Restoring a worn leather sofa

Leather stands in a class of its own as a furniture material due to its durability. If you've inherited a worn leather sofa or stumbled upon a gem at a flea market, read on for instructions on how to rejuvenate the leather.

An old sofa purchased second-hand often looks the part, with scratches and wear naturally accumulating over the years. As a natural material, leather also dries out. A rough leather sofa can still be stylish in its own right if it fits the rest of your decor.

We've compiled instructions on how you can make your old sofa look almost new with little effort. These tips can also be applied to any leather furniture or even the upholstery of car leather seats.

Find a new rental home for yourself and your sofa from SATO homes. For the sofa restoration, we used TRG's Leather Renovating Balm, available in several colours. It covers and dyes the worst scratches and takes care of the leather surface. Leather care products can be found in shoemaker shops, among other places.

  • Protect the floor under the furniture to be refurbished.
  • Clean the leather surface to be refurbished by vacuuming and wiping with a damp, lint-free cloth.
  • Apply the conditioner to the dry leather surface with a clean, lint-free cloth. Test the product on a hidden spot first.
  • Start applying the product from the edges and detailed areas, best done by gently rubbing in a circular motion.
  • Allow the product to absorb and polish lightly with a clean cloth. Polishing also removes excess product from the leather surface.
  • Let it dry overnight to avoid the product transferring to clothing.
  • You might want to avoid sitting on the treated sofa with light-coloured trousers immediately after treatment.
Leather sofa restoration
1. You will need a clean cloth and conditioner. 2. Apply the conditioner to the cleaned leather surface. 3. Allow to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight.

A scratched leather sofa is among the easier projects if you decide to refurbish a used piece of furniture yourself. Reupholstering fabric-covered furniture is a much larger task and often requires professional upholstering tools. If your leather sofa needs professional tuning or your fabric-covered furniture needs reupholstering, consider vocational schools that offer upholstery services as student projects. In the Helsinki metropolitan area, for example, Stadin ammattiopisto provides upholstery services.