 5 minutes. Rinse with a clean cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. This will remove any excess scuff.

Apply matching leather dye to the damaged surfaces, spraying it from a spray bottle or rubbing it in with a sponge. Allow the surface of the leather to dry before proceeding any further. Use a dye of the exact same color as your leather. Using a high-quality dye is essential.

Use a layer of leather conditioner on the treated area. This will seal and protect your repairs. Wait one day for the conditioner to work its way inside the leather.

Treat the surface of the leather with a polish paste that is compatible with the color of the leather. Use a soft cloth to apply the polish and make sure to use a gentle, circular motion when rubbing the product in.

Things Needed

  • Soft sponge
  • Cloth
  • Scuff treatment
  • Soft brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Leather dye
  • Blow dryer
  • Leather conditioner
  • Leather polish

Tip

For extensive damage, you might need to treat the surface of the leather with fine sandpaper before applying a repair compound.

Consult the owner of your local antique store for additional tips on how to maintain and repair leather.

Warning

Wear disposable protective latex gloves when using chemicals, even mild ones, to restore your leather.

About the Author

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.