The Ultimate Guide To Leather Car Repairs

The Ultimate Guide To Leather Car Repairs

 You might have ended up here looking at this ultimate guide to leather repairs because you’re looking for the step-by-step instructions for repairing leather yourself, and/or you’re trying to save yourself some extra cash by not sending your car to a professional leather upholsterer. Whatever the reason is, you’re very lucky to find this ultimate guide! In this guide, we are going to help you decide if DIY repair is the way to go or if you should just leave it to the professionals. We will also show you easy-to-follow DIY solutions for taking the correct care of your car's leather interior and before and after photos of DIY repairs. Feel free to skip straight to the end to get a glimpse at why our DIY kit is worth your hard-earned money, time, and effort.

Table of Contents


Every repair is unique so that’s why we say it’s best to assess to see if you can really do the task yourself. In every DIY upholstery repair you face, whether it’s your car interior, home furniture, or leather accessories, there are three important questions that you must ask yourself first. These questions will help you decide if you need to go through to the end of this ultimate DIY leather repair guide or if you should just seek the help of a professional.

1. What Are Your Expectations?

The first step in deciding whether to start any DIY project is to assess what your expectations are and how much effort you are willing to put into the project from start to finish. For most people, your car is your baby, it's something you use every day. So making it look good is probably a top priority! 

To ensure that your expectations are met, it is important for you to understand that results will vary depending on the skills, time, and effort you put into your DIY repair. Every repair is unique and factors such as the severity of your leather damage, knowledge about the product, the availability of tools and products needed, should be considered!

Have a think, write out your expectations and recognize the time that you have available, read through this following section, and then decide if DIYing is for you. 

If all of this screams yes yes yes and you've realized you're ready to begin, then you've come to the right place and this guide is here to support you! It will be there the whole way through, giving you extra tips and tricks to get you achieving seamless (and cost-effective!) results on your leather car interiors. Topical leather repair is no easy feat, but it is definitely worth the feat if you are willing to put in the effort!

2. How Severe Is The Damage?

Leather material is a very durable and reliable material but when it comes to wear and tear over the years, the damage can be really obvious and visible. This is why we have to check the severity of the damage to the leather material. 

Most car owners are very mindful of how their car interior looks. Who shouldn’t be, right? The interior, especially when the seats, dash, armrest, and door panels are leather, really want to look neat and well-maintained. It's easy for any damages to become particularly noticeable and can be quite an eyesore.

For minor leather damages like scratches, small punctures, burns cracks, fading, or discoloration, you can definitely do it yourself! For moderate leather damages like cuts, rips, peeling, or holes, you can still do it yourself but these may require more trial and error. For serious leather damages like torn seams, severe leather loss, large torn and depressed areas, you might have to seek the help of professionals. You wouldn’t want to worsen the damage to your leather car interior so DIY is not the best option for you. But, of course, it will always depend on your preference. If you’re a heavy DIYer, then you can probably face even severe damage!

3. Can You Put In The Time And Effort Needed?

Why are time and effort so important you might ask? Well, as with any DIY project, the results can only be as great as the time and effort that you put in! So understanding both of those factors will really help you to determine if you're ready to begin! This third question will help you make the final decision whether to DIY or not to DIY your leather car interior.

Time will vary based on the layers needed, DIY experience, temperature, and color mixing and matching. 

For some, it can be very challenging on the first go and they may be inclined to give up. Level of experience, time, patience, convenience, and ability to give it another go are all factors that may affect this. However, if you are aware of the challenges and are ready to put in the effort, we believe that you will most certainly be able to complete the repair!

With Coconix you are never left alone to complete your repairs. Our experts are always available to provide you with free virtual personalized guidance and to help you achieve great results. But it is important to think hard and assess if you’re ready to tackle a leather repair project on your own, as it still requires you to put in the time, patience, and effort in order to achieve great results.

We want to highlight that if after jotting down these points and thinking hard, and you realize you don't want to put in the effort or have the time, the best option for you might seeking a professional leather upholsterer! Which is totally OK. Deciding between to DIY or not to DIY might come down to how much money you have to spare. However, we promise you that with Coconix, you will absolutely be able to achieve professional-looking results.


Still undecided whether to DIY or not? We think we know how we can help you further on this puzzle. Below is a list of some pros and cons for repairing your car's leather interior on your own. After reading them, we’re sure that you will already have your answer. But whatever that answer may be, we are always available for any repair questions, personalized advice, and tips that you might need for your repair project, just reach out to us here


After it has saved you an arm and a leg for upholstery repairs, you may also find that you have acquired a new skill. Who knows, maybe this could be your hidden talent! Using DIY repair products will definitely make you think out of the box, and even think and act like a professional repairman. These new skills will help you not only in your future car leather repairs but in any DIY leather repair projects. 


If you have plenty of time, then you most likely have time and patience to spend doing practical odd jobs like repairing the leather in your car. Choosing a Coconix leather repair kit will equip you with all of the tools necessary to achieve the practical task of learning to repair things for yourself. Maybe your new hands-on approach might even become your new hobby! Don’t forget - not only will it be useful for now, but your newfound love for DIY repair products may come in handy for any future projects you come across too. You might even be able to share it with others too! Especially once you have equipped yourself with the winning formula for successful DIY repair!


Who would not be proud after seeing their own efforts work and look great? Who would not be proud of saving money while also discovering a new skill? Satisfaction is a delightful benefit you can get from DIY leather repair projects. You can also inspire people to do their very own DIY projects. You can even start inspiring your family members or your neighbors. You can also show your friends the DIY projects you have finished and this might trigger their curiosity and start their own. You can help make people practical, creative, and innovative by being one yourself. If you fear that you’re alone and you might make irreversible mistakes, then you are truly wrong! At Coconix, we help our customers get their desired repair results and assist them throughout their DIY repair. Whether it's leather, vinyl, fabric, or wood repair project, our customers (even beginners!) are very satisfied with the results of their repair project and often look for the next thing to repair!


The best thing about doing it yourself? You know that you can do it again next time and that you probably won’t ever need the help of a professional ever! And with each repair you do, you’ll only get better! So, starting your little DIY leather car repair project now could also mean that you become your own hero for a long time.


This last but not the least benefit of DIY leather repair is usually the reason why most people resort to DIY—to save money. Who doesn’t want to save their leather without having to spend $200 - $2000, right? The price will always vary depending on your location, the severity of the leather damage, the part of the car interior that you want to have fixed, the model and size of your car and so on. As we always mention, every repair is unique and this uniqueness will determine how much your car leather upholstery repair will cost. Note that professional reupholstery sometimes includes replacing a panel or area of the damaged interior, even if the damage is very minimal. So if at the moment, spending a huge amount of money is not an option, then DIY is the way to go.

How much does a car leather repair cost? Here are the cost ranges for different types of damages to give you an idea of what to expect.

Professional Car Leather and Vinyl Repair DIY Car Leather and Vinyl Repair
Minor Damages:
  • Pet Scratches and Punctures
  • Cracks
  • Fading, Stains and Discoloration
  • Bolster: $200 - $320
  • Seats: $230 - $350
  • Headliner: $175 - $350
  • Dashboard: $500 - $1000
Leather Repair Kit: Less than $20
Moderate Damages:
  • Peeling and Flaking
  • Burns and Holes
  • Cuts, Rips and Tears
  • One Seat: $200 - $750
  • Two seats and a bench: $700 - $2,000
  • Complete Reupholster: $2,500 - $10,000
Leather Repair Kit: Less than $20
Severe Damages:
  • Torn Seams
  • Severe Leather and Foam Loss
  • One Seat: $200 - $750
  • Two seats and a bench: $700 - $2,000
  • Complete Reupholster: $2,500 - $10,000
  • Leather Repair Tools: $20 - $100
  • Leather Sewing Kit: $20 - $200


This disadvantage of DIY leather repair has already been mentioned in the previous section of this guide. But we can’t stress enough that DIY repairs, especially leather and vinyl repair projects, require time and effort for the best possible outcome. This may not be good news to people who are always on the go or have very little time to set aside for this kind of repair projects—which leads us to the next DIY car leather repair con in the list.


DIY repair’s results greatly depend on many factors. We have listed below some possible factors that can affect the outcome of the repair:

  • Skills or repair experience 
  • Time and effort available
  • The severity of the car leather damage
  • Preparations before starting the repair project
  • Repair environment and other external factors
These factors are not entirely definite as, again, every repair is unique. And whatever they may be, you must have realistic expectations for the outcome of your repair. In short, preparation is a must!


The last disadvantage that you may think about DIY car leather repair is that you can either make it or break it. If you are successful with your repair, you deserve all the credits. But this does not mean to say that once you start you will be all alone. In fact, we will always be available to guide you through your repair project! So, if you’re only partly sure whether to go ahead,  don't worry because we are here to help!

If by now you're screaming yes yes yes after reading the pros and cons then let’s go to the next section of this ultimate guide so we can help you make your car leather as good as new!


Although leather can be a very durable and timeless material, it can also suffer minor to severe damages when it is exposed to varying factors and when it is used for a significant amount of time. The good thing is, most of these damages can be fixed without replacing the entire leather or vinyl panel. Below we have listed the types of damages and the required skill level for each repair.

TYPE OF DAMAGE  Skill Level for DIY Repair
Minor Damages:
  • Pet Scratches and Punctures
  • Cracks
  • Fading, Stains and Discoloration
Moderate Damages:
  • Peeling and Flaking
  • Burns and Holes
  • Cuts, Rips and Tears
Severe Damages:
  • Torn Seams
  • Severe Leather and Foam Loss
  • Stitching or Sewing Needed
  • Only for Experienced DIYers


If you have any of these minor damages, then you’re in luck because simple and easy to use Coconix Leather and Vinyl Repair Kits can fix them all. Scratches, pet marks, and even discoloration can be gone within just hours with our DIY leather repair kit!

Pet Scratches and Punctures on Leather

1. Pet Scratches and Punctures

Cause: This type of damage is caused by a variety of factors. It can be sharp-edged objects like metals, nails, pet claws, other furniture that may have scraped the leather material, and other external objects in the surroundings.

Leather Cracks

2. Cracks

Cause: This type is often caused by heavy pressure on the leather and also due to the material’s old age. This damage is typical on leathers with substandard quality.

Leather Fading, Stains, and Discoloration

3. Fading, Stains, and Discoloration

Cause: An old leather’s color usually fades. But if your leather material is not that old and its color is fading or there’s discoloration in some areas, it might be due to direct exposure to sunlight or heat sources. Discoloration can also happen if your leather is exposed to the skin’s sweat and grease and the hair’s oils. Harsh cleaning products like detergents and soaps could also lead to leather discoloration.


If you find that you have one of the moderate damages below,  then you can proceed to the next sections of this ultimate guide. You’ll find all the step-by-step leather repair instructions for repairing the damages we have listed. If you have unique leather damage, no worries! We can definitely help you identify the type and the correct repair it needs! Just send us a photo of the leather damage through our Facebook or email us at We have an amazing and professional leather repair team that will guide you throughout your repair process!

Peeling and Flaking Leather

1. Peeling and Flaking

Cause: This damage is caused by a long period of heavy wear and tear and due to regular contact with skin grease and oils. It can also be due to liquids that come in contact with your leather. The leather fiber loses its structure and disintegrates.

Leather Burns and Holes

2. Burns and Holes

Cause: Burns can be due to cigarettes or any flaming objects that come in contact with your leather material. Holes can be caused by many factors. Some examples could be a pointed object piercing through the leather material, external factors like pets or kids unknowingly piercing a hole on the leather, or other furniture with pointy edges that could puncture the leather material.

Leather Cuts, Rips, and Tears

3. Cuts, Rips, and Tears

Cause: These types of damages are caused by any sharp object or sharp-edged material that pierce through the leather surface. It can also be due to heavy traffic on the leather that can put the leather material under too much pressure. The cut, rip or tear can just be through the leather material itself or it can extend up to the leather’s backing material.


If you have a severe leather damage like any of the examples below, it might be best to seek the advice of a professional leather upholsterer. We understand that you might want to do it yourself and think that you have the necessary tools and the required skills and experience, but these repairs require advanced skills so please proceed cautiously. Compare your leather damage to the samples and descriptions below to make sure you’re still on the right path:

Severe Tears and Torn Seams of Leather

1. Torn Seams

Cause: Torn seams and broken stitching can be caused by too much weight and pressure put on the leather. This damage can be repaired through manual stitching or machine sewing.

Severe Leather and Foam Loss

2. Severe Leather and Foam Loss

Cause: With years and years of use and wear, leather becomes more vulnerable and prone to tearing and ripping. Once the backing material of your leather is damaged, expect its filler, usually foam, to bulge out and eventually detach.

Are you 100% sure now that your car leather damage is not one of the severe damages listed above? Then, let us proceed to the next section and help you fix your leather ‘cause we can assure you it’s definitely not rocket science!


We hope our car leather interior repair steps, specially designed for inexperienced DIYers or beginners, helped you understand and prepare better for your repair! If you need any extra invitation to get started, we have listed below 10 results of DIY car leather interior repairs that you should see for yourself! Read each of their reviews and check the before and after photos so you can gain more confidence in for own repair project. These testimonials are from our customers who are 100% satisfied with their repair results!

“Beautiful, Easy repair!” by James O'Brock

These leather cracks due to wear and tear have been easily repaired in just 15 minutes! You can read the complete review below.

“My 2003 T-Bird had some wear on the leather driver's seat from entry and exit. Rather than go to an upholstery shop, I did some research on Amazon and found Coconix Leather care/repair. Since the description indicated that, if it didn't work, it could be I tried it! At first I thought the directions were incomplete because they were so simple. Amazingly, it is that simple! My pictures indicate before and after only 1 coat. The total time at this point was less than 15 minutes! After it dried (about 2 hrs), I added another coat in five minutes. I let it dry for about 3 hours, tested to be sure it wouldn't rub off and it didn't! To say I am pleased is an understatement!”

“You have to see it to believe it!” by Anthony C.

Got some cracked and worn car leather bolsters? Repair it with Coconix like how Anthony C. did!

“I used this product last year to repair one of the leather bolsters in my car. It worked great. I had a question about color matching and customer service responded very quickly. I recently ordered a new kit because the passenger seat bolster needs to be repaired.Great product. Finished, and the bolster looks great. Highly recommend Coconix... The only problem I have is deciding whether the phonetic pronunciation is COCOnix 🥥, or "Cocunix." Help!

“Used on the Leather Seats of a 2010 Mustang” by Christen M. Suszek

If you would like to read a detailed review of Coconix or learn some tips from a DIYer that successfully repaired their car leather interior, then you should read Christen M. Suszek’s review below.

“This product is AMAZING! And the customer service that I received from the Coconix company was just as great as well. First, I based my decision on buying this product on another customer's pictures of light colored car seats that came out amazing. Second, the color mixing (to achieve the correct color) is tricky. It takes some trial and error. When I mixed the colors of my first kit, the color came out a little too brown (the car seats looked like there was a more yellow tone). I contacted the Coconix company to see if I could order only the colors I needed. Unfortunately, they do not provide individual colors (or mix & match packages). They sent me a second kit - for free! And they instructed me to take pictures of the project so that they could help me troubleshoot the coloring mixture. I did just that, and they provided me a more detailed instruction on obtaining the correct color. Third, when I received the second kit, I followed their instructions and suggestions. The before & after photos should show just how amazing this product repairs/restores leather. For reference, I used the repair compound on only the bottom portion of the leather seat (where you put your butt). The top part of the leather seat (where you rest your back) is original - not repaired/restored. Fourth, for added measure, I used a leather protector (from Wilson's Leather Store) after the repair compound has had about 24 hours to cure. Lastly, I just ordered 2 more kits, so that I can repair/restore some other leather items that I own. This stuff leaves a smooth, clean finish! My nearly 10 year old car has never looked better!”

“Looks Waaaay Better!” by Beth

Some repairs can turn out to be such duds that you would not think that there is a chance that they would look even a bit better. But Beth’s repair project turned out to be successful.

“I had a significant amount of holes and cracks to fill with this product, and I am very pleased with how much I was able to cover. I used one kit- about 4 tubes worth of paint, and was able to match the color pretty easily. It took a lot more time than I thought it would. It is difficult to get it smoothed out perfectly. Every time I filled a crack up to the top, it would shrink down significantly, so it took many applications. It does seem very durable and I am pleased with the results!”

“Excellent product for DIY work” by Donald G. Allen

If you need confidence and assurance from other first-timers, then you definitely have to read Donald G. Allen’s review.

“Good product, good amount of materials. Mixing colors is tricky with any product. The tubes you get have a small nozzle so you can add small amounts to the mixture. It does take practice as with any product. I have seen some that when you open the container, it appears that it would dry out faster. These containers are like tooth paste design, you just squeeze out what you need. Excellent help from the company if you need it. AS you can see from my photo, this is the first time i used it, so i need a little more practice. I purchased some vinyl to practice on. The only CAUTION that I can say, after finishing apply Vinyl spray protection over it when finished. Some cleaners will remove the product, like Alcohol.”

“Works! Just be Patient and ensure your colors match” by DonJuan

As we have always mentioned in the previous sections of this ultimate guide, patience, time and effort is needed if you want the best possible repair results!

“Take your time to ensure the colors match. This was a process but my Honda Pilot seats look brand new. It is also important to let the product dry overnight.”

“So impressed!”

by Mid-Atlantic Customer

Once you get the results you desire, you will surely look for more repairs to do just like Mid-Atlantic Customer’s review written below.

“I keep finding new uses. I used it on my seat which had a tear and the results were good but then I said let my try it on my worn steering wheel and the results are great. I haven't even smoothed it out yet or done a second coat. The customer service is excellent too, very quick and helpful response from Maria.”

“Worked for steering wheel touch up”

by justin b

If you like a quick and temporary fix, then DIY leather repair is the way to go just like Justin b in his review below.

“Touched up worn steering wheel. Looks better than without, but not perfect. Spent a lot of time trying to match color. Looked perfect on application, but dried slightly darker. Has held up to weeks of drying and has similar hand feel to the original leather. No sticky feeling. Cheap and easy fix rather than redoing leather wrap for time being.”

“Excellent results and easy to use” by William

DIY leather repair projects can be really challenging, especially if you want to keep your car leather good-looking. But with the right leather repair kit, you’ll surely get the results you want.

“I bought this product to repair some used leather seats that I bought for my 1993 Mazda Miata. The driver seat had a pretty large tear on the left bolster and the leather was cracking around the base of the seat. (See pictures for before and after). This product was extremely easy to use and I was able to repair the tear using the provided fabric as well as repair all of the cracks on the seats. The color matching is quite easy and is done so by mixing the different colors. It also comes with a color chart so that you know how to get the mixing right. I will be touching up the area again where I patched the tear but overall it turned out very well and looks like it will be extremely durable. I had never done this before but after seeing the results I think I will probably do some repairs on my Lexus LS 430 as well. Great value for $20!”

“The bolster of the Grand Wagoneer has been nicely restored” by Gary Barmore

We have customers who update us with their successful DIY car leather repairs and share their awesome before and after repair photos. Read Gary Barmore’s personal message to us below about his awesome repair results.

“The bolster of the Grand Wagoneer has been nicely restored (see pix), and the product has worked well on the Jag bolster, although I plan further application to get the color right. I want to improve the color on the Jag seat, and I have neighbors and friends who are astounded and want me to work the "magic" on their classic cars. I even stopped in at the auto upholstery shop that was going to charge $900+ for fixing the problem, and they were actually happy for me to have dealt with the matter in an inexpensive and effective manner. Also, I would be happy to lend my review and any other comments to your web-site.”

SECTION 12: BONUS: 5 Tips to Disinfect Your Car Interior

In light of the 2020 pandemic, we want to help you keep your leather interior free from the COVID-19 virus. Follow the easy steps below to make sure that you and your family are safe from the contagious disease:

5 Tips to Disinfect Your Car Interior