We love leather. Soft, durable, luxurious, elegant - leather really has a touch of class that makes our clothes and furniture stand out above the rest.
That’s why when your cat scratches the arm of the leather couch or your beautiful bouncy baby tears your favorite vintage leather jacket, you go a bit crazy. Luckily, leather can be repaired to a certain extent.
Using a leather repair kit, we can’t bring it back to brand new, but we can make it look better. Leather repair kits can remedy scratches, abrasions, cuts, tears, cracks, and holes, as well as fang issues and discoloration.
While this sounds like a miracle, not all repair kits are made equal. Luckily, we’ve prepared this guide to the best leather repair kit manufacturers out there. Check out our guide on the pros and cons of each leather repair kit, to see how you can restore your leather possessions.
Best Leather Repair Kit Comparison Chart
Leather Max Complete Leather Refinish, Restore, Recolor & Repair Kit
MastaPlasta, Leather Repair Patch
FORTIVO Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit
Coconix Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit
Strongman Tools | 25 Piece Professional Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit
How Do You Repair Leather?
Durable as it is, leather experiences wear and tear as much as any material. However, unlike other materials, leather is expensive to replace and a little more tricky to hide the damage. Leather repair kits can help to fix the many issues that might become prominent on your leather furniture and clothing.
For cuts and tears, leather repair kits can help you to fix the gap. You do this by patching to cover up the hole and smoothing over the repair site.
For abrasions and scratches, leather repair kits allow you to smooth the surface and color the scratch to hide it from sight. These kits will allow you to polish and wax out scratches as well as hiding them with dyes.
Moreover, if you are experiencing cracking in your leather, repair kits contain compounds that allow you to fill in the cracks, while oiling the leather to restore its moisture, flexibility, and elasticity.
When it comes to burns, such as cigarette burns, leather repair kits will help you to remove the excess burnt leather, fill in the hole, and cover this over to blend in with the original leather. That way you can restore both the texture and the coloring.
What Does a Leather Repair Kit Contain?
A leather kit is designed to tackle all kinds of issues with leather. In this sense, you’re looking for a leather repair kit with as many accessories as possible if you want to cover broad spectrum damage, or kits with large quantities of repair items for your specific need - say, a tear or a burn hole.
Typically, leather repair kits come with between 10 and 25 pieces, which usually include the materials and tools needed for repair. You’re likely to find alcohol wipes and cloths for cleaning the leather, sandpaper and grain paper for preparation, leather adhesive and application swabs, backing fabrics and leather samples for patching, paints and dyes for recoloring, sponges, mixing tools and bowls, brushes, dye pens, and instructions.
These items come in varying quantities and in different styles. Some kits may include glue pens and glue guns, whereas others may include liquid glue. Leather adhesives range from tubes of glue to sticky patches, while backing fabrics and leather samples vary in colors.
Make sure to choose a kit that matches your colorings of paints, dyes, backing fabrics, and leather samples. Equally, if it is your first time, make sure to have extra cleaning materials and surplus application tools.
Do Leather Repair Kits Really Work?
Now while leather repair kits are designed to fix leather, it is important to remember a few things.
Perfectionists won’t always be happy - A leather repair kit will not restore your leather back to how it looked before. This is not a miracle solution. However, it will enable you to apply techniques that blend damage into the leather to help hide it.
Not all kits are good quality - Read the reviews from each kit as they contain different products, as well as being of different efficacy levels. Not all glue is as easy to work with, while not all repair patches fit well.
They hide damage well - While not perfect, your alternative is to look at damage to your leather constantly. This will blend in and the repair will fade over time as it gets a little grubby. Over a period, you’ll see the repair less and less.
Keep it clean - Sometimes the problem isn’t with the kit but is with the user’s application. The leather must be clean before you apply glue or sticky patches. When we apply these sticky surfaces to grimy leather, the patch sticks to the dirt and not the leather. This results in it peeling off very soon after application.
Quick Take: The Best Leather Repair Kits
Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best leather repair kits:
Reviews of the Best Leather Repair Kits
If you’re gasping for air at the sight of a cut in your leather sofa or a cigarette burn in your favorite leather coat - you can stop panicking. Below is a comprehensive guide to the best leather repair kits on the market.
We explore the pros and cons of each kit, while giving an overview of the features and our own assessment of the product. That way, you can safely repair your leather and get back to sleeping easy again!
Designed for restoring and recoloring, this kit is geared toward users who are looking to bring color back to their old leather. You’ll find this kit works on both leather and vinyl. It contains a black and white restoration color, three shades of brown coloring, a sponge applicator, and mixing tools.
This is a great kit targeted at restoring color on your brown leathers. It includes black and white for shade enhancing, as well as being suitable for both leather and vinyl. Be aware the shades are slightly lighter than you’d imagine, but the results are very positive.
This is a patch designed for applying to a cut or rip in leather. It is 8 x 11 inches, covering a reasonable sized split or hole. The reverse side peels off and then adheres to varying materials, including suede, leather, plastic, and vinyl. It can be cut into shapes and is soft and supple.
For those with conventional color leather goods, this simple-to-apply patch is a great solution for holes and tears in leather. The patch is large and sticks easily, but you only get one patch per pack.
This multi-purpose leather repair kit contains seven paint colors, a repair compound, a spatula, backing fabric, a leather patch, a mixing bottle, and instructions. This works on leather and vinyl and can fix scuffs, abrasions, cuts, and holes.
This kit is a great all-rounder for general repairs to your leather. A great purchase alongside a new leather jacket or sofa, this kit will help to maintain your leather against wear and tear. The quantities of the supplies are a little low and you can’t access the colors separately. However, the results are great.
This kit works to repair cracks, burns, holes, tears, and abrasions using a repair compound. This repair kit includes seven colors of the compound that can be mixed for your specific hue. The kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Make sure to prepare for a mess when using this, but also be ready for a surprisingly professional finish. Very strong, this is a great repair kit and the color can be tailored to your satisfaction.
A 25-piece set, this comprehensive leather repair kit includes paint colors, patches and backing materials, alcohol wipes, cleaning swabs, and cloths, sandpaper, grain paper, and practice leather a mixing cup, application tools, sponges, and instructions. The adhesive is quick-dry and the paints can be mixed for the desired color.
This is a great kit including nearly everything you need. While larger quantities of paint would be desirable, the glue dries quickly and there is practice leather to get the hang of it first.
Leather Repair Tips and Tricks
- Clean the Leather First - When we don’t clean the leather first, we stick the adhesive materials to the dirt and grime on the leather. While the leather may look clean after a good vacuum, oils from our clothes and skin leave a residue on the material. These oils create a greasy surface which prevents the patches from sticking effectively. You need to clean the surface with alcohol as this breaks down the oil molecules and fully removes them from the surface. Always remember to let the leather fully dry before applying anything to it. Luckily, alcohol dries very quickly.
- Get a Good Look - Assessing the damage is very important to properly repair it. If there is a tear in your leather, does it go through the backing too or just the leather? This will determine how much repair work needs to be done to the leather. This can save you time if you really understand the issue and how to fix it properly. Always read the instructions and look for key indicators of damage that are supplied in these steps. By taking note of the damage, you can deduce which tools and materials are best needed to fix it effectively and permanently.
- Choose Quality - When selecting your repair kit, don’t just opt for the lowest priced kit you can find. While this saves you money upfront, you’ll often find that the materials used in the lower priced kits are not top-quality. The glue tends to wear way very quickly or become loose. The leather tends to crack and peel away within a short period of time. In this sense, look for a leather repair kit with great reviews that attest to its longevity and permanence.
- Create Traction - When you’re applying repairs to leather, you want them to stick. When we try to stick things to very shiny or smooth surfaces, they often slip around and have trouble gaining purchase. When we sand the leather slightly first, we create a rough surface to work with. This roughness creates a coarse grain in the leather, increasing the surface area of the leather’s edge. This allows the glue to stick in more places (to all the little rough edges), which creates a strong bond.
- Don’t Rush it - Some glues are very fast drying and while this decreases the time it takes to repair, it doesn’t give you room for mistakes. Look for glues which give you time to think about the process. Kits that allow a few minutes to dry enable you to rectify mistakes, work slowly and methodically, and adjust anything you’re unhappy about.
- Be Thorough - From reading the instructions to assessing the problem properly, make sure to spend time being thorough. Moreover, when applying the glue or the patches, don’t be stingy. Make sure to apply a decent amount of repair materials so the site doesn’t break again quickly. That said, don’t over apply or adhesive will seep from the edges. Always make sure to apply glue to every edge of the leather.
Leather Repair Trick
If you have leather that’s torn, ripped, burnt, or scratched - never fear. With a decent leather repair kit, you’ll be able to restore your leather items. You can use a broad spectrum kit to repair all kinds of problems, from scratches to cuts, and from burns to abrasions.
Equally, kits can restore color and texture. For those with a more specific problem, some kits are more targeted toward cuts or scratches or whatever your need.
Remember to always read the instructions, assess the problem thoroughly, and apply slowly and methodically. Leather is a little less forgiving than other materials, but with a repair kit, you can bring some life back to your leather goods.