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maljsf's Blog

Repair A Scratch In Your Leather Sofa Like A Pro,

7 '14 Subject: www.lacher-ballons.com/, Viewed by: 17893

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Often, the difference between an amateur repair and a professional repair is



 having access to professional supplies and knowing the tricks of the trade. This



 is absolutely true in leather repair, where having the wrong supplies can result in



 making an absolute mess of your leather upholstery. Home remedies like olive



 oil, milk, and shoe polish and saddle soap will eventually cause your leather to



 rot and smell. Trying to match your furniture's color using the repair products



 available at the home store will make a scratch look worse, not better. In this



 article I'll share with you where to find the right products to repair scuffs and



 scratches in your leather, and a few tips to ensure a successful repair.

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 1st, Identify the Leather



 Upholstery leather comes in many different types and finishes. If you are not



 sure about how your sofa/chair leather is finished, lift up a seat cushion and look



 for the tag that lists the cleaning code . The code will be A for Aniline leather, P



 for Protected leather, and N for Nubuck leather. Automobile upholstery is



 exposed to extremes of heat, cold, and sunlight, so it is always heavily finished



 "P", or Protected leather. You will use different repair methods for each type of



 leather.



 Second, Identify the Damage



 Finishing leather is extremely similar to finishing wood: the raw material is stained and



 then a topcoat is applied. Damage to the clear topcoat wherein no color is



 removed is described as a scuff. A scratch is damage that goes through the



 clear topcoat and the color coat and exposes the raw leather. Cuts, burns, tears



 and rips are more serious damage and require more serious repair than scuffs



 and scratches; those repairs are beyond the scope of this article.



 Repairing Scuffs in Leather Upholstery



 Soft, natural Aniline leathers are finished with wax. To repair a scuff in Aniline



 leather, all you need to do is redistribute the wax. This is done by warming the



 leather with a hair dryer and rubbing your hand over the scuffed area. Use just



 enough heat to warm up the leather.



 Most upholstery leather is P, or protected leather. Protected leather is always



 painted; sometimes it is dyed through and then painted, and then topped with a



 clear coat of water-based lacquer. Scuffs occur when the lacquer top coat is



 damaged. Occasionally, scuffs can be buffed out using a good quality leather



 cream and a rag. If that doesnt work, then topcoat will have to be re-applied.



 Re-apply the topcoat by lightly misting the affected area with clear nitrocellulose



 or acrylic lacquer, which can be purchased in a spray can at your local home



 store. Make sure the sheen is correct; test the spray in an inconspicuous area.



 Spray in short bursts; do not soak the area. Apply the lacquer in thin layers. Be



 sure the leather surface is clean and allow the lacquer to dry thoroughly between



 applications.



 How to Repair Scratches in Leather Upholstery



 Scratches will pass through the leather's topcoat and color coat and expose the



 raw leather underneath. If color is removed, chances are you have protected



 leather; Aniline and Nubuck leathers are through-dyed and a scratch would not



 remove color. To repair a scratch, the damage must be re-colored. The key to



 successfully repairing protected leather is to have a color that matches your



 upholstery perfectly A perfect match is only possible with a custom-formulated,



 computerized color match.



 The largest manufacturer of leather and vinyl coloring products in the United



 States is a company called SEM. SEM paints are are formulated for use with



 protected leathers; they are flexible and if applied correctly will not split or peel



 as the leather flexes. Many leather repair professionals purchase SEM products



 online from Vinyl Pro of Western PA http://www.vinylpro.com . Vinyl Pro has a



 computer color matching service; simply send them a swatch of your leather.



 When you order your custom-matched color, order it in an aerosol sprayer.



 Where to Find a Leather Swatch



 To find a swatch, turn your furniture upside down and pull part of the black dust



 cover from the bottom of the chair/sofa, or look under your car seat. With a razor



 knife, cut a bit of leather from behind the staple line. You'll need about one



 square inch of leather in order to match the color.



 How to Make the Repair



 Fortunately for leather repair technicians, cowhides are often flawed. Cows get



 scratched by barbed wire, stung by bees and bitten by mosquitoes. All of these



 will leave scars on a hide. All that needs to be done to repair a scratch is to re-



 color it; it will look natural enough without filling and graining. If the edges of the



 scratch are rough, carefully trim the loose edges with a razor knife and sand



 slightly with 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. Clean the area well with denatured



 alcohol. If the scratch is deep, use an artists brush or foam brush to dab some of



 the color into the scratch. Wipe any excess paint from the edges with a Q-tip; be



 sure to get all of the excess paint from the grain. Dry the paint with a hair dryer.



 When you are satisfied that the scratch is adequately filled and the dabbed paint



 is dry, spray the area using the aerosol sprayer filled with your custom color.



 Spray using short, quick, misting bursts, and feather the edges out slightly from



 the scratch.



 With these few tricks of the trade and professional quality supplies, you will be



 able to make professional-looking repairs to your scratched and scuffed leather



 upholstery.
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