Repairing leather Furniture: I fought the couch, and the couch won. (Kind of.)


This is Potter.

We‘ve discussed the MONUMENTAL importance of Potter before, so I will keep my love-gush to myself. (He’s-the-best-thing-ever-there-I-said-it-whew.)

Potter is not a destructive guy. Never really has been. Sure there was a shoe or two lost to his puppy-chewing days, but he takes pretty good care of our stuff, all in all.

So great was both my surprise and despair when he found the PERFECT new place in the basement to hide his Greenie last Friday night, and upon investigation from The Mr., said place turned out to be our leather sectional.

Swearing ensued from the depths of the media room as I cranked up the Bubble Guppies and ushered Jr quickly upstairs away from the onslaught. (Think Ralphie’s mom trying to drown out his dad’s furnace fights in A Christmas Story. Yep, you get the picture.)

What can I say? I was scratched. Scratched bad.

The Mr.’s sideways crusty glares at the furry little shape of my heart needed to be stopped, so I Googled furiously for answers.

Two days later, a text from my Father-in-law came. Turns out his talents aren’t confined to his (substantial) cocktail mixing skills; he is also the mack daddy maven of furniture damage camouflage. (Thank goodness.)

In the interest of saving you the crippling option anxiety of blindly choosing from the VAST solutions offered on the internet (and I guess ironically become another of them,) here is what I found:

What did NOT help:

-The “cleaning and protecting” junk that came with the sofa

-Leather conditioning wipes

-Lexol (but it will make your cowboy boots soft as a baby’s butt. You are welcome.)

-pens designed to mask dings in wood floors/furniture

-creamy shoe polish that comes in a tube

-shameless bargaining prayer

What did help:

-Leather conditioning wax like this:

-shoe polish that matches the couch leather:

– buffing in the direction that pushes the tears back down on themselves

What I did:

After using all of the things that didn’t work, I had cleaned the scratches to a high shine. NOT the intended result obviously.

So I used some of the clear conditioning wax, and it seemed to help glue down the tears a bit, but they were still really obvious.
It was at this point that I called Father-in-law for some follow up direction on his initial text of “use shoe polish and buff it in really good.”   Or maybe I just called for moral support, since I was about to put REALLY dark, really messy shoe polish all over the sofa that already had The Mr. seeing red. The potential for disaster was EPIC.

After consulting with him, and listening to his many tales of repaired dings, scrapes, scuffs, and stains – I held my breath and dove in, spreading a thick layer of the shoe polish over the scratches:

I am not going to lie – there was more shameless bargaining prayer at this juncture.

A lot.

The first time, I panicked and started rubbing it away too early. The polish hadn’t dried, so most of it came off. Nope Keri, you were going to have to follow the directions and let it dry completely (but the directions are for SHOES!!! AHHHHH!!!)
I spread a new layer on and this time and for good measure I spread a thin layer over the whole square. (Look at you, getting all brave, Miss Thang.)

Then I let it dry for a good 10 minutes. Then I started to buff. Um…. It was kind of not coming off. DANGER KERI!!!

Like Skywalker hearing Ben Kenobi urging him to “use the force, Luke,” I heard my sage FIL’s words “just keep buffing.”

So I buffed and buffed. Until I looked down and realized it looked better. Like, LOTS better. I took pictures to poll the audience on FB, as I was kind of humming from the shoe polish fumes by then.

Here is the side-by-side (before on left, after on right):

Not bad, right? My contact high is long gone, and I am still pretty impressed.

ANDPLUSALSO, I sat and rubbed my bootie on it and it did not transfer, so I won’t be staining guests’ backsides with my handiwork.

Is it undetectable? Nope. You can totally see it – especially with a recessed light DIRECTLY above it. Is it much worse to our (and by “our” I mean The Mr.’s) eye than it ever would be to anyone else?

Yup. Totally.

I haven’t ruled out the idea of eventual professional intervention – but I am pretty proud of my masking job.

I know (because EVERYONE had a story when I lamented the happenings on social media,) that lots of you have great ideas, and some pretty hilarious “how did that happen” stories) about covering your household’s dings, scrapes, and scratches. Share with us in the comments! Tips and tricks? What absolutely did NOT work?

As my Jedi-master FIL pointed out “you’ve got kids…. You’ve got dogs… you are going to have damage.”

Hold tight, husband. The battle to save the furniture has just begun.


Filed under DIY, Helpful

4 responses to “Repairing leather Furniture: I fought the couch, and the couch won. (Kind of.)

  1. Oh, well done. I know that sense of victory is hard won. Last year I had to repair a large tear on my leather car seat with one of those kits from the auto store. Oh. My. God. Absolutely horrifying. It was a day-long process with steps involving goopy stuff, a patch, and a texturizing sheet. The directions were extremely unclear. My iron and a ridiculous little “heating tool” were involved. The tool didn’t work, so in desperation I put the iron right on the material. Mostly that worked…except in the spot where I accidentally rested the iron on bare leather. Which led to a second day to repair that spot. It was so maddening my vocabulary of four-letter-words was used up mid-day and I had to research new ones.

    • Oh you’re so brave- trial by fire, almost literally! I know all-to-well about inventive cursing. 😉 If you have any tips about using the kits, I’d love if you’d share. (You never know, I might dare to try it too!)

      • Dear God, no – not on a sofa!!! I can only live with the results of my repair because it’s on the bottom part of the passenger seat, where I never have to see it. Aesthetically it was a total failure – all I was able to do was patch it well enough that it won’t continue to tear. What you did on your couch was MUCH more effective! 🙂

      • Lol- well, still very brave in my opinion! Thanks for commiserating with me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s