1. Prepare the damaged area.
It is crucial to remove all grime and dirt before starting the repair as the repair compound won't adhere well on a greasy surface and might flake off over time. Thoroughly clean the area to be repaired and its surrounding with a cotton swab or a cotton pad and 90% rubbing alcohol. Soak the cotton pad or cotton swab with 90% rubbing alcohol and gently apply it to the damaged area. Please firstly test the rubbing alcohol on an inconspicuous area to check that it doesn’t remove the color of your leather and proceed carefully. You may use water and mild soap as an alternative if the alcohol damages the surface. Soak a clean rag or cloth with a mild soap mixed with water. Make sure that all the loose dust, dirt, and grime has been removed first.
There are some cases when you will have to lightly sand the damaged area to make it flat and smooth before the repair compound application. This is required when there are bumpy edges of cracks or surface scratches that look etched. Anything that is bumpy, curling, or jagged has to be lightly sanded. Otherwise, it will stay bumpy and elevated after being repaired.
2. Match your leather color.
In order to completely blend the repaired spot, you will need to match the color of your leather or vinyl. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match but making it a very close match will help you get the best-looking professional repair results. Work during the daytime so that you can clearly see the color of your leather or vinyl and compare it with the colors of the repair compounds available in your leather repair kit. If your leather color is one of the most common leather colors like black, tan, burgundy, cream, chocolate, or walnut, then you may be able to use one of the repair compounds straight from the tube. But if you have a little unique or complex leather color, you may need to mix two or more colors in order to achieve a close match. This step in the repair process can be a bit tricky and challenging but do not forget that you can always contact us if you need more tips, we are more than happy to provide personalized advice for your color matching! You can also check out our blog article for frequently requested color mixing recipes and you might find there your leather color match!
For complex leather colors, decide first which will be your main color. Then, select your secondary colors based on the tint that your leather needs. Looking at your color mixing guide will greatly help you in the color matching process! This color mixing guide should be included in your leather repair kit but if you did not find this in your kit, please contact us so we can send you your own copy! You can also download it for free for quicker access. Once you have your main and secondary colors, carefully mix them in the mixing jar. We recommend adding only very tiny hints of each color at a time as a little amount goes a long way. You may adjust the shade of your color mixture by adding white or black repair compounds. Try your mixture on a small, inconspicuous area and wait until it fully dries. Please be patient and make small adjustments until you get the color just right.
3. Apply a thin layer of compound.
After matching your color, apply a thin layer of the repair compound to the damaged area. For this step, you will need the spatula or the brush included in the kit to evenly apply your color mixture. If you need to do finer applications, especially for smaller and more intricate damages, we recommend using a toothpick, a fine brush, or any fine applicator that is suitable for your repair.
4. Allow the compound to dry for several hours.
Drying time depends on the thickness of the applied layer and the relative humidity of the environment. It usually takes a few minutes to an hour for small repairs to completely dry. For medium to large repairs, it may take an hour to a few more hours for the repair compound to fully cure. When doing your repair project, the temperature should be above 50°F ideally.
For these types of damage, it usually only requires 1-2 coats of the repair compound to completely cover the damage. However, for some cracks or small punctures, you may need to apply multiple thin layers to rebuild the damaged area until it is level with the surrounding area and completely covered. Please allow drying time between each layer application. The repair compound is not only paint, but it also contains leather filler and adhesive and dries to a leather-like finish. The repair holds very strong, often outlives the actual material.
If you encounter any drying issues with your repair project, try the next step immediately. If the next step does not solve your issue, please contact us right away and send a photo of your repair’s current state.
5. Buff and blend the repaired spot.
When the repair compound is dry, use a cotton pad or a cotton swab with 90% rubbing alcohol to buff the edges. Carefully blend the edges of the repaired area to match it with the rest of the leather. Buffing it with alcohol will also remove any stickiness or tacky feel left in the repaired area.
If 90% rubbing alcohol does not remove the stickiness or tacky feeling, check the rubbing alcohol you are using. Please make sure the alcohol is not expired, as it affects the outcome. Alternatively, you may use nail polish remover. We recommend using a cotton swab to carefully rub the repair compound only, as the nail polish remover may remove the color of your leather.