How to Restore Cracked Leather Couch

Looking for an easy-to-follow method to Restore Cracked Leather Couch? Leather sofas are one of the most expensive and high-quality couches you can get. They are well known to last for years because of the excellence that leather is made with. These are couches that work very well in hot and cold climates because they stay cool regardless of the weather. 

a cracked tan leather surface

It is not uncommon in people’s homes however that sofa will take the brunt of all family activities. They go through the most. If it’s not babies pulling on them it’s dogs biting on them. Honestly, sofas can’t catch a break. 

Over time you will find that leather can start to crack when it gets too dry. This happens when people do not use the appropriate leather cleaning and maintenance oils. At this point, it may start to peel off. 

Once there are cracks in the leather kids and pets cannot resist the urge to pull on them or chew on them. You might come home one day as I did to find your couch has been skinned by your unemployed dependents. A nightmare! So, what do you do in such a situation? Can leather be fixed? Fortunately, it can so let’s look at how. 

List of things that you will need to use:

  1. You will need a leather cleaner, if you cannot find this then you can use soap.
  2. You will need to find a decent leather filler. (Essential)
  3. Superfine sandpaper will also be required
  4. Cloth or sponge
  5. Wooden Palette knife

Step by Step Process.

  1. Cleaning the leather

First before we begin to repair the couch, we want to ensure the leather is free of any dirt and bacteria. Apart from the health benefits of this you do not want the dirt to become mixed in with the leather filler that we will be using in the next steps. 

You will need to use a leather cleaner to do this. This is a product that is readily available in most furniture shops. In most cases some leather couches come with their own sets of leather cleaners. If not, you can just use regular soap. 

Leather is a very strong material therefore it is unlikely that this will be affected by soap hence it can be used safely. It is advisable to test out your leather cleaner before you use it. Some may not be very high quality and may produce inadequate results. Try it out a small part of your couch first and if you like the results then proceed through to the rest of the couch.

  1. Allow the leather to dry

I would advise you to clean the leather in the sun. This will use light therapy to sanitize any parts of the couch that you do not manage to get. It will also help the couch to dry much faster. It is important for the leather to dry because this is the only way that the leather filler will successfully stick to the couch. 

If not, then you may end up wasting the filler and leaving your couch in a worse state than before. Hence it is advisable that you start this process when you wake up so that the couch can dry throughout the day. In the evening when the couch is dry then we may begin to fill the cracks.

  1. Sand over the cracks with sandpaper

At this point you need to bring out the sandpaper. It is imperative that we smooth over the cracks that exist in order to allow the filler to fit evenly when you apply it. You will be trying to achieve a finish that is soft and even based on how it feels to your touch. 

Make sure that you use sandpaper that is very soft and not harsh. The hardware store should be able to give you the one most suited to leather. The harsher sandpapers are likely to leave scratches on the leather which reduces its value and aesthetic. 

  1. Add the leather filler

At this point we are almost done and can get right to the interesting part. Use the wooden palette knife to spread over the cracks that are in the leather. You must be very careful in this case. If you have a person with surgeon hands in the family, you might as well give them a call. 

If not, then try to be as nimble as you can. Leather filler is quite expensive, and you do not want to waste it. It also will stand out sorely if you add too much especially to the areas that don’t need it. Smooth over the paste as you add it. Once done you will need to remove any excess paste from the couch. Try to make it look as even as possible without leaving any blobs. This will stand out.

  1. Allow the filler to set

Once done you can leave the filler in to set. This process should take about 6 hours. It could be less if you leave it in the sun. You should not rush the process because it will end up being a waste if when testing if the leather is dry you end up smudging it. Be patient!

How Long it will take

The process should take you just over two days to complete. I say this because I estimate it may take up to a full day for the leather to dry after you clean it. After this you will need 6-8 hours for the filler to dry.

Expected Results

You should get a clean smooth filled crack. If you have overdone the filler it won’t be smooth. 

Things to look out for

Avoid putting too much filler. Less is more especially in this case. Do not feel tempted to touch the filler while it hasn’t fully dried because you will just ruin how the couch looks.


If done well, you should have a brand-new restored leather couch. From this point on you should find the right leather oils to apply to your couch to avoid it getting dry. A dry leather couch is one that can easily crack especially when exposed to animals and children. 

Elissa Smith

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