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How to Restore Leather Couch at Home
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How to Restore Leather Couch at Home

If you're like most people, you probably think of leather as the ultimate luxury leather furniture. Maybe it's because of the way it feels or maybe it's because of the way it looks, but whatever the reason, leather is far and away one of the most popular choices when it comes to high-end furniture.

But the struggle doesn't simply end in buying and choosing the best leather couch that fits your style.

You also need to keep it nice, clean, and protected from damage.

We know this doesn't always come across your mind, so you might notice a few imperfections here and there. But what can you do to prevent that from happening? How do you make sure your leather couch stays as good as new? We will tell you exactly how to keep your leather couch in great shape with this leather repair guide.

The Truth About Leather Furniture

black recolored sectional sofa

While there are many different types of upholstery available today, leather still remains one of the most popular choices among homeowners because of these reasons.

  • Leather is durable. A well-made leather couch will last for decades with proper care. An upholstered couch may last half as long if it's not treated properly.

  • Leather looks premium anywhere. You don't have to worry about stains or spills on your leather sofa, but they may show up on your fabric couch quickly if not cleaned soon after they occur.

  • Leather is easier to clean than fabric. You can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and then leave it to dry. Fabric needs more attention, such as vacuuming or brushing the fibers to remove dust particles before cleaning.

  • Leather feels great. The soft and supple texture of leather is a pleasure to sit on, especially if it's well-cushioned. Fabric can feel stiff and hard after some use.

  • Leather is a great investment. You won't have to replace your couch as often as you might with fabric upholstery. The only thing you'll have to worry about is caring for it properly so that it stays in good shape and lasts a long time.

Speaking of leather care, how often do you need to clean your leather couch? Have you ever thought of maintaining it at all?

Your leather sofa might last for quite some time without cleaning and maintenance, but if you want it to last even longer, then you have to take good care of it.

What You Should Know Before Restoring Your Leather Couch

When you notice that your leather furniture no longer looks the way it used to, you may be tempted to buy a new one. But before you run out and replace your old couch with a new one, watch out for these signs as you restore your leather sofa.

Is it dirty?

If your couch has dirt stains or other messes on it, you might want to clean it first before proceeding with any type of restoration. Cleaning will help protect the new coatings and finishes from being damaged by dirt and dust.

Is it fading?

Over time, all leather will fade due to exposure to sunlight or heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators. Faded leather has to be recolored again with a leather dye or balm before proceeding with any restoration work.

Is it dry and cracking?

If your couch has seen better days and feels dry and cracked when touched, this could indicate that it needs to be conditioned. Cracked leather is more susceptible to damage, and it’s not good for the longevity of your couch. The best way to prevent this is by conditioning your leather regularly.

A leather conditioner will help restore softness and flexibility while also locking in moisture so that they continue working after application.

Are there scratches?

Scratches are common on leather couches because they're used so often by people sitting on them. The thing is, they expose the fabric underneath and make the couch look older than it really is. If there are scratches already in place, they'll just get worse if you don't take care of them now.

Is it peeling?

This is another sign that your couch needs some work done on it. A piece of leather furniture will not peel naturally over time. If you notice any peeling or cracking in the surface of the leather then this means you need to opt for a leather repair as soon as possible.

Does it have rips or tears?

You may also notice small rips or tears on the surface of your couch if there has been too much wear and tear on it over time. These rips can usually be repaired easily with some stitching.

Does it have bumps or lumps?

Another thing you may notice is that there are bumps or lumps on your couch. These are usually caused by pressure being applied to a certain area of the couch over time. It might also mean that some springs need to be replaced.

How to Restore Your Leather Couch at Home

If you have a piece of leather furniture that's looking shabby, we recommend you to look at Clyde's 4-Step Restoration Process.

  • This process is backed by years of trial and error, thousands of customer reviews, and tons of professional feedback.

  • Unlike other brands, this process works for both absorbent and non-absorbent leathers.

  • This restoration process, excluding the leather deglazing solution, is free from toxic chemicals.

Clyde's 4-Step Restoration Process includes cleaning, preparing, recoloring, and protecting.


Cleaning your leather couch is a little bit different than cleaning other furniture, but it's not hard to do. You just need to follow a few simple steps.

  1. Divide your couch into a few sections. This will make it easier for you to clean each section.

  2. On each section, apply Clyde's Leather Cleaning Foam on the surface.

  3. Using a rag, massage the foam into the leather in circular motions until most of the dirt is removed from your couch. 

  4. Dry the leather with a towel before moving on to the next step.

Preparing and Deglazing

What's deglazing? And why do you even need to prepare your leather sofa?

When you bought anything made of leather, it has a protective coating that makes the leather durable and easy to clean. This coating is what allows you to wipe off the dirt from your couch without causing any damage. However, over time this protective layer gets worn out due to regular use of your couch or just everyday dust accumulation.

If your couch's color is fading, you need to recolor it. And before you recolor, make sure that it is absorbent.

Perform a simple water test on your leather by putting a few drops of water on the surface. If it absorbs the liquid, that means it's absorbent.

But if it didn't absorb, that means it's still non-absorbent and you have to prepare and deglaze it.

  1. Use Clyde's Leather Prep and Deglaze to strip the section of leather you wish to recolor. Dab it on with a cotton ball, then rub in circular motions until the damaged leather becomes absorbent. Don't forget your gloves to avoid contact with your skin!

  2. It's also important to note that you should only apply the deglazing solution on areas that you have to recolor. If it's just a small touch-up, then you should apply it on a small area of your leather. If it's the entire couch that needs to be restored, don't hesitate to apply it generously.

  3. Perform the absorbency test once again. If the droplets are absorbed, your leather is now absorbent.


black recolored leather sofa

Now it's time to recolor your leather furniture!

Clyde's Leather Recoloring Balm comes in 19 shades, so you can choose the color that works best with your couch.

If the color doesn't seem quite right, you can do one of several things:

  1. Exchange your current color for a new color.

  2. Mix your current color with another for a more accurate color profile.

Clyde's sends out exchanges and accepts returns on recoloring balms. Learn more here.

But if you are happy with the color, you can continue the application! Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure that your leather is completely dry before applying the balm. Apply a very conservative amount of the balm to the leather using the application sponge provided. 

  2. Massage the balm into the leather by rubbing the sponge in circular motions. Wait for it to dry while you repeat the previous step on another section of your sofa.

  3. Repeat this process until the leather has reached the desired color.


Leather couches are built to last, but they need a little love to stay looking their best using a leather conditioner. A leather conditioner helps to keep the leather soft, smooth and supple.

It’s important to use a quality leather conditioner because it will make the difference between having great furniture that lasts for years, or a cheap furniture that looks worn out before it’s even out of warranty.

  1. After you've curated your balm, apply Clyde's Leather Conditioning Cream using a rag or microfiber cloth.

  2. Massage the leather conditioner into the leather using circular motions, and let it sit for a couple of hours to fully absorb.

  3. After 5-6 hours of conditioning, you are ready to use your newly restored leather sofa!

Key Takeaway

Restoring your leather furniture at home may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With the right tools and products, you can easily restore your leather couch and make it look new again.

Clyde's Leather Care products are made available for professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. Feel free to explore our products here!

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