How to Fix Cracks, Tears, and Holes in Leather Car Seats
While leather car seats look nice and are generally quite durable, they can sometimes suffer cracks, tears, burns, and other damage. Some of these are easier to repair than others. For example, a seam tear can be large and appear daunting, but it is possible to repair. In contrast, smaller holes may be harder to fix. At Albo Restoration, we can repair leather car seats and make them look as good as new.
We are sharing some tools we use and steps we take on conducting repairs to leather car seats.
There are many different ways to make repairs to leather car seats. Here are some supplies we rely on:
- Cleaning materials
- A sewing material
- A compound fluid
- A hot glue gun
- A textured sponge
- A paint top coat
- Paint brushes.
You can also conduct car seat leather repairs using a compound mixture. This is the most effective route, although best done by a professional. This method works best for smaller cracks and creases in the seat. Here’s how to repair car seat leather using liquid leather.
With any car seat leather repairs, we must start by assessing the damage. Ask yourself - can this be fixed? The answer to thighs depends largely on where the damage has occurred. For instance, damages in the middle of a seat cushion we do not recommend fixing as it is a heavily used part of the seat and will likely crack in just a few weeks. Additionally, damages that are close to the stitch are not worth fixing. If the filler compound is put there, it will be obvious and unappealing.
With this in mind, the best areas for this type of repair are the back cushion, armrest, and side of the back cushion.
Additionally, take a look at what type of leather your car uses. Some leathers will not work well with particular tools, compounds, or heat guns. In fact, some of these solutions may cause more damage. While you can try to do your research in advance, this is why we recommend professional services.
Clean your seats off of any debris, such as dirt or crumbs, using a rag with hot soapy water. Let the seat dry before you do anything else.
The next step, when applicable, is to sew it together. We do not always complete this step, however, it is useful in cases of larger tears. That being said, if it’s a small tear, you don’t need to sew it.
Now it’s time to add a compound. This is a mixture that can be used to repair and fill the damage. This fluid can be maneuvered to fit the mold you need, however, it can only be purchased at a dealer.
Keep in mind, it is essential that the mixture used is chosen based on the leather type you are working with. If you do not choose the right mixture, it will not work.
The next step for how to repair car seat leather is heat gun application. This will help the compound dry. While the heat gun is used, simultaneously rub a texture sponge over the spot to blend it with the texture of the leather for a more seamless, even finish.
Now it’s time to reassess the surface. Take the time to ensure the surface is completely dry and ready for paint.
Next is paint! Apply paint to match the rest of the leather for an even finish. Typically, we use a few coats to fill the damage. Keep in mind, sometimes you need to custom-match by mixing paints together to find the perfect color.
Lastly, add a finishing top coat. This will lock the paint in place using a special product that will prevent color transfer.
Knowing how to fix leather car seats when they’re damaged is great, but even if there are no current damages to the seats, it’s important to keep taking care of your leather car seats. With proper maintenance, you can avoid a lot of damage to your leather car seats. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort and it can go a long way in making sure your seats stay pristine. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep car leather from cracking.
- Place sun shades on your windshield and windows when your car is parked, especially for an extended period of time. Excessive exposure to the sun can lead to cracks in leather so shielding your seats from the sun should prevent that. However, make sure not to drive with the shades on as this can be unsafe.
- Clean and condition your seats regularly. Use a vacuum to clean off any debris from your seats. Then use a cloth with soapy water to wipe down the seats and apply a leather conditioner. When leather dries out, it can crack and tear. You can avoid damage this way by using leather conditioner on your seats every six months or so.
- Do not scratch at your seats. When there is some residue or grime on leather seats, it can be tempting to scratch it off. However, this can lead to tears in the leather which are harder to fix than cracks. Instead, clean the seat with soapy water and a rag.
Leather car seats can be quite beautiful and work very well for you and your family. However, they do require care and sometimes need repairs, and these repairs are best handled by a professional. If you have any questions about your leather car seats or would like to learn about our services, make sure to visit us or reach out to us! We want to help you make the best decisions about your leather car seat needs.