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How to Fix A Peeling Leather Couch

Leather couches are a fantastic asset in any home. Whether dark or sky blue or luminous orange, you can’t fail to notice them. The overall make of leather couches is usually charming.  Not only this, but they also give your home an appealing look. But what happens when they begin to peel? Because peeled leather, and you will agree with me, are massive eyesores.

While leather couches are tough and durable, they may not be able to handle prolonged abuse. Factors such as water and sun damage cause the leather to lose flexibility and luster. It continues to harden, and the fabric begins to break out. You then see cracks, and oh! It is peeling already. It is not a very pleasant sight. That could mark the beginning of the end, but hey, it doesn’t have to! You can restore your peeling couch and have it as good as new. 

The peeling of leather could result from low maintenance or lack thereof. Regular wear and tear work hard to contribute to the same. Whatever the cause might be, your leather couch would do with a repair. Below is a step by step method on how to get your damaged couch looking all dreamy.

How to Fix A Peeling Leather Couch?

Step1: Cut off loose fibers. It serves to smoothen the area and prepare it for a better and more durable repair.

Step 2: Mix liquid soap with water and dip an abrasive pad into it. Scrub to remove the remaining bits of peeling leather. After that, wipe dry with a towel. Do this in a circular motion.

Step 3: Wipe the surface with denatured alcohol and then wipe dry with a paper towel.

Step 4: Dip sandpaper in the cleaning solution and rub the surface to remove more damaged leather. Do this in a quick motion from one side to the other. Grind to smoothen the surface, then remove the debris with a towel. After doing this, spray a bit of leather prep sprayer and then wipe off.

Step 5: If the section is pitted, scoop a small amount of filler and apply it even to the damaged surface. Be careful not to use too much. It may cause the level of the hard part to be different from that of the original leather. If, however, this happens, wipe off the excess and apply a second coating if needed. Let it dry for an hour. 

Step 6: Make sure you have a dye that matches the color of your couch. Pour some into a sponge. Apply it to the area you are repairing. Give the colorant time to dry. That will ensure it permeates into the filler. Do this before proceeding to the next step. Apply as many coats as needed leaving it to dry after every coating.

Step 7: This is the final step. At this point, the part you have repaired needs to be looking complete. What is left is sealing and protecting the finish, and this is a straightforward process. Pour some leather sealant onto a sponge. Rub this sponge onto that part. Always ensure you use a clean sponge. It also should be done in a circular motion. Do these three or four times, each time allowing it to dry before applying another coating.

There you go! Your leather couch should be looking all good now.

When and Why Does Leather Peel?

Having a leather couch comes with subscribing to its regular maintenance. And how hard can it be taking care of something that you so love?

Have you heard of a patina? It is the sparkle on a surface due to polishing. Did you know that you can achieve that with leather? Because all you need to do is care for your leather. It desires to be maintained and moisturized, and when you give it that, it abides by you. It doesn’t dry out; consequently, it doesn’t crack nor peels. You also get to save yourself some ugly leather peeling sight. Talk about a win-win.

Here are some of the things that would cause your lovely couch to peel.

1. Wrong Cleaning Products

More often than not, it’s the leather sealant that cracks and not the leather itself. The use of wrong cleaning products causes peeling as most of them usually contain chemicals and solvents which react with the leather resulting in unpleasant breakouts. While leather is known to be tough, it can’t do as much as handle baby wipes! They contain chemicals too. Leather cleaning is very particular, and you want to be sure of the products you trust your leather with.

2. Low Moisture Levels

Your leather couch requires regular moisturizing. Low humidity levels could result in loss of moisture from the leather and hence brittleness. To moisturize, apply a suitable cleaner and condition regularly to leave it shiny, lustrous, and strong.

3. Low Quality of the Leather

Other than maintenance, the other thing you need to look out for when getting a leather couch is the leather’s quality. As you might have guessed, low quality leather is more likely to crack and peel than good quality leather. High-quality leather should not peel under the right conditions and with correct maintenance.

Real leather is expensive and scarce, and as such, there are cheap alternatives to it. A good example is bonded leather. Recycling scraps make it of leather, stuck together with strong adhesives before being attached to a polyurethane (PU) overlay. Having compromised quality, it is not as elastic as top grain leather. The PU overlay hence peels off quite quickly once the elastic limit is reached.

How to Prevent My Leather Couch From Peeling?

It feels good to own a leather couch. And to feel suitable for longer, ensure you give it proper care. That will extend its life. Also, it will always remain beautiful and sleek.

You’ll be surprised to know that with proper maintenance, your leather couch, like wine, will get better with age.

  1. Avoid placing your leather couch close to a fireplace or a place where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. Leather fades, hardens, and cracks when exposed to very high temperatures.
  2. Use a clean sponge to dust the couch regularly. That keeps it clean and looking good.
  3. When cleaning accumulated dirt, use a soft, damp sponge. You may want to confirm first that your leather couch does not absorb water. To do this, try an inconspicuous part and if it does, then use a dry sponge instead to wipe the rest of the surface. It is because excess moisture is harmful to leather.
  4. Apply conditioner every six months to keep your leather couch moisturized.
  5. Avoid harsh soap, solvents, detergents, and ammonia to clean stains as these may bring more harm to the couch than the stain itself.
  6. Avoid using sharp objects near the furniture as leather can scratch easily, and this could induce peeling.
  7. You could also buy a leather protective material to cover your leather couch. It is most advisable if you have pets and are concerned about damage.

Is the Leather That Makes Leather Couches Real?

Sadly enough, most leather couches have more plastic than animal hide. Before getting a leather couch, be sure what you are getting for your money. The best leather for furniture is full grain and top grain leather. If you aren’t sure how it looks like (and most people are not), you could carry a sample for side-by-side comparison.

Can Real Leather Peel?

Real leather cannot peel. It is animal skin, and it can dry and crack after years of neglect, but it won’t get to peel. If you experience peeling on your ‘real leather,’ it is most likely because the label is a fake, and it is, in fact, a bonded substance with coating on the surface. Your shoes are not real leather!

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