Peeling or flaking on leather furniture is usually a problem affecting the leather's finish rather than the leather itself. Repair minor issues yourself with a liquid leather and vinyl repair kit that includes several tints so you can match the leather's color. Practice applying the repair solution on a scrap piece of leather or vinyl to hone your skills for an imperceptible repair.
Inspect the Upholstery
Inspect the leather around the areas that are peeling to take note of any forthcoming issues before you begin the repair process; it's more efficient to patch up several problems at once, and it ensures all the repairs will match. Sit on the sofa and note whether the cushions look like they may peel or flake under weight. If you do notice any peeling areas that may be hard to find later, place a small piece of masking tape near them to note where they are.
Clean That Couch
Wipe down the area surrounding each point of damage using a slightly damp, lint-free white cloth. If the repair kit includes alcohol wipes, use those to clean the leather, or you may use a dedicated leather-cleaning solution. Cleaning before the repair ensures the real leather color shows so you can make an accurate color match with the repair solution. Allow the area to dry completely.
Mix It Up
Mix the leather repair liquid with one or more colors in the repair kit in one of the empty containers included with the kit. Test the repair solution on an inconspicuous area, such as the back of the sofa near one of the legs, to be sure the color matches the leather. Use a piece of masking tape to label the container once you're happy with the color, so you can save excess repair liquid for future projects.
Make the Repair
Things you'll need:
- Tinted leather repair liquid
- Craft paper or plain brown bag (optional)
Plug in an iron to a high-heat setting without steam.
Apply a small amount of the tinted repair liquid over one of the peeled or cracked areas using the small spatula from the repair kit. Feather the repair a bit beyond the peeled or chipped area so the color blends well. Apply the liquid in thin layers until the repair blends in with the surrounding area. The applied repair solution should be level with the surrounding leather, rather than sticking up.
Place the leather grain paper from the kit grain-side down atop the wet repair.
Touch the flat metal portion of the heating tool from the repair kit to the hot, flat plate on the iron, holding it in place for at least one minute until the tool heats up. If your leather repair kit doesn't have such a tool, place a piece of craft paper or a plain brown bag atop the grain paper instead. The paper should be larger than the hot plate of the iron.
Press the flat, hot portion of the heating tool atop the grain paper, moving it around for a minute or so to set the repair. If using an iron, iron the brown paper for 20 to 30 seconds, moving the iron around a bit. Allow the area to cool for several minutes before peeling the grain paper from the repair.
Do not apply the heat tool or iron directly to the leather or the repair liquid. Keep it on the paper to prevent damage to the leather.
The same repair technique can be used to repair cracks and punctures in leather, vinyl faux leather and blended leather upholstery.