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repairing a leather couch

By Irene Vanina


Irina Vanina, a dedicated professional with over 20 years of expertise, established her company driven by a profound love for her craft. Specializing in handmade leather shoes and artisanal products, she leads a family-owned business that embodies meticulous attention to detail and a joyful approach.

Upholstery Advice

7 Steps How to Fix a Tear in a Leather Couch

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Fixing leather couches, whether repairing a tear, scratches, or reupholstering, requires special skill and care. With professional care and knowledge on how to revive a leather couch, your leather furniture can be brought back to like-new, without buying an entirely new couch.

Depending on the damage your couch has endured, you can attempt to repair a tear in a leather couch on your own. However, this kind of job is best handled by a professional team. It requires the right materials and knowledge of the proper steps, and when done incorrectly, can be a fruitless affair.

Still curious about how to get a leather couch back in its fighting condition? From reupholstering a leather couch to tackling scratches on leather couches, our experienced team knows just how to revive your favorite furniture. And when it comes to tears? We are the experts. For all the steps to repair a tear in leather couch furniture, we are sharing our guide to understand the tears on your couch, plus the seven steps to repair them.

What Are the Different Types of Tears in a Leather Couch?

There are several different types of tears a leather couch may have. As part of navigating how to repair a leather couch, it’s important to know what type of damage you’re working with. 

The different types of tears include:

  • Cuts: Cuts in leather can be caused by some actions, such as sharp objects snagging or moving furniture. This will look like a clean incision that’s around one inch or more in length. 
  • Punctures or holes: Punctures and holes are common for leather couches, especially when you have pets. Both cats and dogs can puncture the leather when they jump up, and these holes or punctures will appear as small circular tears.
  • Minor scratches or small tears: Small tears or scratches tend to be more surface-level than cuts or punctures. This damage may appear in various patterns but will remain on the surface.
  • Worn out rough patches: Worn areas and rough patches are common with more usage of a couch. This will appear as a faded color or added texture on the leather that wasn’t there before. Typically this type of damage will not be solved with a simple repair but must be reupholstered. 

No matter the damage your couch has seen, there are steps a professional team can take to restore a leather couch with these types of tears. With the right materials, we can bring your couch back to fighting condition.

Tools and Materials Used to Restore a Leather Couch

repairing leather couches

When we need to fix a leather couch there are a couple of essentials we turn to for our repairs.

No matter the state of your couch, the tools, and materials needed include:

  • Soft, clean rags
  • Sewing materials 
  • A compound mixture
  • Heat gun
  • Texture sponge
  • Paint
  • A top coat of paint.

Before we begin repairing leather couches, it’s important to ensure that all materials are ready to go to ensure a seamless repair.

How to Repair a Leather Couch In 7 Steps

Curious about how professionals handle repairing a leather couch? We’ve got you covered. Follow the steps below to learn more about repairing leather couches. Let’s dive right in!

Step 1: Asses Damage and Choose Products

Before beginning, it’s important to first analyze what kind of tear you’re dealing with. As we explained above, different types of tears can require different materials. 

When it comes to tears that are smaller than a tennis ball, you can skip sewing before the next steps. However, if it’s a larger tear, more products will be needed to ensure it withstands future damage. 

Step 2: Prep and Clean

Before beginning actual repairs, it’s important to thoroughly clean and prep the leather. Ensure the debris or particles are out of the way for a smooth, even repair. 

Step 3: Sew It Together 

While we don’t always sew together leather, we do recommend this for larger tears. This will help keep the pieces together through the next steps. However, smaller tears can skip this step. 

Step 4: Add Compound

Now it’s time to add a compound mixture. This will help repair and fill any damage. This can be maneuvered to fit the mold you need. However, this fluid can only be purchased from a dealer - another reason professionals usually handle this job. 

Be sure to choose the mixture carefully. The one that will work for you depends on the type of leather you’re working with. If the wrong mixture is chosen, it will reject the compound. 

Step 5: Use a Heat Gun

The next step when fixing leather couches is to use a heat gun. This will help the compound dry so you can move on to the next steps.

While using the heat gun, grab a texture sponge and blend the compound to match the existing texture of the leather. This way, you can get a more accurate, authentic finish.

Step 6: Re-Assess the Surface

how to repair a leather couch

After drying the compound, take another look at the surface you’ve repaired. Not only make sure that it is thoroughly dried, but seems to have done the job you needed it to and looks even and similar to the texture of the rest of the leather. 

Step 7: Paint and Top Coat 

The last of our steps for how to fix a hole in a leather couch is to paint! We apply paint that matches the rest of the leather for a surface that looks like it was never repaired at all. Typically, we will apply a few coats to fully fill the damage, and often custom-match, mixing different colors to get the shade that best matches your couch.

Once you’ve applied the necessary coats of color, lock it all in with a top coat to prevent the transfer and keep the pain in place.

How to Prevent Tears on a Couch

Whether your leather couch is cracking or you want to prevent further damage after noticing the leather couch is flaking, there are a few ways you can help prevent future scratches and tears to avoid additional restoration projects.

First, it’s best to prevent pets from jumping or being on your leather couch. Dogs and cats are wonderful pets, but they can have significant effects on leather furniture.

Next, try to avoid sitting on your leather couch in scratchy clothing or with sharp objects. That sounds odd, but buttons or clasps with rough edges can be a reason for some of your damage. Additionally, be careful with the shoes you wear on the couch since zippers or studs can cause scratching.

That being said, tears can be inevitable, especially after years of loving your couch. Thankfully, knowing how to fix leather couches can help prevent that damage from being permanent.


Now that you know the process we follow for how to repair a leather couch, you understand what care and knowledge this process takes. Whether your cat punctured the surface or your latest move left your leather couch scratched, this damage can be fixed with the right tools and processes when handled by a professional team.

If your tears or scratches on leather couches are ready for repair, our team is here to help. With years of experience, we are happy to restore a leather couch to its best condition. For our assistance, contact us today.

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