Leather, whether faux or genuine, is a rather difficult material to take care of and handle. So, it’s not quite the shock that your leather couch is starting to peel—especially if that piece of furniture has been around for a while.
Not to worry, though, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will cover the reasons why your leather couch is peeling in the first place as well as offer you quick solutions to fix it. As a plus, we advise you on how to protect your leather seats from further damage.
Let’s get to it.
There aren’t many reasons as to why your favorite leather couch is suddenly peeling. In fact, it all comes down to three primary factors:
- The material quality of the leather
- How well you’re taking care of the couch
- The room conditions of where you’re keeping the couch
Keep in mind too that these elements will affect the leather couch differently depending on whether it’s faux or genuine leather.
This section will cover both. All you need to know is figure out what kind of leather couch you have. The golden rule is, of course, if it was relatively expensive, it was probably real leather.
Even though couches made from genuine leather are high-priced, they’re still susceptible to damage. Real leather is expected to last long, but that only happens if the owner is taking proper care of it.
One thing you need to remember is that real leather is basically animal skin, and dead skin, naturally, has a way of becoming damaged. For instance, lack of moisture is the first reason that causes genuine leather to peel.
Many factors can affect the moisture levels trapped in your leather couch, including:
- The room’s humidity levels
- Using the wrong cleaning products
- Not applying a moisturizing conditioner regularly
In the end, a rule of thumb is that real leather doesn’t normally peel or crack. Often times it’s just the factory finish or the paint the manufacturer may use to give leather its shiny appeal.
Fake leather material has significantly less ‘shelf life’ than genuine leather does. In other words, it’s totally normal for it to crack or peel after only a few months of having it—particularly if there’s a lot of foot traffic around that couch.
Now, there are two kinds of fake leather couches. You either have one that’s 100% made from synthetic, faux leather or a couch that’s manufactured from bonded leather; which is the more popular material in the market.
Because here’s what you need to know about cheaply manufactured leather:
- It’s typically made from recycled scraps of old real leather
- It’s a mixture of 10 to 20% genuine leather along with glue and a polyurethane (PU) overlay
- It contains high amounts of adhesive chemicals, such as PVC
Additionally, many manufacturers keep the scraps of genuine leather in the couch’s backing so that it’s not as affected by the elements as the front.
Fortunately for you, leather can be fixed even after it peels—unlike other couch materials, such as cotton and fabric. With the right tools, you can easily follow our upcoming steps to quickly repair that cracking couch.
First things first, clean up your couch space before you get to work. There shouldn’t be any dust, dirt, or debris laying around.
This way you can be sure that whatever products you use will actually be helpful. You don’t want fuzz or stray away hairs to get stuck in the balm or cleaner you apply.
You can also choose to spray some rubbing alcohol after vacuuming the couch. Make sure to wipe the alcohol off and let it dry as well.
Recoloring balms are a great quick-fix solution if the peeling damage is not that big. The lesser surface you have to cover, the quicker the recoloring balm will work.
On the plus side, these products are typically pretty cheap, usually no more than 30 dollars. Remember too, to pick a balm that matches the color and material requirements of your leather couch.
Alternatively, leather paint is more suitable for bigger cracks in a leather couch. Carefully pick out the right paint color for your couch. You may need to mix up a few to get the exact shade.
Additionally, it’s better that you go for expensive leather paint for extra durability and longevity. They might cost about $75 to $80. Get a fitting paintbrush while at it as well.
Similar to leather paint, a leather filler is another suitable product for big cracks and peels in your couch. However, they do require a handyman with more experience in working with leather furniture.
That’s mainly because the process involves a lot of upfront work before you’re able to apply the leather filler. After that, you need to sand down the couch and wait for it to dry.
The best solution for leather couch damage is to invest in a leather repair kit. This product typically includes everything you need to fix that peel in your couch.
For starters, the kit has a leather conditioner, cleaner, colorant, filler, and binder. Plus, it comes with patches of adhesive glue as well. These kits are also pretty budget-friendly ($10 – $75).
Now that you’ve fixed your peeling couch, you should keep in mind our following tips. Below, we go through three tricks that should stop your leather couch from cracking once more.
The first thing to remember is to always keep your couch clean. That means you should vacuum it regularly to avoid having dust and debris collect in the leather. This way your couch can remain in top condition.
Since leather is different from other materials, it has particular cleaning needs. For instance, you should make sure only to use leather-specific cleaning products. That’s because regular cleaners contain harsh chemicals that ruin your beautiful leather.
It’s best to use mild soap and water to wash down your couch if you can’t afford items that are suitable for leather.
Did you know that the sun is leather’s enemy? That’s due to heat being the primary cause of leather damage. If your couch is in a sunny living room, you may notice that the material fades and cracks rather quickly.
You can prevent this by using a UV-protection sunscreen that’s made for leather furniture. Just remember to let the product dry before you use the couch again.
On the other hand, you can also choose to cover your leather couch during the day. Alternatively, you can just draw the curtains or shield the room from the sun.
As we’ve mentioned before, moisture is pretty harmful to leather. That’s why it’s essential to keep your leather couch dry at all times.
That means you should deal with spills and stains right away. It also entails that you need to invest in a waterproof protectant. Both of these tips will stop the leather from absorbing too much moisture.
Additionally, move your couch to a room with low humidity levels to protect the material from premature tear and wear.
Why is your leather couch peeling? Depending on whether it’s genuine leather or not, there aren’t many reasons behind the cracking of your leather couch.
Poor cleaning and unsuitable room conditions are among the primary causes of this issue. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. All you need to do is get yourself a leather care kit that’ll quickly take care of your problem.
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.