How to restore leather-9 steps
We all love leather furniture. It makes a room cosy and feels nice and warm when you sit or lie on it. After several years of use, your leather furniture is bound to fade in colour, develop wrinkles and cracks and generally lose that elegant style it initially possessed. The response for most people would be to think of replacing their old leather sofa (or other furniture) with something similar. But they are likely to be unable to find a fitting replacement due to cost constraints or too much attachment to the furniture they currently own.
However, did you know that it is possible to restore leather to its original look? Here are nine steps to bringing your old furniture back to glory.
Step 1- Clean the leather
First, ensure to clean any dirt, wax or oils off the sofa. Use warm soapy water for this. Alternatively, lather soap on a piece of cloth and rub on the leather, one section at a time. Always remember to use a mild detergent solution.
Step 2- Prime or prep the leather
This step applies when you need to restore the original leather colour or repair cracks. For this, apply a leather preparation product. Allow the leather about 15 minutes to dry so that it may accept the colouring balm. Ensure that there is no greasy spot or spill on it. Preparing the leather in this manner is essential because applying the recolouring balm on dirty and oily leather is likely to cause adhesion problems.
Step 3- Apply the recolouring balm
Using a paintbrush, apply the recolouring balm in a light layer over the whole couch. Avoid rubbing repeatedly on previous sections because this will create inconsistent layers. Ensure the product gets into all the wrinkles and cracks. Once the first layer has dried, apply another light layer in the same manner and repeat this process a few more times until you achieve the desired colour. If you desire a rich colour, you may have to repeat the process up to six times.
Further, ensure that you use the recolouring balm that matches the colour of your leather. However, if you do not wish to retain your original leather colour, use your desired colour.
Step 4- Repair minor scratches
These may be due to claw marks by your pet dog or cat, or just general wear and tear. Using a white piece of cloth, apply a dab of white vinegar and wipe the scratches. Vinegar works to make leather fibre swell and this will help hide the scratches.
Step 5- Remove discoloration
Where there are some slightly discoloured spots – maybe due to spills on the leather – use a leather conditioner. If the stains remain, try using a marker and draw on the stains. The marker must match the exact leather colour.
Step 6- Repair mild cracks
Cracks on your leather can be very uncomfortable to sit on and unpleasant to look at. While following Step 2 may deal with some cracks, it is not completely effective as it only hides them. Where the cracks are mild, you may use leather glue. Use glue specifically meant for repairing leather. Using a toothpick or a sponge, apply the glue on the affected areas and your two fingers to push the cracked edges together
Step 7- Repair large holes
Remove the leather peels around the hole to achieve a definite shape. You may use sandpaper or an abrasive cloth for this purpose. Obtain a piece of replacement leather that matches the colour and texture of your leather. Ensure that the piece perfectly matches in the hole in both appearance and shape. Apply, glue on the back of the replacement leather piece and carefully press the piece on the affected area.
Step 8- Restoring the original leather smell
Your leather may have developed some bad odour due to pets urinating on the furniture. Cigarette smoke is another common smell your furniture might have retained. Make a mixture of vinegar and water in equal measures and spray on all areas of the furniture. Allow it to dry for about 15 minutes and wipe off the vinegar.
Step 9- Recondition
Reconditioning works to make the leather look new. You can use mink oil, Neatsfoot Oil, or any specially formulated conditioning product. Using a soft absorbent cloth, rub the leather surface in circular motions. Apply the conditioner sparingly to avoid overloading the pores. Allow the leather a few hours to soak in the conditioner before using it. Ensure to recondition your leather periodically.