Leather sofas tend to have more of a classic and sophisticated look. They are also durable and easy to care for but over time as this material ages, it is likely to begin to crack. This is going to happen sooner if the leather is not regularly maintained.
Although leather is a tough material, it is also porous meaning that it absorbs oils and moisture from our bodies. When they start to break down, the leather will become more abrasive, eventually starting to crack.
If you have noticed that your leather sofa is no longer looking as pristine as it once was due to the appearance of cracks, you may be wondering whether this is a problem that can be repaired.
Leather is a rather expensive material so having to replace the covers can be quite costly. We have provided you with all of the answers in our guide below.
To answer the question, yes it is usually possible to repair leather that is worn or cracked but it will depend on the severity of the problem. In some cases, the crack may be beyond repair so you will need to treat it with a leather conditioner instead.
Doing so will soften the look of the crack whilst preventing it from developing into a bigger crack that covers a larger surface area. If you are dealing with a deeper crack you will need to fill it in using a dye that is the same color as the leather.
Why Does Leather Crack?
Now you may be wondering why sofas that are made from leather are susceptible to cracking. As we have touched upon briefly above, it is typically caused by a breakdown in oils and moisture.
A lack of moisture is going to leave the fibers dry and because of this, they will start to chafe and rub against one another every time the leather moves. Over time, these fibers will start to crack as they become stiff.
How To Repair Cracked Leather
There are several ways that you can go about repairing cracked leather. Many remedies can be rustled up using a few basic products that you are likely to have readily available at home.
Before you attempt to repair the cracks you must inspect the leather to determine whether they are light cracks that do not go beyond the first layer of the material or whether they are deeper cracks that are going to be a little more difficult to restore.
The first method involves the use of a few drops of dishwashing detergent combined with some warm water. Using a cloth you will need to massage the solution onto the cracked section of your sofa making sure that you ring it out beforehand.
You will need to do this a couple of times until the leather surface appears clean and refreshed. Rinse your cloth in some clear water before wringing it out and rubbing it back over the surface to get rid of any remaining suds from the detergent.
Next, you will need to use rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth. Rub the alcohol into the area that seems to be cracked. This will remove any residue or remains of cleaning products that are lingering on the surface.
We would recommend that you invest in a leather repair compound. Apply this to the surface using a spreading tool until it is smooth. You will then need to give it time to dry. It is likely that you will need to repeat this process a few times for it to be effective.
Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a damp cloth and rub it onto the leather. Doing this will smoothen out the compound and get rid of any rough or abrasive parts.
To finish, if desired you may add a dye that matches the color of the leather. You will need to add a few coats of the dye for it to be effective.
If you do not want to go through the hassle of making a solution you can buy a cleaning solution and polish from a local store. This is the easiest way to get rid of cracks in leather. Spray or pour the cleaner onto a cloth and then rub it on the leather surface following the direction of the grain.
Going against the grain is only going to worsen the cracks. The directions for use may differ between products made by different brands. Because of this, you must pay close attention to the specifications on the packaging to ensure that the product is used correctly.
After applying the cleaning solution, you should allow between 5 and 10 minutes to pass before you treat it with the polish. If it seems to be taking a while to dry, you may want to wipe over the leather using a dry cloth.
Next, you will need to take the conditioner and apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge and massage it directly into the cracks. You will likely notice that the leather absorbs the conditioner fairly quickly so you may need to apply a second layer of the product.
After doing so, you should then leave the sofa for approximately two hours as this will give the product plenty of time to work its way deep into the layers of the material.
Once the two hours have passed, if the cracks still seem to be visible you may need to add another layer of the conditioner. If you apply multiple layers of the condition and the appearance of the cracks still hasn’t improved, you may need to consider using a filler.
Getting Rid Of Deeper Cracks
If the cracks on your leather sofa are quite severe, using a conditioner isn’t going to be that effective. Instead, you will need to use a crack filler.
First, you will need to wash the leather to get rid of any dirt or dust particles. The sofa needs to dry out thoroughly before you apply the filler. If possible allow it to dry overnight.
You can then apply the filler using a palette knife making sure that it is smooth and there isn’t a lot of excess product on the surface. After adding the filler, you must then allow it to dry.