How to Repair a Torn Leather Car Seat

January 27, 2012

Car leather repair doesn't have to be taxing and can be carried out by most novices. Leather is one of the most attractive interiors that you can have in a car, so keeping it in good condition is paramount. Small or large tears can be repaired in a short space of time using a simple procedure.

Tools and Materials:

  • Nail scissors
  • Warm water or rubbing alcohol
  • Small pieces of cloth
  • Some cotton wool
  • Replacement leather
  • Adhesive glue
  • A small piece of sandpaper
  • Dye (your choice of color)
  • Leather conditioner

Step 1: Tidy the Tear

Tidy up the current tear in the leather car seat. Use a pair of scissors to cut away any rough areas or edges on the tear. Use nail scissors if there are only a few strands of material sticking out from the tear. This will make the repair easier and will leave the leather looking more attractive afterward. It will also let you reach beneath the tear with your fingers without the risk of making it worse.

Step 2: Clean the Tear

Use some warm water and a cloth or some cotton wool and rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the tear. Make sure you clean the surrounding area of the tear both above and beneath it. This should stop the replacement leather from becoming dirty in a short space of time. It should also stop the current leather from losing color around the edges of the tear.

Step 3: Cut Replacement

Cut out a replacement piece of leather. Either buy this leather to match the interior of your car or use a leather repair kit. Make sure you cut an excess of about one inch, as this will entirely cover the current tear in the leather. The excess will allow for a margin of error and will soak up the dye so it doesn't seep into the original color and spoil the interior of the car.

Step 4: Smooth and Sand

Apply some strong adhesive around the edges of the tear in the seat. Place the replacement leather over the top. Allow a few hours for the adhesive to dry and then sand around the edges to remove any excess glue and rough edges. This will reduce friction when you have to apply different agents in later stages.

Step 5: Color the Leather

Use a small amount of dye to color the replacement leather so it matches the rest of the car. You can buy dye specifically for this job or use one in an auto seat leather repair kit. Use a small cloth to evenly apply the dye over the patch and a sponge to gently rub away any excess dye and color. If you get the color wrong, it will be obvious where you have done your handiwork.

Step 6: Condition the Seat

You need to condition the repair to make it look better and seal all of the work done so far. Apply some leather conditioner over the patch and a small cloth to even it out. This will give the repair work a glossy finish. It will look like a unique leather design as opposed to a repair, once the conditioner has dried.