How To Repair The Leather In Your Car

Updated October, 2020
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A simple leather repair kit gives you everything you need to make the leather interior in your car look good as new. You basically just glue a new patch of leather into place to cover up cuts, tears, and holes. Not only is it a quick fix, it's also cost effective.

What are the different types of leather damage?

Leather is an attractive option for a car's interior. It's also easy to damage if you don't know how to care for it properly. Some of the most common damage leather develops over the years include:

  • Holes
  • Tears
  • Food and drink stains
  • Fading from the sun

Fix it yourself: 3 easy methods

Fortunately, you don't have to take your car to an auto shop if you don't want to. This is a fairly easy job to do yourself, and there are various methods available for fixing leather.

Method 1: Liquid Leather

  1. Purchase a liquid leather that matches your upholstery. Your car's manufacturer should make one exactly right. Test on a small area first before applying to the rest of the seat.
  1. Clean the leather seat thoroughly before application. Use a mild solvent consisting of 50 percent isopropyl alcohol to remove dirt and grime.
  1. Dilute liquid leather with water by 30 percent. Then apply solution onto a sponge and rub on worn-out areas.
  1. Wipe solution off the area with a damp cloth. Let solution dry before applying another coat to strengthen the color.
  1. Once worn-out areas are complete, apply the rest of the solution across the rest of the seat.
  1. Condition the leather until it fully dries. Let is dry completely before sitting again.

Method 2: Leather Repair Kit

  1. Purchase a leather repair kit with a colorant that matches your car's leather.
  1. Clean the seat thoroughly using a damp rag and mild soap.
  1. Trim ragged edges around the tear or hole with a pair of scissors.
  1. Glue the canvas backing cloth behind the tear. Let the glue dry completely.
  1. Using a palette knife, spread the leather filler onto the backing cloth. Let each layer dry before another application. Keep building onto the filler until it overlaps with the rest of the seat.
  1. Use a fine-grit sanding block to sand down the filler. Stop until it's even, being careful not to sand the surrounding leather.
  1. After the area dries, wipe down the area with a damp cloth.
  1. Apply colorant to the filler area. Let each layer dry before applying another. Continue until it matches the seat.
  1. Apply leather sealant on a clean cloth to the area. Let the sealant dry completely before sitting there again.

Method 3: Applying A Patch

  1. Purchase a patch that matches the color of your car's interior leather.
  1. Cut the patch so that it fits into the damaged region. You want the patch to be a little larger than the tear or hole.
  1. Place a section of wax paper behind the damage. It should be behind the leather.
  1. Apply a leather adhesive to patch's edges. Then, gently place the patch over the damage, ensuring it covers the damage entirely and bonds to the surrounding leather.
  1. Let the adhesive dry completely.

For severe leather damage—reupholster or buy a new car?

To professionally reupholster leather car seats, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $2,000. If you find yourself on the higher end of the scale, then reupholstering may not be worth it depending on the value of your vehicle.

While you can still drive a car with damaged leather, it doesn't look as good. It may even be a good sign that it's time to buy a new car entirely.

When you buy a new car, it looks beautiful and operates wonderfully. Chances are if the leather's breaking, there are other issues with your car, too. Now's a great time to buy something you can enjoy for years to come.

Don't forget to insure your new ride

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

Get instant quotes tailored to your needs - fill out our short form, today!

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