How to Fix Animal Scratches on Leather Furniture

Since they likely symbolize a significant investment, your leather furnishings should be kept in tip-top shape. But even the most cautious housekeepers may not be able to fend off scratch marks from Spike or Muffin. Use a few household tricks to restore your leather furniture when animals attack.

Step 1 Clean the area.

The effects of scratching can sometimes be mitigated by a light cleaning. What seems like a deep scratch could just be a light graze against the material. Use a leather cleaner or a cotton ball dabbed in rubbing alcohol to clean the area and to evaluate the scratch's boundaries.

Step 2 Rehydrate the leather.

Wet a chamois cloth and place it over the scratches. Heat the area with a hair dryer set to "low." The heat and moisture help draw the oils in the leather to the surface, which will and make it easier for you to assess the damage.

Step 3 Fill light scratches.

Return the frayed fibrous ends (called batting) to the interior of the couch. Use a toothpick to poke them back inside of a scratch or puncture, or hold them out of the way while filling the scratched area. When the scratches are dry, start filling the light-colored scratched area with the recoloring balm, shoe polish or matching paint marker. Try using a small round-headed paintbrush for precision.

Trim away any loose fibers with nail scissors.

Step 4 Tackle deep scratches.

If you can easily slide a small object, like your finger or a pen, between the leather and the body of the couch, you will need to repair the leather with craft glue or a leather repair solution. As in Step 3, snip or reinsert any stray fibers to avoid an unwelcome chunky texture in the repaired furniture.

Pull flaps of scratched leather toward one another. Working carefully, dab a little glue in between the body of the couch and its leather covering, re-adhering the flaps to the couch. Dry with the blow dryer and paint any remaining scratches using the process for micro-tears.

Step 5 Consider patching.

Intrepid repairers may wish to to create the illusion of integrity. To do this, add volume to the open place using a few cotton balls or fabric craps; then take a small piece of canvas or leather in a matching shade and insert it into the rupture, using a small instrument like a toothpick. Hold it steady while you paint over the area with leather repair solution.

When the leather is dry, go back and check for missed spots with your paintbrush. Follow up by conditioning the leather again with a very light coating of olive or orange oil. Use a fresh chamois cloth to wipe off any extra oil.