Leather furniture, clothing, and other objects are expensive, and when the leather rips or tears, your immediate reaction may be to toss the marred item and replace it at considerable cost. But a good leather repair kit can effectively mend small mishaps and keep your credit card in your wallet.
While extensive lacerations can take time, effort and considerable skill to repair, small nicks and tears can be fixed with little effort and the right supplies. And these products can restore discolored or faded leather nearly to its original appearance.
We researched leather repair kits based on their effectiveness, contents, ease of use, and price.
For more extensive repairs, we recommend professional assistance. But having said that, here are our five top choices for the best leather repair kit.
FORTIVO Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit
Repairs, not just restores
Numerous color-mix options
Generally, leather is quite durable and long-lasting but it still requires regular cleaning to maintain its appearance and prevent future damage. (Hint: for an inexpensive way to clean leather surfaces, use a microfiber cloth and gently dust the surface). But for those inevitable scratches, stains, and holes, we recommend the Fortivo Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit.
This repair kit is one of the best all-around products, thanks to its affordable results and easy five-step application process, which requires no heat. The manufacturer claims this product helps repair scratches, cuts, holes, tears, rips, cracks, marks, and pet damage on furniture, shoes, and car seats. Fortivo's kit offers 10 intermixable colors—two brown capsules, two white, two black, one red, one blue, one green, and one yellow—as well as a mixing bottle and a practice leather patch. A color mixing guide helps you determine how much fluid and in what proportions match the color of your targeted item.
We note that the color capsules only provide a small amount of liquid, and the mixing process takes some trial-and-error. But for the most part, the results are satisfactory. And if you’re not happy with the product, Fortivo offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year free replacement warranty.
Price at time of publish: $20
Contents: Practice piece, color compounds, backing fabric, spatula, mixing bottle, mixing guide, instructions | Leather repair pieces included? No
Best for Recoloring
Furniture Clinic Leather Recoloring Balm
No color mixing
Works on many mishaps
Works on absorbent leather only
Leather furniture is designed to last for decades, but, over the years, the color can fade due to misadventure and mishap such as sweat stains and cigarette burns. Rather than shelling out a thousand dollars or more for a new leather couch, we recommend trying Furniture Clinic Leather Recoloring Balm to restore the color to faded leather.
The balm deeply absorbs into leather, giving it a richer color and a sheen that’s good as new. Furniture Clinic guarantees results for up to 3 years, or you can get a complete money-back guarantee.
Unlike kits with intermixable colors, the Leather Re-Coloring Balm gives you a sizable product (8.5 fluid ounces) in a single color. If you’re worried you won’t be able to perfectly match the color of the repair kit to your couch, note that Furniture Clinic offers this balm in 16 different colors, all of which can create lighter or darker shades depending on the amount used.
We note that the manufacturer recommends testing your targeted leather piece to see whether it can absorb liquid since older leather can harden slightly over time. To test, simply apply a little drop of water and see whether it soaks in, or beads up and runs.
Price at time of publish: $30
Contents: One 5-ounce container | Leather repair pieces included? Not applicable
Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Complete Leather Care Kit
Works for many surface types
No buildup on dimpled surfaces
More comprehensive kit available
Leather can easily fade, or acquire an unwelcome shine from body oil. Chemical Guys, a California-based company specializing in car care and auto detail supplies, manufactures a patented conditioner that restores the texture and scent to a car’s leather interior, as well as clothing and furniture. You start by thoroughly scrubbing your car seats with Chemical Guys’ top-grade spray cleaner, then use the nourishing conditioner to give them a rich shine and supple feel. Both bottles come at 4 fluid ounces.
The manufacturer claims this product effectively removes dirt, grease, body oils, and more from all types of leather, including vegan and synthetic leather. You apply the liquids onto a microfiber applicator (not included), then rub it into the leather. This lets you use the product on perforated leather surfaces without worrying about buildup in the dimples.
If you’re looking for a more dynamic repair kit, you can also try some of the Chemical Guys’ other products, including their 9-piece kit, which comes equipped with towels, brushes, and a leather detailer.
Price at time of publish: $27
Contents: One 16-ounce container of leather cleaner and one 16-ounce container of leather conditioner | Leather repair pieces included? No.
MASTAPLASTA Self-Adhesive Leather Repair Patch
Can cut to smaller sizes
Use on many surfaces
Available non-traditional colors
Easy to apply
Not at all seamless
Leather patches are an excellent (and easy) alternative to traditional leather repair kits, and MastaPlasta is the originator of this now widely used line of products, patenting the idea in 2009.
They manufacture patches made of leather-like vinyl in dozens of sizes and colors, but we selected this 11 x 8-inch patch because it’s large enough to cover many different areas. Besides leather, you can use these patches to cover stains, scratches, worn spots, or tears on materials including vinyl, faux leather, metal, wood, and plastic. It’s available in classic leather colors such as tan and dark brown, as well as more distinctive colors, including green, ivory, and navy.
Simply peel off the backing paper, stick MastaPlasta to your leather furniture and you’re done. The patches can be cut so that they perfectly fit the stain, scratch, or worn spot you’re trying to repair. We also note that they have strong adhesive backing that can fit curved surfaces. Keep in mind, however, that the patches are not suitable for machine washing.
One final note: MastaPlasta patches covers rips, tears, scratches and other marred surfaces. But they hardly appear seamless. We recommend these only as a quick-fix solution. Consumers wishing for a more seamless repair job should look for professional results.
Price at time of publish: $15
Contents: One 8 x 11-inch vinyl patch | Leather repair pieces included? Yes
Leather Max Mega Kit/Leather Restorer
Sealant provides closure to rips
Complete repair kit
Includes color lighter/darkener
Coating may peel over time
Available in 12 colors, the Furniture Leather Max MEGA Kit is equipped with a variety of top-of-the-line products, all of which target and heal problem areas on your leather furniture. This product works by applying the included backing to the underside of the laceration, providing a surface for the included serum to adhere to.
The main contents include one bottle of restoration and refinishing serum, one bottle of nourishing leather conditioner, and one bottle of reliable top-coat sealant. You also get backing materials, a filler compound, and two small bottles of the black-and-white color changer, which allows you to lighten or darken the surface of your furniture. Furniture Leather Max ensures that this product is waterproof and shouldn't rub off on your clothing.
We note that one 8-ounce bottle may be enough to recondition a small loveseat or sofa without needing to repair any rips or tears, but two bottles (available separately) are recommended for larger pieces.
We have noted that on certain well-used surfaces, such as office chairs, the serum may peel off over time. But generally, we recommend this product for repairing small nicks, tears, and scratches without needing professional help.
Price at time of publish: $37
Contents: One 8-ounce bottle of leather refinisher, one 2-ounce bottle of leather conditioner, one 4-ounce bottle of top coat, one 1-ounce bottle of black-and-white color changer, one sponge | Leather repair pieces included? No
Best for Cat Scratches
Chamberlain's Leather Milk Healing Balm
Touches up surface scratches
Dries within 3 hours
Ingredients not listed
We love our pets, but every so often, they chew apart a flip flop, use the carpet as a litter box, or scratch up a pricey leather recliner. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk is an exceptional product for touching up shiny, matte, or naked grain leather that's been subjected to small scratches made by kitty claws or otherwise needs a surface refinish. While it doesn't completely heal scratched leather, we are satisfied that is conditions the leather well enough to make them all but invisible.
The 4-ounce container of healing balm contains what the manufacturer describes as "natural oils and waxes," specifically designed for touch-ups and detail work. After you work the balm into your furniture with a soft towel or sponge, it fills in damaged areas and restores a rich, glossy shine to the leather. While we've noted similarities to coconut oil—including the scent that lasts until the product is absorbed—we still like Chamberlain’s results. We note that sitting areas take about 3 hours to dry before you can sit on them again.
We were mystified by the package alert not to use the product on genuine leather. The manufacturer notes, however, that this refers only to when leather has been conditioned to be softer and more delicate by sanding down its upper layers. It frequently refers to suede, which this product is not recommended for.
Price at time of publish: $17
Contents: One 4-ounce container of "healing balm," plus applicator sponge | Leather repair pieces included? No
Our Best Overall choice for a comprehensive leather repair kit is FORTIVO's Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit. It contains everything you need to repair small scratches or tears, as well as recondition abused leather furniture, car seats, and apparel. If you just need a product to recondition worn leather, we recommend Chemical Guys' Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner Kit. It effectively removes dirt, grease, body oils, and more from all types of leather, including auto interiors.
What to Look For in a Leather Repair Kit
Leather repair can involve everything from restoring color and luster to smoothing scratches, removing stains, and repairing holes, burns, or cracking. You can find leather kits to cover all these issues, from general kits designed to work on a number of different leather products, to specialized kits tailored toward repairing leather sofas or car seats. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to buy a kit that is intended to solve your immediate problem or invest in a more comprehensive kit you can use for a range of items.
Type of Leather
Not all leather is the same, so be sure to choose a repair kit made to work on the type of leather that you want to repair. Otherwise, choose a repair kit designed to repair a range of materials, from pure leather to faux leather and vinyl. Note that some conditioners function well only on leather that can still absorb moisture. Older leather may have lost this property, so test first by applying a small drop of water to the targeted surface and see whether the moisture is absorbed.
It’s important to choose the correct color of leather repair kit so your fix is a convincing match for the leather good you are patching up. You can choose leather repair kits in a single dominant color such as brown, which may or may not hit the mark when applied to your leather sofa or wallet. Or you can opt for a kit that contains multiple colors that can be mixed a la carte for the perfect match.
Why is my leather sofa cracking and peeling?
Leather is animal skin, and it needs to stay clean and moisturized to remain soft and supple. Direct sunlight and low humidity can cause leather to dry out, leading to cracking and peeling. The best way to prevent your leather sofa from cracking and peeling over time is to maintain it with routine care such as cleaning it by wiping away dust and dirt with a microfiber cloth, and regularly moisturizing it with leather conditioner at least twice a year.
What are the four grades of leather?
Leather is commonly categorized into varying grades that are used to signify levels of quality. These categories are confusing for consumers and many experts insist that they should be taken with a grain of salt given how widely standards and production methods vary. Nevertheless, the four most common leather grades you will probably encounter are full-grain, top-grain, genuine, and bonded. Full-grain leather is considered the highest quality, made from pure animal hide, known for its durability and marked by desirable natural imperfections in the grain. Top-grain leather is made from full-grain leather that is split and stamped with a faux grain pattern and is used in many “fine” leather goods such as handbags and wallets. Genuine leather is considered a low-quality leather product that is heavily processed, less durable, and cheaper than full- or top-grain leather. Bonded leather is a leather product made from leather scraps, glue, plastic, and other materials that are bonded together and sealed. It's also considered the least durable, lowest quality form of leather.
What is the difference between genuine leather and leather?
Genuine leather is a confusing term that probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. While pure leather refers to 100% real animal skin that has been tanned, genuine leather is a generic term that simply means that there is some leather in the final product. Despite the positive-sounding name, genuine leather is considered one of the lowest quality categories of leather.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Derek Rose, a writer and teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. He has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. For this article, he researched numerous products online.