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Renovating 2 leather sofas

A tenant left behind 2 filthy and damaged sofas in a property and rather than throw them away I thought I would see if I could renovate them. I was amazed at how well they came up after thorough cleaning, repairing, staining and polishing. They look almost brand new now and only cost a little over £100 to renovate, whereas it would have costed over £1000 for each new sofa.

Posted By:

Helen Megson

Added this guide 51 years ago


Users Top Tips:

Make sure you dry thoroughy with a hair dryer in between layers of filler.

Make sure the backing patch you use to repair the hole is not much bigger than the hole, otherwise it tends to ruck up behind the leather.

Use the sponge and foam cleaner in a circular scrubbing motion to get into the grain of the leather and wipe away any dampness with a soft cloth as you go. This takes away the worst of the grime before it dries back on.

If it's really dirty give it a wipe over with a damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water. It helps to get the worst of the dirt off before you start.

Take your time over each step and the end result will be worth it.


One of the filthy (once upon a time cream coloured) sofas

1. Cleaning the sofa

I was faced with these filthy sofas and used the foam cleaner to get the ground in dirt out of the grain of the leather after first giving a sponge over with warm soapy water.

The largest of the holes

2. Mending the holes

I had 3 holes to repair, the largest being about 2.5cm x 0.75cm. I used the backing patches and glue from the leather repair kit to start the mend, then used about 4 layers of the heavy filler to build out the hole.

The cracked surface

3. Filling the cracks

There were many patches of cracked leather where the surface colourant had worn away revealing the unpleasant looking greyish leather beneath. I used the heavy filler to smooth over the cracks.

Cracks filled and leather stained

4. Colouring the sofa

I sponged on the base coat of colour, then sprayed with 3 coats of colourant. I ran out of propellant by the end of this, so I sponged on the 3 coats of base coating and 2 coats of satin coating, allowing each coat to dry in between.


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