The Ultimate DIY Guide for Repairing Leather Car Seats

(Plus 10 DIY repair results you should see!)

Coconix Blog: The Ultimate DIY Guide for Repairing Leather Car Seats (Plus 10 DIY repair results you should see!)

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.




SECTION 1: TO DIY OR NOT TO DIY?

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.








SECTION 2: PROS AND CONS TO DIY LEATHER CAR REPAIRS

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


PRO #1: LEARN A NEW SKILL!

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. 


PRO #2: GET PRACTICAL!

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! 


PRO #3: BE PROUD OF YOUR OWN CAPABILITIES!

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!


PRO #4: KEEP YOUR CAR LEATHER INTERIOR MAINTAINED!

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.


PRO #5: SAVE MONEY!

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:

TYPE OF DAMAGE COST RANGE
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


CON #1: TIME AND EFFORT ARE REQUIRED!


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.

CON #2: VARIED REPAIR RESULTS!


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! 

CON #3: MAKE IT OR BREAK IT!


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!








SECTION 3: HOW TO IDENTIFY THE DAMAGE OF YOUR CAR INTERIOR

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.