Ever since antiquity, man has valued natural leather because it’s durable and warm.
Today, it’s still one of the best choices when it comes to choosing furniture material because of the value and ambience it adds to your house.
Leather is always associated with elegance and sophistication, and a leather couch will be your go-to option whether you’re opting for a classic, modern, or contemporary decoration.
Despite being extremely versatile, maintaining leather can be a little tricky. Yet, you can keep your furniture looking as good as new if you learn how to restore a cracked leather couch like a pro.
Keep reading to learn how to fix cracked leather and how to prevent it from cracking in the first place.
How to Restore Cracked Leather Couch
Leather furniture is praised for its quality, durability, comfort, and appearance, despite its higher initial cost. Moreover, hundreds of models are available on the market, so you can definitely find a leather couch that fits your decoration and budget.
Proper maintenance makes a leather couch look elegant for decades because its color doesn’t fade.
As a matter of fact, time only adds value to leather furniture because vintage leather furniture is just as desirable as the new one.
Although liquid and food spills don’t affect the look of leather as you can easily wipe it clean, cracks are permanent, and when they happen, they change the look of the material forever.
Cracks change the structure of the leather fibers, so they’re irreversible, but this doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to deal with. As a matter of fact, there are several fixes to hide cracked leather.
Luckily, you can follow a few tips to restore cracked leather and make it look as good as it once did when you first bought it.
Nevertheless, before jumping to fixing cracked leather, you need to know that there are two types of cracks, and they’re not treated the same.
Superficial Leather Cracks
These cracks occur on the top surface of the leather material. So the cracks will be there, but they’re not that obvious, and your couch would still look great.
However, if you don’t deal with them, superficial cracks can deepen and become more difficult to deal with.
The first thing you can do to deal with these cracks is to use a leather conditioner. This is a chemical that strengthens and conditions the leather fibers around the crack, so the material becomes stronger.
When the fibers are conditioned, the crack will be less noticeable, as the rest of the fibers will blend together to hide it.
Conditioning the leather regularly also prevents future cracks from occurring. Even if a crack happens, it will look like a natural imperfection in the material.
In addition, cracks and scars are more obvious when the leather is dry.
A leather conditioner is usually made of a blend of natural oils and wax emulsions that are designed to leave your leather looking nourished and soft. In most cases, leather conditioners contain lanolin which retains the moisture in the leather to keep it feeling supple and smooth.
It’s important to use a light hand while applying the conditioner, so it doesn’t ruin the look of the leather. Here are the steps to follow.
- Test the soap and conditioner on a hidden spot on your couch to see if they affect the color or texture of the leather. If all is good, proceed to the next step.
- Clean the leather crack and the surrounding area using mild soap and a soft-bristle brush or cloth. This will help you remove any debris from the leather before applying the conditioner and will keep the leather flexible.
- Apply a small amount of the leather conditioner to the crack and use a sponge or the back of a spoon to smooth it out. If the crack is still visible, you add more.
- Keep spreading the cream until the crack isn’t visible.
- Use a clean cloth to wipe off the excess of the conditioner and let the leather naturally dry. This will give the material time to absorb the conditioner and restore its status.
- After drying overnight, check the leather one more time, as you might need to reapply the conditioner. However, you should avoid overapplying the conditioning cream because it will make your leather too slippery.
- Once you have dealt with the crack, apply the conditioner once every month to keep the leather in top condition.
Deep Leather Cracks
Deep leather cracks are naturally more challenging to deal with. These cracks happen when you’ve ignored maintaining your leather couch for too long, so it has become brittle and dry.
Yet, with the right products and some effort, you can still restore a leather couch, even if there are deep cracks in the material.
Using Leather Filler
A leather filler is a material that creates fibers similar to the ones in the leather, restoring its looks. Here’s how to use it.
- Test any material you’ll use on the couch on a hidden spot to see if it will damage the leather.
- Use a mild soap or special leather cleaner to clean the surface you want to treat.
- Let the leather dry completely before attempting to deal with the crack, as the moisture will prevent the leather filler from settling within the leather fibers.
- Smooth out the crack in the leather using a 600-grit super-fine sandpaper. This will guarantee that the treated leather will have a smooth look once you’re done dealing with the crack.
- Make sure that you’re using a light hand, as applying too much force or using coarse sandpaper can scratch your leather.
- Use a clean cloth to wipe off any dust before applying the filler.
- Apply the leather filler using a palette knife, making sure that it gets into the crack until it appears filled.
- Use the knife’s edge to remove any excess filler until the surface looks smooth.
- Follow the instructions for using the filler and let it dry until it solidifies. If the time isn’t stated, it can usually dry in about six hours, but leaving it longer will guarantee better results.
- Keep the leather couch in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat so it can dry well.
- Examine the crack after applying the filler, as it might shrink when it dries out. If this happens, repeat the process until the crack looks properly filled.
Using Leather Dye
The leather dye will not fill the cracks in the leather, but it will make them less noticeable. All you have to do is to make sure that the dye matches your couch’s color, so it will camouflage any cracks in the material.
For better results, you can use a leather filler with the dye to give your leather couch a flawless look. It will also work on its own if you’re dealing with superficial cracks, especially if the inside of the crack looks lighter than the leather.
Here’s how to use the dye.
- If you’re using the dye on top of the filler, follow all the previous steps and make sure that the filler is completely dry before attempting to add the dye. Applying the leather dye on top of the wet filler will only damage the look of your couch.
- Use fine sandpaper to smooth out the top of the leather after applying the filler and wipe off any excess dust.
- Apply a thin layer of dye using a sponge or an applicator and rub it smoothly to make sure that it’s evenly absorbed.
- Let the dye dry naturally, or use a hairdryer set to low to help it dry faster. Make sure that it’s not too hot, and move it across the crack to protect the leather from drying.
- Check the crack’s color and look, and reapply the dye if necessary. Make sure that you dab around the crack to blend out any residue.
- Apply a leather sealer to protect the dye, and use a hairdryer to cure it. The hairdryer should be set to low, and you should move it across the crack.
- If you’re dealing with a superficial crack, you can apply the dye directly into it. Several layers of leather dye might be needed to conceal the crack.
Why Does My Leather Couch Crack?
It’s a lot easier and cheaper to prevent cracks from occurring than to deal with them after they happen. So, it’s important to understand why leather cracks in the first place.
In most cases, leather cracks happen when the leather is too dry. When it’s not well-conditioned, the leather will crack over time because it loses its natural moisture.
Leather can crack if you don’t clean it regularly.
When you sit on a leather couch, the sweat from your body deposits on top of the leather. All the dirt and oils eventually get soaked into the leather fibers because they’re extremely porous.
These substances can become too abrasive when they accumulate on top of the leather, eventually ruining its look.
Your leather couch might also crack if it wasn’t well-conditioned during the manufacturing process.
When you sit on a leather couch, the leather material naturally moves around and stretches. But if the manufacturer doesn’t stretch the leather before adding the dye, the top coating will crack over time.
Finally, the conditions inside your house can damage the look of your leather couch.
Leather can crack when the humidity level drops because it becomes too dry. If you live in a very dry climate and want to protect your leather furniture, you should consider investing in a humidifier.
Now that you know why leather cracks, you can try to prevent this from happening.
How Can I Prevent a Leather Couch from Cracking?
Preventing leather from cracking is the best treatment ever.
Leather usually cracks because of neglect and lack of maintenance. It’s naturally durable, but ignoring it for too long will eventually lead to unpleasant cracks that can change its look forever.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your leather couch in top condition.
- Choose high-quality leather, to begin with. Not all leather couches are made alike, and investing in a good-quality couch is totally worth it because cheap leather is more prone to cracking and will deteriorate faster.
- Before attempting any cleaning or restoration process, read the after-care label of your leather couch. Also, make sure that you’re not using any products that weren’t recommended by the manufacturer.
- Always use a light hand while cleaning or conditioning your leather couch. Being too rough can actually deepen the crack and damage more parts.
- Gently clean the leather couch using a special leather cleaner. This will remove all the abrasive dust particles that might eventually damage the material.
- Leather cleaners will also get rid of the oils and debris that accumulate on the leather and change its condition.
- Avoid keeping the leather couch in very dry areas or direct sunlight. The loss of moisture is the main reason why leather cracks.
- Avoid sleeping on the couch or sitting on it if your body is covered in lotion or cream. Instead, use a blanket or thrower if you feel that your body is too oily.
- Deep clean and condition your leather couch at least three or four times a year, although you can do this once every month for the best results. This will help treat minor cracks before they become too deep.
You can fix a cracked leather couch using the right tools and materials.
Superficial cracks are definitely easier to deal with, but they will become deeper if you don’t fix them quickly.
Deep leather cracks take more time and effort to get rid of, but they’re still easy to remove.
For the best results, you need to clean and condition your leather couch regularly, as this will keep it in excellent condition. You should also make sure that you’re not using low-quality products as they might ruin the look of your leather furniture for good.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.